Retired But Still Flying, the F-117 Nighthawk May Soon Fade to Black

The F-117 Nighthawk has been spotted over the Nevada desert occasionally in recent years, raising questions why a “retired” plane has made its way onto a flightline.

Technically categorized as “flyable storage,” the remaining single-seat, twin-engine aircraft in the Air Force inventory are tucked away at test and training ranges in Tonopah, Nevada.

But in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017, passed Dec. 23, the Air Force will remove four F-117s every year to fully divest them — a process known as demilitarizing aircraft, a service official told on Monday.

“Flyable storage” aircraft are not considered classified, said the official,…

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