During the final years of the 20th century, the most significant break-through in military weaponry was the concept of Stealth technology, and the first mass-produced weapon to utilize this to perfection was the F-117 Nighthawk.
Despite the fact that it was first delivered in 1982, the US Air Force officially denied its existence until 1988. Nevertheless, the operational status of the aircraft still remained a well-guarded secret with nighttime only operations from the Tonopah facility in Nevada.
However, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, thus beginning the Persian Gulf War (1990-1991), the aircraft entered into the public spotlight, flying combat missions over Baghdad.
The F-117 Nighthawk flew as a single plane with no escort, and maintained total radio silence to ensure maximum stealth impact. Its success during Operation Desert Storm, and its extraordinary capability, has guaranteed it the "tip of the spear" in terms of American attack capabilities. Furthermore, it was the first weapon to be used during the initial few nights of military operations when the goal was to blind the enemy by destroying command, control, and radar.
Illustrated with stunning color photographs of the F-117 above Iraq, and complemented by numerous personal accounts from the pilots themselves, this book explores the history and combat experience of one of the most secretive planes ever built.
About the Author
Warren Thompson has been an avid military aviation historian / writer / contributing editor for over 40 years. He has had 25 books published with a further two to be published by Osprey in early 2006 (Aces Series). He has had numerous magazine articles published on subjects covering World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, and the Cold War. His personal reference collection includes thousands of photos and detailed interviews, with over 2000 pilots and aircrew members. The focus on any project he has worked on, in addition to securing personal input and pictures, has been to get an original squadron, group or wing patch, for each of the units involved.During the past 25 years, he has had 27 tanker rides as a photographer, and spent 14 days in total on two U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, also gathering interviews and pictures on both. The author lives in Tennessee, USA.
"...[this is an] excellent book, full of color and black and white photographs of machines and the people who helped maintain it [sic]. As with other Osprey titles in this series, it is one I can recommend to you with confidence." -Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (May 2007)