In the 1970’s Soviet air defense systems improved and the U.S. realized they had to develop aircraft to counter this. Lockheed Skunk Works was tasked with the job and two aircraft were built under the code name “Have Blue” that proved stealth aircraft could be produced. As a result the F-117 Nighthawk was developed and first flew in 1981 with the first production F-117 80-10785 making its maiden flight on April 20, 1982 but it wasn’t until 1988 that the Pentagon confirmed its existence.
The second Nighthawk produced was YF-117A 79-10781 and assigned to the 410th Flight Test Squadron “Baja Scorpions and named Scorpion 2. In 1991 the first 2 aircraft of five full-scale development aircraft (FSD), 79-10780 and 79-10781 were to be retired early and displayed. In order to do this 79-10781 had to be stripped of its highly classified toxic radar absorbent coating. It was blasted with baking soda in a special facility so the bare aluminum body had “Toxic Waste” painted on the side because it was considered bad luck for an aircraft not to have a name.