Aircraft Resource Center


The Birth of Stealth

by Harry Quirk


Silly Week 2007

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It's the late 1960s. ..the height of the cold war. Stealth technology is in its infancy. The U.S. government is just starting to explore the development of stealth technology for military applications. Since so little is known about this new technology the government turns to the one individual with true "stealth" capabilities....BATMAN!

 Under the guidance of the Caped Crusader two top-secret airframes are proposed. To speed development, the prototypes are based on Batman's very own stealth aircraft...the Batplane!

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The Air Fiorce and the Navy are given the task of evaluating the prototypes, with Marine Attack squadron VMA-311 handling the assignment for the Navy.  Each aircraft is painted accordingly. Some modifications to the airframes are necessary.  A heavier F-4 undercarriage is used to accommodate weight increases from the addition of external fuel tanks and under wing ordnance. Tail surfaces are reconfigured from a "T" type to a more conventional arrangement, with the Air Force opting for an angled horizontal stabilizer similar to that used on the F-4 Phantom. An arrestor hook is fitted to the Marine aircraft for carrier trials.

Top-secret flight evaluations are a huge success. Each aircraft emits a near zero radar signature. The U.S. military's stealth program leapfrogs ahead of the Soviet's. Through the unselfish assistance of a real life American hero and true patriot, the U.S. goes on to develop the aircraft we know today as the B-2 Spirit...the F-117 Nighthawk....and the F-22 Raptor.

Holy invisibilty....Batman!


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Photos and text by Harry Quirk

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