The F-117 Nighthawk was the first military aircraft designed around stealth technology. Conceived, designed and built in the 1970's
the Nighthawk was built by Skunk Works under the most secret circumstances. It wasn't until the first gulf war that the stealth fighter
was acknowledged by the government.
LEGO® Model vs. Real
The akward shape of the jet is designed to deflect radar and is the primary attribute of it's stealth techology. The shape also
makes the Nighthawk instantly recognizable.
In building the F-117 Nighthawk it was most important to me to capture the angled shape and awkward feel of the craft. I am
quite please with the result... it turns out that doing that many angles is difficult in LEGO® building (since LEGO® bricks are cubical.)
Getting the angles while still making the plane acceptably sturdy was a challenge. I used combinations of hinges, turntables and
magnets (yes, there are LEGO® magnets) to hold the various panels in place. Canopies on all of the aircraft are one of the most difficult
parts to build as the canopy is like the "face" of the plane. The canopy on the F-117 was particularly difficult to find
something that at least approximated the actual plane.
As my model building has advance, I have also been adding more and more features to the planes. This plane features retractable
landing gear and bomb bays which house 2 GBU-27 Paveway III laser-guided bombs.
Maybe it shows in my writing, but I'll say it anyways... I'm quite proud of this model and very happy with how it turned out.