Is the FA the "Stealth Bomber"? Is the FA invisible to radar? No aircraft is entirely invisible to radar. Therefore, the detection range is small enough that there is not enough reaction time to deploy countermeasures that are effective. In addition, you add decoys, radar seeking missiles, good mission planning, and the fog of war, and the FA does become practically invisible to ground based radar. However, the battlefield is constantly changing.
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Is the FA the "Stealth Bomber"? Is the FA invisible to radar? No aircraft is entirely invisible to radar. Therefore, the detection range is small enough that there is not enough reaction time to deploy countermeasures that are effective. In addition, you add decoys, radar seeking missiles, good mission planning, and the fog of war, and the FA does become practically invisible to ground based radar.
However, the battlefield is constantly changing. Both the enemy and the USAF are constantly trying to improve their assets. Stealth is not limited to radar only. Why the designation FA? This has been a topic of much debate.
However, the most plausible theory that is believed by the author is that the FA really did get its number from the numbering system used for Soviet and other "black" aircraft at Groom. After a while, these radio call signs came to be sort of unofficial designations for these aircraft. The number became so closely associated with the stealth fighter that when Lockheed printed up the first Dash One Pilot Manual, it had "FA" on the cover.
The designation stuck. Whereas the "Y" prefix is supposed to denote service test aircraft, it was not used in that manner for the classified aircraft designations. In this case the "Y" does not denote a "prototype" in the traditional sense, but serves to identify the FSD airframes. Why the name "Night Hawk" instead of "Wobbly Goblin"?
Per DoD There have been many names for the FA. Let me tackle the "Wobbly Goblin" one first. Apparently a couple of old FA test pilots were at a test pilot convention. One of them made the reference that the plane felt like a "Wobbly Goblin" right before some particular computer compensation kicked in during an early flight test.
This was heard by one guy, who told his friend, who in turn talked to a reporter in New York over the phone. The reporter then wrote it in an article incorrectly saying that pilots routinely use the term "Wobbly Goblin". One of the earliest names for the FA was "Scorpion". The Scorpion symbol is also used in conjunction with the Dragon Test Team symbolizing that it has remained a symbol of all FA flight testing. All patches that related to the FA program had obscure symbols and animals on them, and even these had security restrictions placed on them.
Scorpions, Dragons, etc. Some patches did show a "hawk". One patch was one showing a goat being chased by an A-7 aircraft with the words "Goatsuckers". This patch was presumably worn by A-7 pilots possibly instructor pilots who chased the FA during training missions. Although not a patch that would mean anything to the general public, a botanist would tell you that the North American Night Hawk is also known as the "Goatsucker". Yet another name used but probably not by those involved with the program but outsiders was "Cockroach" or "Roach".
This term was also used by some staffers. Staffers also used the term "stink bug" because of the way it looks from behind and under. One of the early names for the FA was "Black Jet". Eventually the name "Night Hawk" won out. Hence, the offical two word "Night Hawk".
In Saudi Arabia, the name used was "Shabah" or "Shaba" as a call sign since it was close to the Arabic word for ghost, and that was what the local people called it. During Allied Force the "shabah" callsign was heard for training flights. What is the F? The designation F was reportedly skipped F to F in to give the Northrop F Tigershark a nice, even, "First of the next generation" number. As a note-the F designation was deliberately skipped. At the time it was assumed that the F was the designation for the stealth fighter.
By this point in time there had been enough leaks to confirm that a stealth fighter did exist. It was found that the inlets were a problem, which were corrected in the final design. In eighteen months nearly , models were sold making it an instant success. It contained a ladder, wheel chocks, and an official display sign labeled "F Flying Frisbee".
Of course this was an invisible plane, so no one could actually see it. When it was revealed that the "stealth fighter" was designated FA and was not smooth, some people abandoned the F notion completely and accepted that the designation had been skipped. I guess we will have to wait and see on that. What about the story of dead bats in the FA hangers? The following article was published in Aviation Week and Space Technology, Oct 17, "An acoustic-guided submunition call the BAT may be good against tanks, but not against an F A reader who works on the stealth fighter in Saudi Arabia says bats the natural ones occasionally work their way into F hangars.
One night, a hungry bat turned right into an F rudder and fell stunned to the floor. Barry Horne is quoted as saying: " I walked by them all hours of the day and night, and never once saw a bat--let alone a dead bat. Horne well. I never saw even one, though, alive or dead, and I passed through the aircraft shelters all hours of the day and night.
Or possibly poisoned the insects on which they fed. It is very common for small birds to become disorientated and die from jet blast or the noise at least from dealing with jets. Especially when they are in closed confined spaces The answer to this question is "Yes" and "No". The existence of the FA was declassified on November 8, Also still classified is much of the history of the FA.
The FA moved from a status of "black" to a status known as "grey". In the "blackworld", the FA was completely a secret. In the "greyworld" the existance of the FA is acknowledged, but most specific details are still fuzzy. When asked specific questions about the FA at airshows, pilots often either decline to comment or recite a rehersed answer that is either vague or misleading.
This is done because naturally FA personal do not want to accidentally disclose what the USAF considers as sensitive information.
F-117 Nighthawk Flight Manual (Partial) and other documents.
No blips show on the radar, no sign is given. Then, an instant, the roar of exploding ordnance shatters the night, demolishing targets, sending troops and pilots scrambling. As quickly as it appeared the menacing airborne apparition vanishes in the sky. The FA has just come calling.
Just Flight – F-117A Stealth Fighter
Rotating 3D wheels, full suspension, steering, gear locks and gear door connection rods Main wheel ventilation holes showing brake texture behind Gear modelled to real aircraft components producing authentic mechanism with correct animations Animated flight control surfaces including split differential working elevons and all moving V configuration rudders Opening canopy. These assist for low speed flying and manoeuvres Refuelling port revolves to open and is illuminated Customised flashing beacon light with rotation effect reflections. Gear lights with reflections. Landing and taxi lights with reflective lenses. Panel The panel has been painstakingly researched and is as true a representation as possible. AP and HUD frame have authentic positioning.