Fly Away

The last F-117 Nighthawk will be retired next month, after 26 years of service. And after only 22 years of combat. One or two of them were used in Panama in 1986, but the “stealth fighter” really gained its fame in the first Gulf War.


By modern standards, 26 years is a short time for a fighter to serve. Sure, the Nighthawk is based on 1970s technology, but so are the F-15, F-16, and F-18. All of those jets will serve well into the next decade.

Bombers can serve even longer. The first B-52 was built in 1954. Imagine if Pan-Am were still flying — and flying DC-3s.


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