Profile Photo
Spiros Pendedekas
133 articles

AMT 1/72 F-117A

July 8, 2022 · in Aviation · · 26 · 1.1K

The Lockheed is a semi-retired American single-seat, twin-engine stealth attack aircraft that was developed by Lockheed's secretive Skunk Works division and operated solely by the USAF. It was the first operational aircraft to be designed around stealth technology and, though it was commonly referred to as the "Stealth Fighter", it was strictly a ground-attack aircraft.

Its design is regarded to be based on the theory that the strength of a radar return is not related to the object's size, but instead to its edge configuration.

Of interest is that the F-117 was made entirely of flat surfaces, because it is admitted that 1970s era computers did not have enough power to calculate the radar cross-section of curved surfaces.

Based on the Have Blue technology demonstrator, the Nighthawk's maiden flight took place in 1981 at Groom Lake, Nevada, achieving initial operating capability status in 1983 and shrouded in absolute secrecy until revealed to the public in 1988.

Of the 64 F-117s built, 59 were production versions, with the other 5 being prototypes.

The F-117 was widely publicized for its role in the Persian Gulf War of 1991, later taking part in the conflict in Yugoslavia, where one was shot down and another damaged by surface-to-air missiles.

The USAF retired the F-117 in April 2008, primarily due to the fielding of the F-22 Raptor, but a portion of the fleet has been kept in airworthy condition, with Nighthawks having been observed flying as late as in 2020.

The kit was first introduced in 1989.

Obviously, there are significant shape and size issues compared to the actual plane, the root cause being that this kit was rushed into production in 1989, with the only source of info being a couple of actual plane "generalized" pics.

That said, it was a simple and pleasant build, easily falling into the "Like Old Times Built In An Afternoon" category, with the final result being an F-117ish at best, but, maybe, tolerable for a stand model.

Should you want to read the full build review, you might do so by visiting my beloved site Modelingmadness:

Happy modeling!
Reader reactions:
6  Awesome

26 responses

  1. Looks like you had some happy modelling (with two “l”s) with this one, Spiros.

  2. Well done, Spiros. Looks like a nice display for the desk.

  3. Great job stand and all! I knew someone who worked at Lockheed on the F-117. At the time that I knew him he really couldn't say much about it.

  4. Great info and build on this bizarre Bat Like plane spiros.
    The future is here by design.

  5. Profile Photo
    Lis said on July 8, 2022

    Nice work! It looks like nice simply kit with good fun.

  6. I just cracked the box on the 1/72 Academy version of this that I got free. Doesn't look much more complex than this in parts count, though the shape issues should be better. I've always liked the Wobby Goblin just for the audacity of the concept. This old AMT kit looks decent! Nice build.

  7. Superb result on this little Nighthawk, Spiros @fiveten
    And just in only four hours.
    Great supporting article as well, same is valid for the MM article.

  8. Well done, Spiros (@fiveten). I still can't figure out how you have time to build all of these kits, write the reviews, have a job, and a family. You must really be good at juggling!

  9. Nice one Spiros my friend, a pic' of mine just for fun !

    2 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  10. Great job on this Spiros, I really like the tinted cockpit glass. Well done!

  11. Nicely done, Spiros @fiveten. Great read on its history and looks really nice on its stand.

  12. Finish build turned out great! I remember seeing this on your desk pic a good while back haha.

  13. Love it. Great job - black finishes are not as easy as they seem.

Leave a Reply