Stealthy Road Home

The fourth full-scale development YF-117 Nighthawk stealth attack aircraft returned home to Edwards AFB, Calif., for restoration and eventual display at the Flight Test Center Museum’s future indoor facility, announced Edwards officials. This aircraft, serial number 79-10783, has spent the years since its retirement in March 2007 displayed outdoors at Palmdale, Calif. “Over the years, the physical condition of the aircraft had deteriorated considerably due to the weather conditions in this area,” said George Welsh, Edwards’ 95th Air Base Wing museum director, in the base’s June 13 release. Temperature fluctuations, wind, and rain at Palmdale “have caused the paint to fade and the protective skin coating to start deteriorating, so the aircraft was brought back for a new restoration to help preserve it,” explained Welsh. Under cover of darkness, airmen and volunteers towed the stealth airplane 35 miles on June 7-8 from Palmdale to Edwards. Until construction of the planned publicly accessible museum, the F-117 will be stored indoors on base. (Edwards report by Jet Fabara)