This Video Provides The Most Detailed View To The Officially Retired (But Still Flying) F-117s So Far

F-117 Fresno
A screenshot from the Youtube video filmed at Fresno Airport on Sept. 14, 2021. (Image credit: Randy Bugni)

Check out this cool clip showing F-117s operations at Fresno Airport, California.

No, the one you can find below is not a video filmed some time in the past, when the F-117 Nighthawks were still operational at their homebase at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, or somewhere else across the world. The clip was filmed on Sept. 14, 2021, at Fresno Yosemite International Airport, in central California, where two stealth jets deployed the day before to carry out dissimilar air combat training with the local-based 144th Fighter Wing, California Air National Guard, equipped with F-15C/D Eagles.

The fact that the U.S. Air Force is still flying the type out of Tonopah Test Range despite the F-117 has been officially retired in 2008 (!) is no longer a secret. Beginning last year, the aircraft have started to deploy at other airbases across the U.S.: the trip to MCAS Miramar, for instance, exposed a lot more details than those which might be gathered by just analysing the grainy shots of the “Wobblin Goblins” flying over some remote location in the Nevada Test and Training Range.

However, the latest deployment to Fresno has completely changed the “picture”. Not only are we able to have a look at the stealth jets, but we are able to do that from close distance.

Take a look at the following clip, uploaded to YouTube by Randy Bugni and brought to our attention by our friend Steve Fortson. The F-117s (alongside the F-15s) taxi just in front of the camera and allow the viewer to see the “TR” tail code applied to the aircraft, the other markings and the Nighthawk logo (much similar to the one of the 4450th Tactical Group. We can also assess that one of the aircraft carried its radar reflector while the other did not and this, once again, is extremely interesting, as it proves that the training with the F-15s required the Fresno Eagles to face a stealth aggressor. Pretty cool, isn’t it?


David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.

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