Military Aviation

Unexpected Guests! Video shows rare F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighters landing at MCAS Miramar

Notice the high-visibility TR tailcode carried by the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighters.

Posted on its YouTube Channel by AirshowStuff and taken by winston.dc who first posted this video on his Instagram account, the interesting footage in this post features two F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighters making an exceptionally rare daytime public appearance by landing at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar near San Diego on Oct. 20, 2020.

The F-117 was officially retired to flyable storage in 2008, but the jets have been sighted conducting secretive training missions since then. It is very rare to see them in daylight, let alone at a major airbase in an urban area. Notice the high-visibility TR tailcode carried by the jets.

As we have previously reported, last August Hill Aerospace Museum received a Nighthawk to be put on display when F-117A 82-0799/HO (msn A4024) arrived at the museum without its RAM (Radar Absorbent Material), from Tonopah Test Range.

This print is available in multiple sizes from – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS.  F-117A Nighthawk (Stealth) 49th OG, 8th FS “The Black Sheep Squadron”, HO/88-843, Holoman AFB, NM – 2008

On Dec. 7, 2019 another Nighthawk, F-117 #803’s nickname “Unexpected Guest,” was put on display at the Ronald Reagan library.

A total of 59 F-117As were built between 1981 and 1990.

The decision by the Air Force to accelerate the retirement of the F-117 led to the arrival of the F-22A Raptor, another stealth “fighter,” at Holloman in Jun. 2008.

The last F-117s left Holloman in April 2008 with a stop at their birthplace in Palmdale, California, before ending up in their final resting place where their historic journey began in 1981 – Tonopah Test Range, Nevada. The aircraft were placed in Type 1000 storage in the event they were ever called back into duty (in fact there have been many reported sightings and pictures of the aircraft flying since then…).

Photo credit: winston.dc via AirshowStuff

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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