To this day, there is much confusion with the designation of the Nighthawk. F, which stands for Fighter in the post 1962 aircraft re-designation system, does not fit the mission of the Nighthawk, which was universally used for ground attack. One rumor was that giving it an F designator would make it more attractive to combat oriented Air Force pilots.
Achieving initial operating capability in 1983, it is unusual that the number is 117, since the Air Force had reset it’s numbering after the F-111 Aardvark. The arbitrary number of 117 was used as a radio callsign before the aircraft became public, which some attribute to the origin of the numbering. Another possible explanation is that the aircraft was selected for design at the tail end of the USAF’s century series fighters, and they never bothered to reclassify it after the 1962 re-designation system took place.
During the lifespan of an aircraft, several variants and upgrades are made over the years. However, the F-117A was never upgraded to a B, C, or any other variant, so it is unusual that it started out with A in the designation. One possible explanation for this is that Lockheed intended to have upgraded variants made available to the Air Force in the future, but they never came to fruition.
Today’s Friday but I still have one more day before my day-off. But this September and October, Friday is going to be my “Sunday”. In air traffic control, we have our own definition of “weekend”, “Friday”, and “Sunday”. Haha!
Anyway, this is what my office table looks like. There’s a Plantronics headset used for air-ground and ground-ground communication, aircraft operations log, flight progress strips, Frequentis touch screen, a pen, and the Mactan Area Control Center hotline, used for coordination (releases or hand-off, restrictions, additional clearances, and etc.).
How about you? How’s Friday treating you? This photo theme was created by the @iluvcebu team. Why don’t you guys try it for fun? #FridayGrind #vscocam #aviation (at Tacloban Air Traffic Control Tower)