Re: First mention of F-117 designation in journals prior to disclosure of F-117's existence

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Message posted by Vahe Demirjian (Member since 04/28/2022) on August 12, 2023 at 14:12:52 PST:

I just recently noticed that the article "USAF Aircraft Destroyed in Crash Believed to Be Stealth Fighter" in a July 21, 1986 issue of the Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine provided hints that the Nighthawk's designation was not F-19. Since I mentioned before an August 1987 reply by Anne W. Turner of the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force to R.W. Koch in which "F-117 Nighthawk" is mentioned (I've attached a web link containing the reply for convenience) and the fact that the 1988 article titled "Is Lockheed Building A Super-Stealth Replacement for USAF's Mach 3 SR-71?" also mentioned F-117 as the Nighthawk's designation, even though the F-117's existence wasn't confirmed until November 1988, it's possible that more than a few media outlets changed their mind about the Nighthawk wasn't a fighter aircraft at all after getting hints that F-19 was not the Nighthawk's designation because the ATF program which led to the YF-22 and YF-23 was unclassified despite being intended to produce a stealthy supersonic fighter.

Since the F-20 Tigershark was initially designated F-5G around the time that the F-117 first flew in June 1981, and the USAF Standards Branch in November 1982 had the F-19 skipped in favor of F-20 as the new designation for the F-5G at Northrop's request avoid confusion with the MiG-19 despite the fact that the USAF Standard Branch had wanted the F-5G designated F-19, did the popular press have access to USAF nomenclatural records requesting that F-5G be renamed F-19 despite Northrop's insistence on having F-19 skipped to prevent confusion with the MiG-19?

Attached link: August 1987 reply from Office of Air Force Secretary concerning the F-117

In Reply to: Re: First mention of F-117 designation in journals prior to disclosure of F-117's existence posted by quellish on March 17, 2023 at 18:54:24 PST:


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