...the airframe depicted is one of the original five full scale development (FSD) YF-117 aircraft. The picture shows the jet undergoing testing in the
refrigeration system at McKinley Climatic Laboratory.
All I see is ED on the tail. Wiki has a high res image.
Digging through the information (cough cough) on the interwebs, the claim is the first five full scale models of the F117 were operational. But does
that mean the first five YF-117s were really F-117s? That would be 780 through 784.
The five FSD airframes (780 through 784) were designated YF-117A, and used strictly for testing. The production models (785 through 843) were
designated F-117A. A few of those were also used occasionally for testing. Article 824 was used for the climatic testing at Eglin. If you zoom in on
the nose gear, you can see the first two digits of the number.
edit on 5-4-2013 by Shadowhawk because: added info
5-4-2013 by Shadowhawk because: yet more information
I found the "82", though 824 had a HO tail code in all the photos I could find. Scramble lists ED tail codes on 781, 782, 783, 784, 811 and 831.
In addition,88-0841 had ED markings based on a photo search.
This could be 824 in the "final four". The photograph resolution isn't very high. No ED markings.
I was at Tonopah for the final four F-117s landing, but at the last minute they changed their approach so the air force photographer could get better
shots rather than the schmucks on the Mt. Diablo. www.lazygranch.com...
Article 824 underwent six months of climatic testing at Eglin. Testing began under cold weather conditions (-40F) on 15 July 1991. The airplane was
subjected to snow loading, blowing snow, hail, freezing rain, ice and fog, hot weather (140 F), water intrusion, and concluded with tropical rain and
human factors evaluations in January 1992.
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