Under the Cowling Episode 4 – The F-117 Nighthawk

A very special episode of Under the Cowling featuring F-117A Nighthawk Stealth Fighter.

The F-117A was the first operational aircraft to be designed around stealth technology. Its maiden flight took place in 1981 at Groom Lake, Nevada, and the aircraft achieve operating status in 1983. The Nighthawk was shrouded in secrecy until it was revealed to the public in 1988. Of the 64 F-117s built, 59 were production versions, with the other five being prototypes.

Stealth pilot Ken Dwelle, an Air Force veteran, joined us for Under The Cowling this Saturday. In 1999, an F-117 with the name “Capt. Ken ‘Wiz’ Dwelle” painted on the aircraft’s canopy was shot down on over Yugoslavia, causing media to report it was he who was flying the plane. In reality, another pilot was flying the plane and ultimately rescued after the shootdown.

This episode coincides on the same day we welcomed F-117A #833 to the Palm Springs Air Museum collection with a military retirement ceremony. The aircraft will go into restoration for many months before its exhibition at the PSAM.