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Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk
Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk


Role: Precision attack aircraft with stealth elements, optimised for radar energy dispersion and low IR emission.
DESIGN FEATURES: Multi-faceted airframe designed to reflect radar energy away from originating transmitter, particularly downward-looking AEW aircraft; vortexes from many sharp edges, including leading-edge of wing, designed to form co-ordinated lifting airflow pattern; wings have 67 degrees 30' sweepback, much greater than needed for subsonic performance, with aerofoil formed by two flat planes underneath and three on upper surface; forward underwing surface blends with forward fuselage; all doors and access panels have serrated edges to suppress radar reflection; internal weapons bay 4.7 m (15 ft 5 in) long and 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) wide divided longitudinally by two lengthwise doors hinged on centreline; boom refuelling receptacle on port side of top plate, aft of cockpit. Frontal radar cross-section estimated as 0.01 m{2} (0.1 sq ft).
LANDING GEAR: Tricycle type by Menasco, with single wheels all retracting forward. Loral brakes (steel originally, being replaced by carbon/carbon), wheels (F-15E size) and anti-skid system. Goodyear tyres. All doors have serrated edges to suppress radar reflections. Emergency arrester hook with explosively jettisoned cover; Pioneer Aerospace braking parachute (black).
POWER PLANT: Two 48.0 kN (10,800 lb st) class General Electric F404-GE-F1D2 non-augmented turbofans. Rectangular overwing air intakes with 2.5 x 1.5 cm (1 x {5/8} in) heated grid for anti-icing and low observability. Auxiliary air intake doors in horizontal surface immediately to the rear. Part of cold air ingested bypasses engine and is mixed with exhaust gases for cooling. Narrow-slot 'platypus' exhausts, designed by Astech/MCI, in rear fuselage, 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in) long and 0.10 m (4 in) high, with extended lower lip, surrounded by heat tiles of type used on Space Shuttle and with 11 vertical, internal guide vanes. Sundstrand air turbine starter. In-flight refuelling receptacle in decking aft of cockpit, illuminated for night refuelling by lamp at apex of cockpit. Optional drop tank on internal weapons pylon.
ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only; McDonnell Douglas ACES II zero/zero ejection seat. Five Sierracin/Sylmar Corporation individually framed flat-plate windows, including single-piece windscreen. Transparencies gold-coated for radar dissipation. Canopy hinged to open upward and backward.
SYSTEMS: AiResearch environmental control, auxiliary power and emergency power systems.
AVIONICS: Forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor, with dual fields of view, in recessed emplacement, covered by fine mesh screen, below windscreen. Retractable downward-looking DLIR and laser designator beneath forward fuselage to starboard of nosewheel bay; FLIR and DLIR by Texas Instruments (to be replaced by improved equipment during third-phase retrofit in 1994). HUD based on Kaiser AN/AVQ-28; large head-down display for FLIR imagery flanked by two multi-function CRTs. Retractable radio antennae beneath fuselage, ahead of port main landing gear, and on spine. Honeywell radar altimeter, Honeywell SPN-GEANS INS (replaced by Honeywell H-423/E ring laser gyro from August 1991; Rockwell Collins GPS to be added); IBM AP-102 mission computer (replacing original three Delco M362F computers); GEC-Marconi flight control computer/navigation interface and autopilot computer (NIAC) system; SLI Avionic Systems Corporation expanded data transfer system and AHRS. Harris Corporation digital moving map added as retrofit with full-colour MFDs.
ARMAMENT: Full range of USAF tactical fighter ordnance', principally two 2000 lb bombs: BLU-109B low-level laser-guided or GBU-10/GBU-27 laser-guided glide weapons; alternatively, AGM-65 Maverick or AGM-88 HARM ASMs. Provision for AIM-9 Sidewinder (against AWACS aircraft). Internal carriage on two extendible beams in weapon bay. (Only missiles with seeker heads extended below aircraft prior to launch; bombs released from within weapons bay.)
Aircraft Measures:
Length: 65 ft., 11 in.
Height: 12 ft., 5 in.
Wingspan: 43 ft., 4 in.
Loaded Weight: 52,500 lbs

Aircraft Performance:
Maximum Speed: Mach .9
Service Ceiling: 52,500
Range: 1,250 miles
Thrust: 22,000 lbs


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