F-117 Nighthawk was the first aircraft designed with a special feature: low radar observation, or stealth. Its unique shape is ment to deflect the incoming radar rays in different places, not toward radar.
The first stealth-like planes were built - quite unexpectly - during WWII. The Horten brothers's Ho-229 turned out to be low visible on the radar screen. Later they discovered that because of its flying wing shape Ho-229 wasn't reflecting the radar rays like the other machines. Later their works were used during creation of another America's stealth bomber - B-2 Spirit.
Even the F-117's designation was chosen for disinformative use. America's Air Force use the "F" letter for fighters, "B" for bombers (or the world's wickest website, depending on what we're talking about), "R" for reconaissance aircraft, "A" for assault, "E" for electronic warfare (i.e. E2C Hawkeye), "X" for experimental etc. (see the list here
). However F-117 uses the fighter's designation even though it's bomber.
F-117 was used during several conflicts, first during USA invasion on Panama. Later it was used in Iraqi, Kosovo conflict and others, succesfuly destroying targets without being detected by enemy radars.
Though deemed succesful, Nighthawk wasn't the most useful tool in the U.S. Army's toolbox. First, it's subsonic. Second, it's said to be unstable during low-speed pass. Third, the stealth ability is disrupted when the bomb bay is opened. Furthermore, it doesn't bears any radar, most tasks are made using automatic systems, and many times the machines were flying several times over the same territory. This might have led to the F-117's shotdown on March 27th 1999. The Yugoslavian soldiers noticed that the machine is flying using the same trajectory and used this fact against it, firing an old S-125 Newa rocket. Ironicaly being old was it's advantage - it couldn't be fooled by F-117's systems.
On April 22nd 2008 F-117 was retired. A pair of F-117s had their bellies repainted with USA's flage and conducted a special flight, ending the F-117's long service.
Black on black with some black details. The last of my "Cold War 1/144 Aircraft" collection so far is hard to photograph because of the black paint that covers it almost completely. Not to mention the bad light conditions in my house, there's no spot that wouldn't be too light or too dark... The only places not painted black are cockpit (light grey with decals) and bomb bay (white with some silver details).
There are several options how to make the undercarriage: wheels retracted or deployed, as well as bombs in flight or drop position. I decided for the wheels hidden and bombs ready to drop.
Decals quality: briliant as always. Revell makes a good job with his markings and if there are some decals missing it usualy means I was too lazy to place them all.
I've also made a special stand for this plane. It belonged to Mars' SR-71 which I had earlier, but there was no hole to place it. So the SR-71 is just standing on its wheels, while the F-117 has a hole made with screwdriver and placed on the stand.