The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, Calif., will display an F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter starting in December.
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute on Nov. 4 announced the F-117—Tail No. 803, nicknamed “Unexpected Guest”—will be unveiled Dec. 7 at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum. The jet is on loan from the National Museum of the US Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, and will be on permanent display at the library.
“Unexpected Guest” entered service in May 1984 and flew 78 combat sorties, more than all other F-117s combined, according to the foundation. Nighthawks, the world’s first operational stealth aircraft, became public in 1988.
“I’m glad the airplane can come out of the dark to take its rightful place in the light, somewhere it can be seen and appreciated by the people it helped to protect,” retired Lt. Col. Scott Stimpert, a pilot who flew the aircraft when it was classified, said in a foundation release.
Lockheed Martin restored the airframe for display. The USAF museum in Ohio also has an F-117.
The Reagan library and museum complex was evacuated last week because of a raging brush fire in Simi Valley that came dangerously close to the building. It reopened to the public Nov. 1.