Was F-117 Nighthawk a good fighter ?

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It is designated with an F.

Somehow my experiences tell me it was not a dogfighter.

Why wasn't it ?

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No fighter capabilities whatsoever*.

I don't believe the official MDS request has ever been revealed, so we just don't know why the USAF requested an F-designator.

* it is often said that the F-111 also received a F-designator despite lacking fighter capabilities but in fact the bomb-bay M61 pack was often armed for self-defence during Combat Lancer. The F-117 doesn't even have that option.

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No fighter capabilities whatsoever*.

I don't believe the official MDS request has ever been revealed, so we just don't know why the USAF requested an F-designator.

* it is often said that the F-111 also received a F-designator despite lacking fighter capabilities but in fact the bomb-bay M61 pack was often armed for self-defence during Combat Lancer. The F-117 doesn't even have that option.

That is what I figured.

Is it because it was 1st generation stealth...never to be seen on radar.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_F-117_Nighthawk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXJjPU_oX04

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mostly because it was a bomber, never ti do anythung else than drop bombs on targets while remaining unseen

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The naming was just to obfuscate things, and not reveal what the plane truly was.
F-110 onwards was, in the post 1962 system(MADS), used to reference soviet fighters evaluated by US forces.

There are lots of other irregularities. SR-71 should have been RS-71, The F-35: they just took the X and replaced it with an F, The F/A-18 should been AF-18, and so on.

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It is designated with an F.

Somehow my experiences tell me it was not a dogfighter.

Why wasn't it ?


1. Never had any air-to-air weaponry.

2. Never had a radar.

3. Flew like an A-7 at best.

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* it is often said that the F-111 also received a F-designator despite lacking fighter capabilities but in fact the bomb-bay M61 pack was often armed for self-defence during Combat Lancer.

It was originallly intended to also fill a naval interceptor role (F-111B) but that fell through and the F-14 came in. I guess it did get credited with half a kill.

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Designations can be a funny thing- like the already mentioned F-117 and F-111, I would also add the F-105 which was really a nuclear strike aircraft where a "B" designator would have been more accurate, but the 105 held it's own in air-to-air. A for attack seemed to go out of style wtih the USAF for a few decades. I believe the orignal concept for the Hornet was to have distinct A and F models- but they were merged. We even had the F/B-22 Raptor designation for about 18 months, but that was a political ploy to show multi-mission and did not stick.

Arguably the most confusing was the A-26 Invader, which became the B-26 (not to be confused with the B-26 Maurader) in the late 1940's, but then went back to the A-26 (counter) Invader in the 1960's.....

Perhaps the strangest were the B-61 Matador, B-62 Snark etc.- redesignated a few times, but were cruise missiles, not "bombers"

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It is designated with an F.

Somehow my experiences tell me it was not a dogfighter.

Why wasn't it ?

Because the pilot couldnt use it against an enemy plane unless he dropped a bomb on it or threw flight manual at it? Why is this even a thread.

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The A- designation was mainly a Navy thing and B- was for SAC's strategic bombers. So F-105/F-111 was logical. Those weren't the only aircraft of the time with an F designation lacking fighter capabilities. Basically, USAFs TAC had tactical bombers and interceptors using the F designation, SAC had strategic bombers. USAF didn't do fighters until the F-15 - the F-110 Spectre/F-4 Phantom II was also a Navy plane.

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IF with fighter designation you intend something akin to my own language Caccia or french Chasse: well nor F-111 , nor f-117 and either F-35 are really such a thing, in a certain way the F/A-18 would be a much more fitting designation for a plane that could operate with both roles but with aa definite twist about the A2G.

I thing one thing that determine to fighter designation is the ability to go supersonic: we use our AV-8+ primarly as a Caccia but the denomination staYed the same nevertheless.

Probably it is because of that Usaf want so badly to get rid of A-10: it is a subsonic, low altitude plane that operate in benefit and in a dependant role to the Army and the USMC, while them want to go high, supersonic and in total indipendance, so to fight IS all for itself with the results everyone can see.

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IF with fighter designation you intend something akin to my own language Caccia or french Chasse: well nor F-111 , nor f-117 and either F-35 are really such a thing, in a certain way the F/A-18 would be a much more fitting designation for a plane that could operate with both roles but with aa definite twist about the A2G.

I thing one thing that determine to fighter designation is the ability to go supersonic: we use our AV-8+ primarly as a Caccia but the denomination staYed the same nevertheless.

Probably it is because of that Usaf want so badly to get rid of A-10: it is a subsonic, low altitude plane that operate in benefit and in a dependant role to the Army and the USMC, while them want to go high, supersonic and in total indipendance, so to fight IS all for itself with the results everyone can see.

Actually in my language the fighter is hävittäjä....which literally means annihilator....or something that makes things disappear...more or less.

Anyhow...was it ( F-117 ) capable to do a loop ?

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F-117 has the flight characteristics of an A-7. That is why several A-7Ds were outfitted as F-117 trainers.

Despite the name given to it by an aviation writer, it is certified to level 1 flying qualities and is rock steady during flight allowing the two infrared targeting turrets to stay on target.

And yes, it can loop and roll. Negative G flight is limited to 30 seconds to keep the oil sumps from running dry. Similar negative G restrictions are placed on other tactical jets.

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It seems like the Air Force largely abandoned the use of the attack "A" designator instead using the fighter "F" designator for fighter-bombers and strike aircraft. Of course those aircraft had some self-defense capability against enemy fighters while the F-117 was helpless if detected.

What should the aircraft's designation have been? Tough to say. But even by Air Force standards calling it a fighter doesn't make much sense. Of course the designation isn't all that important when the aircraft is still a secret to the world.

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The A- designation was mainly a Navy thing ....

A-20 Havoc
A-26 Invader
A-10

Plus, of course -
A-1
A-7

Plenty of A-s flown by the USAAF & USAF.

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F-117 has the flight characteristics of an A-7. That is why several A-7Ds were outfitted as F-117 trainers.

Despite the name given to it by an aviation writer, it is certified to level 1 flying qualities and is rock steady during flight allowing the two infrared targeting turrets to stay on target.

And yes, it can loop and roll. Negative G flight is limited to 30 seconds to keep the oil sumps from running dry. Similar negative G restrictions are placed on other tactical jets.

I never saw it loop or roll in any of the videos. But if you say so I believe ya.

Did it have chaff and flares....jamming systems ?

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A-20 Havoc
A-26 Invader
A-10

Plus, of course -
A-1
A-7

Plenty of A-s flown by the USAAF & USAF.

True about the USAAF, but remember the A-1 and A-7 were originally Navy designed adapted to USAF requirements.

The A-26 Invader is messy, having first been the A-26, then re-designated B-26 (not to be confused with the Martin B-26 Marauder used in WWII) then re-designated A-26 again during its career in Vietnam.

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A-20 Havoc
A-26 Invader
A-10

Plus, of course -
A-1
A-7

Plenty of A-s flown by the USAAF & USAF.

Flown yes, but how many aircraft got the A- designation assigned by the USAF?
A-37 and A-10 (plus A-29) come to mind.
In fact, wiki says about the A-45, the last A-aircraft under to old pre 1962 designation system: "It was originally designed as a bomber for the United States Army Air Forces under specification V-8237-1 and was designated XA-45. The "A" ground attack classification was eliminated the next year, and the XB-51 designation was assigned instead."
From A-1 to A-12 under the new system, only A-9/A-10 were Air Force projects. Then there are the out of sequence examples A-26, A-29, A-37 with the A-29 not in USAF service and the A-37 of course a convenient redesignated T-37. I guess calling it an F-37 would have been too much.

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F-117 has the flight characteristics of an A-7. That is why several A-7Ds were outfitted as F-117 trainers.

Sorry, I said A-6, I couldn't remember which.:eagerness: