Shrouded in mystery, the F-117 Nighthawk — developed by the secretive Skunk Works division at Lockheed — became operational in the 1980s, though it was not revealed to the public until 1988. It was the first aircraft designed around stealth technology and was widely praised for its service during the Gulf War where it performed 1,300 ground-attack missions and hit 1,600 strategic Iraqi targets. Pilots of the F-117 refer to themselves as "Bandits," and all 558 Air Force pilots who flew the Nighthawk are given a "Bandit" number in sequential order. Sixty-four were manufactured and it was retired from service in 2008, replaced by the F-22 Raptor.
This 1/72 scale plastic kit, a replica of an F-117A as it appeared with the 37th TFW during Operation Desert Storm, features a glazed canopy, a well-equipped cockpit (with instrument panel), realistic landing gear and wheel wells, a "platypus" exhaust outlet, and authentic markings. Assembly required. 74 pieces. Skill level 2. Measures approximately 11" long with a 7¼" wingspan.