Hobby Master 1/72 scale HA5806 F-117A Nighthawk “Operation Allied Force” serial 82-803, 8th FS “Black Sheep”, Kosovo War, 1999
The Kosovo War was an armed conflict between Serbia / Montenegro and Kosovo Albanian rebels known as the Kosovo Liberation Army who were supported by NATO forces. The conflict lasted from February 1998 until June 1999 with the U.S. sending 36 stealth F-117s to fly missions over Serbian targets that conventional aircraft couldn’t reach. F-117A 82-803 “Unexpected Guest” from the 8th FS “Black Sheep” was one of them. It was the 19th aircraft produced in lot 4 and first flew on May 8, 1984 and accepted on June 22, 1984.
In the 1970’s Soviet air defense systems improved and the U.S. realized they had to develop aircraft to counter this. Lockheed Skunk Works was tasked with the job and two aircraft were built under the code name “Have Blue” that proved stealth aircraft could be produced. As a result the F-117 Nighthawk was developed and first flew in 1981 with the first production F-117 80-10785 making its maiden flight on April 20, 1982 but it wasn’t until 1988 that the Pentagon confirmed its existence.