Monday, April 06, 2009

Night Hawk Grey Sky

Here's another shot of the world-renowned Nighthawk. I remember this shot being a challenge since I had to hold the tip of the wing (and keep the position there), and JQ had the camera in hand and had to make sure the sky was completely sky (no trees/buildings).

The F117 Nighthawk proved to be an effective stealth bomber, recording a disproportionately high amount of successful bombing runs against enemy strategic targets in the Gulf war (they comprised of 2.5% of aircraft deployed by the US, and hit 40% of high value targets). Best known to be the pioneer of stealth technology in warplanes, the F117 served in multiple campaigns that include Operations Just Cause, Allied Force, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom,

Of course, we all know that the Yugoslav army was able to down one of these guys using 'ancient' SA-3 Goa missiles. It wasn't a random shot in the sky, as the Yugoslavs figured out that if you tried hard enough, you could spot F117s via different methods like IR/Nightvision spotting, unusually high wavelength for radar (F117s actually momentarily show up this way), knowledge of previous F117 strike paths, and proper positioning of SAM sites (which had to be altered constantly to avoid being destroyed by other US aircraft). It is understood that the SAM crew at that time were able to locate and track the F117, and managed to shoot it down. One factor against the F117 was that it lacked radar warning indicator, which gave the pilot only 6 seconds to react to a missile if she/he saw flame from the launched missile.

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