Taken at Holloman in 2003, the F-117s now operate from the very same hangars that they occupied during their secret early years at Tonopah.
Jamie Hunter

The recent spate of sightings of F-117A Nighthawks flying over the western US, 11 years after the type’s formal retirement, has led to a great deal of speculation as to why the aircraft might still be flying. Combat Aircraft looks at some of the possible reasons.

If the USAF wanted to keep ongoing F-117 missions secret, it could easily have concealed them, as in the program’s early days. However, they have now ventured outside the Nellis ranges in broad daylight.
Jamie Hunter

IT’S NOT OFTEN that a military aircraft type that has been completely retired returns from the grave. The Lockheed SR-71 did so, albeit briefly, in 1995 and now there is indisputable proof that the Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk remains active, some 11 years after its formal retirement. The remarkable sightings during February, detailed in Combat Aircraft’s May issue, proved to be among the biggest aviation stories of the year so far, and more sightings have continued in March and April. But why is the US Air Force still flying its ‘stealth fighters’?

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