Author Topic: F117s spotted flying 8 years after official retirement  (Read 2518 times)


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F117s spotted flying 8 years after official retirement
« on: September 26, 2016, 05:30:40 AM »
More fodder for the conspiracy nuts:  ;D


Watch two F-117 stealth jets fly over Nevada together….8 years after “retirement”
         Sep 23 2016
By David Cenciotti
It’s not a secret that some F-117s are still in airworthy conditions at the
Tonopah Test Range, in Nevada. Still, it’s pretty unusual and cool to
see two Black Jets flying together 8 years after their retirement. And
look at photographs...

In the last couple of years we have documented the flights of some Twenty five F-117 Stealth Jets flying together over Nevada, spotted from the distant hills east of Tonopah Test Range.

In this post you can find some interesting photographs and a video
filmed by The Aviationist’s contributor “Sammamishman” at the end of
July 2016.(...SNIPPED)
Philippine Defense Forces Forum (PDFF)

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Re: F117s spotted flying 8 years after official retirement
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2016, 05:08:53 PM »
^though not as exciting as a "conspiracy theory", one reason they are still flying is that the US congress requires it... the following was an official statement released by a Nellis AFB spokesperson back in 2014:

Since its retirement from active flying status in 2008, the Air Force’s cadre of F-117 Nighthawks have been maintained at their original, climate-friendly hangars at the Tonopah Test Range Airport in Nevada.  Given the cost of establishing secure storage facilities at Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC at Davis-Monthan AFB), the Air Force chose instead to store the retired F-117s at the pre-existing secure facilities at Tonopah Test Range.

    Per Congressional direction within the FY07 National Defense Authorization Act the aircraft were placed in Type 1000, flyable storage for potential recall to future service.  In order to confirm the effectiveness of the flyable storage program, some F-117 aircraft are occasionally flown.

references to the above can be found in 2014 online articles here:,

unfortunately for fans of the f117 (myself included because it represents an application of the physical optics approximation techniques for flat plate rf scattering in conjunction with Ufimtsev's physical theory of diffraction for straight edges), it seems the US congress will be removing that legal requirement which kept them flying:

(from the 2017 HASC procurement report)

Section 133—Repeal of Requirement to Preserve Certain Retired F-117 Aircraft
This section would amend section 136 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (Public Law 109-364) by striking subsection (b), which would remove the requirement that certain F-117 aircraft be maintained in a condition that would allow recall of those aircraft to future service.