Stealth ‘Nighthawk’ headed to Castle
The long-awaited arrival of the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk Stealth attack aircraft to the Castle Air Museum is expected early this Friday morning, July 29.
The military aircraft is scheduled to be offloaded at approximately 8AM at the Museum’s Restoration Hangar at 3040 A Street, at the Castle Airport complex. Castle has the distinction of having the only air museum in Northern California, and one of a few museums across the nation, to receive a F-117 Nighthawk.
An interesting note is that technically this Nighthawk and its 58 sister aircraft, operated by the U.S. Air Force, did not exist as far as the general public was concerned for over seven years after its introduction in the early 1980s. Many of the advancements made on the F-117 remain cloaked in secrecy to this day.
The Nighthawk coming to Castle was one of the aircraft that were first to fight in the night skies over Baghdad, Iraq on the first night of the air offensive during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
Earlier this week, the aircraft was in Primm, Nevada, and awaiting Highway Patrol escort into California. At over 19 feet in width it is necessary to have Highway Patrol escorts the entire journey, and allowed to travel over road at specified times only, per law enforcement. Along the way, the Nighthawk will make a stop in Tehachapi, where it will remain until Thursday evening for its final destination to Castle Air Museum on Friday morning.