Another F-117 Nighthawk is set to move to an aviation museum, in fact, on November 11, the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum will welcome the highly-anticipated arrival of the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, the famed stealth fighter plane known for its incredible radar reflecting technology.
In November 2019, Lockheed Nighthawk F-117A 82-0803 went on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. This airframe reportedly flew 78 combat missions, more than any other examples of the breed. In October 2020, the Palm Springs Air Museum received F-117A 85-0833 Black Devil which, following a period of restoration, went on display during April 2022 in a specially designed exhibit at their new Jim Houston Pavilion. In December 2020, the Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum welcomed F-117 Nighthawk 85-0817 Shaba to their facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In early 2021, Castle Air Museum had the good fortune to receive confirmation that they too would receive a Nighthawk; F-117A 85-0813 Toxic Avenger arrived in July 2022, and it’s restoration is currently well-advanced. And then in March 2021, the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Ashland, Nebraska announced the assignment of F-117A 85-0831, which is reportedly the highest-time example in the fleet (2,720.7 flight hours). Last but not least The Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia received its Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk in May 2023 and following a period of refurbishment, will go on display sometime next year.
The aircraft is the brainchild of Lockheed Skunk Works Director, Ben Rich, and is the world’s first operational stealth fighter. The arrival marks the first time the aircraft will be available for public viewing in the Museum setting alongside other celebrated and rare aircraft, like the Hughes H-4 Hercules, more commonly known as the “Spruce Goose” and the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.
Guests are invited to come celebrate the F-117 in the Space Museum at 5:30 p.m. as we honor those who served on Veterans Day. The event will include experts presenting on the intricacies of the aircraft followed by a dramatic reveal and first look before it undergoes a multi-year restoration. Guests will be able to interact with the F-117 up close, a rare opportunity that not many have been able to do before. Tickets to this special event are $30, with half of each ticket sold supporting the restoration fund.
The tail number of this F-117 is 85-0816, and it has the unique nickname the “Lone Wolf.” The Lone Wolf was credited as dropping the first bomb in Desert Storm. Its first flight was on October 30, 1985, with its first combat operation taking place in Operation Just Cause. During its career, the aircraft flew 39 combat missions in Desert Storm and eight missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, before being retired on October 12, 2007.
“Few individuals have been lucky enough to see this aircraft in person and we have the unique privilege of being the only museum in the Pacific Northwest to provide this experience to our guests,” says Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum CEO Tyson Weinert. “Sharing the Lone Wolf’s restoration journey from this first moment adds a new dimension to our community engagement.”
The F-117 will endure a transportation journey on a trailer over hundreds of miles to make its arrival at the Museum. The aircraft has been specially assigned by the United States Air Force to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, one of only six other F-117s available to view in museums throughout the United States. Although the Air Force technically retired the F-117 fleet in 2008, there are sightings of them still flying, even in the past year, showing that the plane is still a technological marvel today.
About the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum
The Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum is home to the iconic Hughes Flying Boat Spruce Goose and is recognized for its remarkable collection of aviation and spacecraft. Whether it’s viewing the rare, record-breaking SR-71 plane or experiencing the original launch room of the Titan II Space Launch Vehicle (SLV), Evergreen provides a space to explore and discover. As a 501(c) 3, we proudly partner with the Academy of Model Aeronautics, the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, the Oregon Space Consortium, and the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program. Discover more than 150 historic aircraft, spacecraft, and exhibits on display, along with artwork and traveling exhibits daily from 9 am – 5 pm. The Museum is located at 500 NE Captain Michael King Smith Way, across the highway from the McMinnville Airport and about three miles southeast of McMinnville, Ore., on Highway 18. To make a reservation, buy tickets, or learn more, please call (503) 434-4180 or visit www.evergreenmuseum.org. Follow @evergreenmuseum on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest updates.