About That Retired F117...

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posted on May, 2 2014 @ 03:25 PM
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I took these pictures April 17th, 2014 from the top of Brainwash Butte, near the TTR (Tonopah Test Range). Second picture was taken later the same day, of this F117 preparing to land at TTR. Taken with my Canon T2i with a 300mm telephoto lens.

Sorry about the graininess and watermark, but my pictures have started showing up on other websites without my permission. Of course I have high-res ones, as well the RAW files.




I was in the range area for over 2 weeks, visiting not only the TTR but a number of border points, including the one with the "new device". Many pictures and video to come.
edit on 2-5-2014 by FosterVS because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 2 2014 @ 03:28 PM
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a reply to: FosterVS

One, possibly two aircraft were kept flying to test new RAM coatings, and do foreign exploit tests against acquired radar systems from other countries. It's believed that Lockheed supplies the pilots, and maintains the aircraft.

Oh, and check your messages.
edit on 5/2/2014 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 2 2014 @ 03:35 PM
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I always bugged me that we took this fighter out of circulation.

I'm surprised nothing better has come out yet..... publicly at least.



posted on May, 2 2014 @ 03:38 PM
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a reply to: grey580

It was a combination of things. It was getting harder and more expensive to upgrade the RAM coating (from what I heard), as well as other upgrades. The RAM on that beast was always a pain to deal with. We were allowed to do a walk around, and were always told the one unbreakable rule is do not touch, because the oil from your skin interacts badly with the RAM. That's the official reason anyway.



posted on May, 2 2014 @ 03:47 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

doh.

how are supposed to fix the dang thing if you can't touch it? lol

good picks though.



posted on May, 2 2014 @ 03:53 PM
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a reply to: grey580

You could touch it, it just meant that they'd have to, depending on how big an area, replace some of the RAM. It was always interesting watching the maintenance guys walking around on them with boot covers on to make sure they didn't mess it up.

Fun fact, you can't autofocus a camera on them. The RAM absorbs the beam the camera uses to focus, so the lens just goes in and out non-stop.



posted on May, 2 2014 @ 04:07 PM
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originally posted by: grey580
I always bugged me that we took this fighter out of circulation.

I'm surprised nothing better has come out yet..... publicly at least.


I guess you have never witnessed or believed reports of the triangles?
An hour ago I posted a long article trying to show ordinary folks how the system works since it is as crooked as a dog's hind leg. Such a waste of money on that craft and any jet-engine craft in development.



posted on May, 2 2014 @ 04:18 PM
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originally posted by: grey580
I always bugged me that we took this fighter out of circulation.

I'm surprised nothing better has come out yet..... publicly at least.


I have read, more than once, speculation that it was retired because they needed the room for the "new" airframe.
(looks like the room may refer to BUDGET room)

However - now that I think about it, that doesn't make sense as the plane was no longer based at TTR pre-retirement. In fact, the now-retired airframes would take up MORE space there.

According to Wiki:
"Four aircraft were kept flying beyond April by the 410th Flight Test Squadron at Palmdale for flight test."
edit on 2-5-2014 by FosterVS because: BUDGET room



posted on May, 2 2014 @ 06:57 PM
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Nice catch OP thanks for sharing

Zaphod any news on its replacement?



posted on May, 2 2014 @ 06:59 PM
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a reply to: TritonTaranis

Yup.

Oh, you mean that I can share?


If you are willing to dig deep, there is a certain forum that contains a certain thread, that has a little bit of information in it. Not much, but a little bit.
edit on 5/2/2014 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 2 2014 @ 10:16 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: TritonTaranis

Yup.

Oh, you mean that I can share?


If you are willing to dig deep, there is a certain forum that contains a certain thread, that has a little bit of information in it. Not much, but a little bit.

Moar please?


Lol



posted on May, 3 2014 @ 12:09 AM
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a reply to: weavty1

No.



posted on May, 3 2014 @ 08:29 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: grey580

You could touch it, it just meant that they'd have to, depending on how big an area, replace some of the RAM. It was always interesting watching the maintenance guys walking around on them with boot covers on to make sure they didn't mess it up.

Fun fact, you can't autofocus a camera on them. The RAM absorbs the beam the camera uses to focus, so the lens just goes in and out non-stop.


Well I never have had an issue autofocusing on a F-117. Or even the F-22 which is supposed to have similar paint.at least in the IR band.

The B-2 is certainly not an autofocus issue:
B-2 "tail" number

F-117 at Nellis

I got an old engineering textbook out of Georgia Tech on RCS. I can believe a finger print or two causing a problem. In fact, the more you read about stealth, the more you believe the USN was correct in just saying no to stealth for the longest time and depending on jamming. You may recall Robert Gates canceling an additional F-22 or two just to get more EA-18 aircraft in the inventory.

Looking at the math for echo returns on sharp edges, you have to wonder how good any of our aircraft are regarding dynamic RCS. 
edit on 3-5-2014 by gariac because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 3 2014 @ 08:33 PM
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a reply to: gariac

My brother used a Minolta Maxum 35mm, and every time they came through he had to manual focus with it, because the lens would just sit there going in and out. This was the fairly early days, before they started hanging the RAM coating. The later coating may not have had the same problem with the cameras. I remember it because I was just getting into photographing planes, and was learning from him, and he handed me the camera and told me to try to take a pic of the plane, and I couldn't with autofocus.



posted on May, 4 2014 @ 02:03 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Well maybe the camera technology improved. I don't know. I did a search on this and found two other posts. One was on the Free Republic website, and well, you know...it is the Free Republics website. ;-) Now the other was on F16.net, but nothing scientific was explained.

Black paint is funny stuff. Some black paint is actually transparent at infrared. I was looking for a scientific website showing this, but alas I will have to present some commercial one:
transparent black paint



posted on May, 4 2014 @ 02:08 AM
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a reply to: gariac

This was back in the early 90s, so camera tech still had a long way to go. The Maxxum was one of the best 35mm cameras out there, but it was the first to use some of the more advanced features that every camera out there has now. So that probably also played a role in it as well.



posted on May, 4 2014 @ 05:23 AM
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Ask yourself this: If you had an aircraft that had a signature that was studied to the Nth by your projects team (both airborne and ground testing), would you want to save a few test articles for further usage testing out the F-35 skin and / or other advances? (F-22 is to be re-skinned in the future with the F-35 skins as they are far more durable than that of the older F-22 type).

Along side this, once the airframe has been razzle dazzled all shiny new, would you then want to throw it into the mix for a few threat simulations? yep, sure would. F-22 isn't going to be fighting non-VLO targets forever, and since the F-35 isn't available, some thing has to give their pilots a work out.



posted on May, 5 2014 @ 12:44 AM
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a reply to: Astr0

F-117 isn't actually a fighter though, just a bomber.



posted on May, 5 2014 @ 09:34 AM
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a reply to: Stealthbomber

Doesn't matter though. The upgrades, besides radar, can still be installed on it to test.



posted on May, 5 2014 @ 11:13 AM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Stealthbomber

Doesn't matter though. The upgrades, besides radar, can still be installed on it to test.


I think it would be unlikely they would install radar on the F-117A since it had none to begin with. It isn't like they would swap one box for another.

More likely is they just use it to test new RAM coatings since the RCS is very well documented.





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