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John A. Weeks III
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Aviation History And Aircraft Photography

Stealth On A Stick

Airplane Photo

  • Type:   Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk
  • Venue:   Nellis Air Force Base
  • Location:   Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Date:  
  • Camera:   Minolta 7000i w/150-300mm Zoom
  • Film:   Fuji ASA 100 Color Print Film
  • Full Size Photo (~250kb)

One of the F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter full scale development aircraft is on display at the airpark at Nellis Air Force Base, just on the north side of Las Vegas.

Taking photos of “Planes On A Stick” is one of my favorite hobbies. When I saw these planes on display at Nellis, I went to the front gate to request permission to photograph them. At the time, they told me that I would not be granted permission to enter the base, but I could get on the list for the Tuesday and Thursday base tours. Well, I wasn't going to be there on a Tuesday or a Thursday, so I had to pass on that one.

Not wanting to let these planes go, I noticed that there was a filling station located directly across the boulevard from the base airpark that was on public property. I also noticed the large warning signs with big red letters (see the lower left side of the photo). Well, the sign said lots of things, but nothing about prohibiting photography. I bet the other people at the gas station were wondering what I was doing standing on top of my car with a camera that had a lens nearly a foot long. Now they know!

As an aside, I was given another option by the guard at the main gate. He told me that I could come back during the annual open house to get these photos. I did do just that, returning a few years later when the USAF held their 50th anniversary airshow at Nellis. As it turns out, the airpark was not open to the public during the open house.

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2016, all rights reserved.
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