LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — What was once a top-secret and classified military dark project involving stealth technology was seen parked in front of Whisky Pete’s Hotel and Casino in the Nevada town of Primm on Wednesday afternoon for all to see.
The now not-so-secret F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter jet, pictured below, is being transported to the Castle Air Museum in Atwater, California, where it will be put on display.
To get there, the Nighthawk is being towed on a flatbed trailer behind a big rig. The wings of the Nighthawk have already been transported to the museum and will be re-united during extensive restoration.
Due to the slow driving of this wide load, the jet had to make another stop Wednesday night in Tehachapi, California, according to the museum. The final leg will happen Thursday evening at sunset as it makes its way to Castle Air Museum’s Restoration Hangar, where the aircraft will be offloaded Friday morning.
According to Castle Air Museum Executive Director Joe Pruzzo, this Nighthawk was one of the F-117s over Baghdad on the first night of Operation Desert Storm in 1991. It is being transported to California from the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada.
The United States Air Force retired its fleet of Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter jets in 2008 but it appears to have recently come out of retirement.
Last summer, aviation enthusiast and webmaster of the Area 51-themed site dreamlandresort.com Joerg Arnu was buzzed by two Nighthawks heading toward the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), home to the best-known secret air base known as Area 51 and the just as secretive Tonopah Test Range (TTR).
Several F-117 Nighthawk jets have also been photographed around the secretive Tonopah Test Range.
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According to the museum, once restored the jet will be the only F-117 Nighthawk on display between Southern California and the Pacific Northwest.