F-117A Nighthawk Goes on Display at Palm Springs Air Museum

The F-117 Nighthawk #833, nicknamed “Black Devil,” went on display over the weekend at the Palm Springs Air Museum.

Photo via Andy Abeyta/The Desert Sun
Aircorps Art Dec 2019

The Palm Springs Air Museum now has another iconic aircraft on display within its already impressive collection; Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk 85-0833 Black Devil was installed over the weekend at the museum’s new, specially designed exhibit in the Jim Houston Pavilion. The aircraft has actually been on site since Saturday, October 3rd, 2020, receiving a ‘water arch’ greeting from the Palm Springs Fire Department as part of its retirement ceremony. One of only 59 produced, the aircraft arrived with a bare metal exterior, having had its radar-absorbent cladding removed during demilitarization. The museum has used the interim to refurbish the airframe and prepare its new exhibit space.

Black Devil receiving its water cannon salute during its arrival ceremony at Palm Springs in October, 2020. According to Fred Bell, vice chairman of the museum’s board of directors, the rare aircraft is one of just four operational F-117s Nighthawks on public display.

Black Devil logged some 5,140 flight hours during its U.S. Air Force career. It took part in numerous combat operations, particularly over Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and the Balkans as part of Operation Allied Force, where the aircraft served as the 49th Wing commander’s personal mount. The museum’s new exhibit, featuring the Nighthawk and related artifacts, will lead visitors from the type’s secret development at Lockheed’s legendary ‘Skunkworks’ plant through its operational deployments and its still-murky present role in aiding the design of future stealth-related technology.

For more information please visit www.palmspringsairmuseum.org




    • Many thanks for your comment… a quick check with the museum should reveal the availability of the Nighthawk for viewing, but it is on longterm loan at the facility, so it should normally be open to visitors at the Palm Springs Air Museum once they have completed working on it (and likely earlier).

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