Star Spangled Stealth

I had missed this photo from an F117 Stealth Fighter retirement flight in March:

F117 Stealth Fighter Farewell Stars and Stripes Paint Job

A specially painted F-117 Nighthawk flies off from its last refueling by the Ohio National Guard’s 121st Air Refueling Wing. Two F-117s were retired March 1, 2008, in a farewell ceremony at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Kim Frey


  1. I’ve seen this F-117 before…check Air Forces Monthly a few years back. As I recall it was in a poster inside the magazine.

  2. The plane was painted especially for the Edwards AFB airshow, and according to the weekly e-mail put out by the AFFTC commander of the time it was an awful lot of hoops and red tape to get permission to have it painted that way. But the pics were well worth it, and I wish I had gone to that airshow (probably the last for many many years at Edwards AFB). Kalroy

  3. Did you see that the US Air Force Chief of Staff and Secretary were fired today due to that incident with the B-52 that was carrying nukes when no one knew they were live? Can’t say I’ll be sad to see him go. Another Rumsfeld crony bites the dust.

  4. Now that Moseley and Wynne are gone maybe we’ll have an Air Force that’s run by adults instead of fighter pilots. Wouldn’t it be nice if their replacements went to Lockheed and said, ‘no more award fee until you start building combat ready F-35s’? That would light a fire under their sorry asses. Maybe the USAF will finally get serious about a next generation bomber and cargo airplane now too. Mostly they just need to get serious – about something, anything.

  5. I hadn’t thought of this aspect of the firings yet:

    But Sen. Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat and Boeing supporter, said the resignations [let’s call them firings] ‘raise new red flags about procurement and oversight.’ ‘For months the Air Force has stonewalled Congress and the American people in answering basic questions about the tanker decision,’ Murray said in a statement. ‘Now, on the eve of a GAO ruling, the administration itself has expressed a lack of confidence in the decision making and leadership of the Air Force’s top officials.’ Murray and some other U.S. lawmakers have criticized the Air Force’s award of the 179-tanker project to Northrop and EADS, the parent of Airbus, saying it would take jobs from Americans and ‘outsource’ key gear for the U.S. military. – Reuters

  6. I’ve got to wonder if the results of the B-2 accident investigation didn’t weigh against Mosely too. It’s hard to believe that a system that critical to the safe flight of the airplane would not automatically take care of ice in the pitot system, but given that it doesn’t, at least it should be in the checklist that you need to turn the heat system on during the preflight.

    Moisture in the PTUs, inaccurate airspeed, a negative AOA calculation and low altitude/low airspeed are substantially contributing factors in this mishap. Another substantially contributing factor was the ineffective communication of critical information regarding a suggested technique of turning on pitot heat in order to remove moisture from the PTUs prior to performing an air data calibration.

    It’s not just the loss of a $1.4B airplane. It’s the loss of 1/20th of a fleet of irreplaceable bombers for nothing. Thankfully the pilots survived.

  7. The story I’ve heard through the grapevine today is that the new USAF commander is an ex-C-130 guy. That’s some bad news for F-22 and F-35, but good news for the Air Force in my not-so-humble opinion.

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