Monday, March 30, 2009

F117 Nighthawk

Hi Everyone

Thanks for all of your support and has been really great and inspiring. Makes JQ warm in the heart sometimes, and wanting to take better shots all the time :)

I'm Josh...the guy you hear JQ refer to in some of the entries. He kindly asked me to help with the blog entries, and I'll try to do my best. This first post is going to be about the F117, and the shot we took (to me) was amazing...JQ's F117 silhouetted against the grey heavens as it is deployed for a stealthy strike.

Interestingly, the F117 was based on a Russian engineering paper, written back in the 1960s, that theorized that objects can reflect back less radar not by size, but by the 'edge configuration'. Unfortunately, 'edge configuration' meant that the plane had to be aerodynamically unstable. By the time the Americans got the paper, Skunk Works had the computing power to design such an aircraft that was stealthy and aerodynamic at the same time.

And hence we have the F117! Sporting an unorthodox look, the Night Hawk was deployed by the US from the 1980s to 2008, and has now been retired from active service due to the advent of the F22 and F35. It is mind boggling for me to realize that the F117 is 30 years old (including development time) and the Americans could come up with such a stealth fighter long ago...what can of stuff is Skunk Works working on now???

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