Once shrouded in secrecy, the FA Stealth Fighter was officially unveiled by the United States Air Force in early Instead, flight-path data are from an. TO 1FA-1, pages scanned from the original manual and produced as a Adobe Acrobat file on a CD. This manual can be printed in HIGH. Once “Restricted” and now declassified, Flight Operating Manuals taught pilots aircraft to utilize “stealth” radar evading technology, the Lockheed FA Ni.

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Where can I see the FA? Although one can see them visiually, they are behind fences and require special permision to visit up close. No aircraft is entirely invisible to radar. Therefore, the detection range is small enough that there is not enough reaction time to deploy countermeasures that are effective. In addition, you add decoys, radar seeking missiles, good mission planning, and the flighht of war, and the FA manuap become practically invisible to ground based radar.

However, the battlefield is constantly changing. Both the enemy and the USAF are constantly trying to improve their assets.

Stealth is mamual limited to radar only. This has been a topic of much debate. However, the most plausible theory that is believed by the author is that the FA really did get its number from the numbering system used for Soviet and other “black” aircraft at Groom. After a while, these radio call signs came to be sort of unofficial designations for these aircraft.

The number became so closely associated with the stealth fighter that when Lockheed printed up the first Dash One Pilot Manual, it had “FA” on the cover. Since the Air Force didn’t want to pay millions of dollars to re-do all the manuals, the aircraft became the FA officially. A similar mistake was made when LBJ announced the existence of the “Blackbird”. Whereas the “Y” prefix is supposed to denote service test f-117aa, it was not used in that manner for the classified aircraft designations.

It was simply a way to identify an aircraft that could not be named in the pilot’s Form 5. In this case the “Y” does not denote a “prototype” in the traditional sense, but serves to identify the FSD airframes. There have been many names for the FA.

Fligjt me tackle the “Wobbly Goblin” one first. It didn’t wobble–was a rock-solid platform watch the combat videotape! Apparently a couple of old FA test pilots were at a test pilot convention. One of them made the reference that the plane felt like a “Wobbly Goblin” right before some particular computer compensation kicked in during an early flight test.

This was heard by one guy, who told his friend, who in turn talked to a reporter in New York over the phone.

Lockheed F-117A Stealth Fighter Utility Flight Manual USAF

The reporter then wrote it in an article incorrectly saying that pilots routinely use the term “Wobbly Goblin”. One of the earliest names for the FA was “Scorpion”. Apparently, dlight testing a scorpion found it’s way vlight one of the hangers. Some sources say onto the program manager’s desk.


The Scorpion symbol is also used in conjunction with the Dragon Test Team symbolizing that it has remained a symbol of all FA flight testing. Because of security concerns in the mid ‘s, there were no patches that showed the FA, said “FA”, or the name “Night Hawk”. All patches that related to the FA program had obscure symbols and animals on them, and even these had security restrictions placed on them. Some patches mahual show a “hawk”.

One patch was one showing a goat being chased by an A-7 aircraft with the words “Goatsuckers”. This patch was presumably worn by A-7 pilots possibly flivht pilots who chased the FA during training missions. Although not a patch that would mean anything to the general public, a botanist would tell you that the North American Night Hawk is also known as the “Goatsucker”.

Yet another name used but probably not by those involved with the program but outsiders was “Cockroach” or “Roach”. They’re black, nasty, they come out at night and they scuttle away when you turn a light on them. This term was also used by fllight staffers. Staffers also used the term “stink bug” because of the way it looks from behind and under.

One of the early names for the FA was “Black Jet”. I’ve heard that all who heard it hated it some years ago and the Air Force tried to promote it vs. F-11a origin possibly comes from the time when camouflaged A-7’s were used as a cover story.

Due to security concerns, the A-7’s were called the “camo jets” and the FA were called the “Black jets”. Eventually the name “Night Hawk” won out. Hence, the offical two word “Night Hawk”. In Saudi Arabia, the name used was “Shabah” or “Shaba” as a call sign since it was close to the Arabic word for ghost, and that was what the local people called it.

During Flught Force the “shabah” callsign was heard for training flights. Other more colorful names have included “Cubists’ Nightmare”, “Iraqi Revenue Service”, “The Ugly One”, “the sacred airplane” because when people saw it for the first time they remarked “Oh my God!

The designation F was reportedly skipped F to F in to give the Northrop F Tigershark a nice, even, “First of the next generation” number.

As a note-the F designation was deliberately skipped. At the time it was assumed that the F was the designation for the stealth fighter.

By this point in time there had been enough leaks to confirm that a stealth fighter did exist. It was found that vlight inlets were a problem, which were corrected in the final design. In eighteen months nearlymodels were sold making it an instant success. The only problem was that the Testor F followed the SR’s smooth curves.

In fact, the stealth fighter’s existence was such an open secret that even the Air Force joked about it. It contained a ladder, wheel chocks, and an official display sign labeled “F Flying Frisbee”. Of course this was an invisible plane, so no one could actually see it.


When it was revealed that the “stealth fighter” was designated FA and was not smooth, some people abandoned the F notion completely and accepted that the designation had been skipped. However, some people today claim to have seen the Testor’s F flying in the sky. I guess we will have to wait and see on that. The answer to this question is “Yes” and “No”. The existence of the FA was declassified on November 8, However, to this day there are still mqnual things classified regarding it’s capabilities, weapons, radar absorbent coating, and construction.

F Nighthawk Stealth Fighter Pilot’s Flight Manual by United States Air Force (Paperback) – Lulu

Also still classified is much of the history of the FA. The FA moved from a status of “black” to a status known as flibht. In the “blackworld”, the FA was completely manal secret. In the “greyworld” the existance of the FA is acknowledged, but most specific details are still fuzzy. When asked specific questions about the FA at airshows, pilots often either decline to comment or recite a rehersed answer that is either vague or misleading.

This is done because naturally FA personal do not want to accidentally disclose what the USAF considers as sensitive information. Is the FA the “Stealth Bomber”? Is the FA invisible to radar? Why the designation Manula Why the name “Night Hawk” instead of “Wobbly Goblin”? What is the F? What about the story of dead bats in the FA hangers? A reader who works on the stealth f-117s in Saudi Fliht says bats the natural ones fligjt work their way into F hangars.

One night, a hungry bat turned right into an F rudder and fell stunned to the floor. He flew away groggily, leaving behind a heightened impression of the aircraft’s stealth. Barry Horne is quoted as saying: In the mornings we’d find bat corpses littered around our airplanes inside open hangers. I walked by them all hours of the day and night, and never once saw a bat–let alone a dead bat.

He went to Saudi Arabia a few months before I did, so I don’t know whether he saw any bats, but if the quote in Ben Rich’s book is accurate, then I believe he did.

I never saw even one, though, alive or dead, and I passed through the aircraft shelters all hours of the day and night. Or possibly poisoned the insects on which they fed.

It is very common for small birds to become disorientated and die from jet blast or the noise at least from dealing with jets. Especially when they are in closed confined spaces I’ve seen it happen to the fine feathered friend unfortunately. When I asked a pilot about this he stated: I also asked a former FA crew chief who was also in Saudi Arabia after the war.