F-117A #783 Finds Nest at Blackbird Air Park

410th FLTS F-117A #79-10783 is moved to Blackbird Air Park for static display. 3/3/08
Photo: Senior Airman Julius Delos Reyes

3/3/2008 - Volunteers with the 410th Flight Test Squadron based at U.S. Air Force Plant #42, Palmdale Airport, moved F-117A #79-10783 from the 410th FLTS, to Blackbird Air Park on March 3. Blackbird Air Park is located nearby on the Palmdale airport property. The Nighthawk had previously been assigned to the 410th FLTS (under the 412th Test Wing at Edwards AFB) and utilized in testing for many years. The aircraft was recently decommissioned and transferred to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

#783 was the fourth of the first five original 'Senior Trend' Full Scale Development (FSD) aircraft in the F-117 program, and named Scorpion 4. The name refers to the Baja Scorpion, which was the symbol of the original USAF/Lockheed test team. The aircraft was also given the nickname 'The Dragon' while conducting testing at Groom. The first FSD ships have occasionally been referred to using the designation of Y/F-117A, though it is not known if this was ever official. The first flight in #783 was made by Tom Morgenfeld on June 7, 1982.

Ex 410th FLTS F-117A #79-10783 sits at its new home in Blackbird Air Park. 3/6/08
Photo: Tony Landis

In preparation for static display at the park, the aircraft was slightly modified... The original leading edges, nose assembly, pitot tubes and exhaust were removed and replaced, due to those parts still being considered sensitive technology by the USAF. It appears that the saw-tooth canopy edges have also been removed. The cockpit has been removed as well, and aluminum sheet has been put in place of the canopy glass.

It's reported that the last 'four ship' F-117 flight will be made from Holloman to Palmdale on April 21, then continue onto Tonopah, NV the next day, where they will be stored. It's not been officially confirmed, but it has also been reported that the 410th FLTS will continue flying until late 2008, which would make it the last operator of the F-117.

Source: USAF / The North Spin

Home - About - New - Archive - Gallery - Units - Patches - Books - Videos - Links - Site Index
All original content Copyright © 2006 - 2008 The North Spin