Lockheed Martin bringing ‘unexpected guest’ to Reagan National Defense Forum

Lockheed Martin and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute are partnering on a permanent static display for the F-117 Nighthawk that bears the nickname “Unexpected Guest.” The display will be debuted at a ribbon-cutting ceremony during the Reagan National Defense Forum on Dec. 7.

F-117 Nighthawk fuselage in transport in front of Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® in Palmdale, California.

The joint project referred to as “Operation Nighthawk Landing” was made possible by a permanent loan to the Reagan Foundation from the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. To support the Air Force in their loan, the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® is restoring the aircraft in preparation for its permanent exhibition at the Reagan Library.

“The F-117 Nighthawk reminds us of our country’s ability to rapidly develop disruptive technology critical to national security,” said Michele Evans, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “Lockheed Martin is proud to partner with the Air Force and the Reagan Foundation to install a permanent symbol of American innovation at the Reagan Library for all to see.”

F-117 #803’s nickname “Unexpected Guest” alludes to the extreme secrecy that surrounded the F-117 Nighthawk program as well as the stealth aircraft’s ability to go undetected by enemy radar. This fitting nickname was inspired by the 1982 heavy metal album “Unexpected Guest” by the band Demon.

Developed in complete secrecy by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, the F-117 was the world’s first operational stealth aircraft. Deemed impossible, it is a tangible reminder of what can be achieved through teamwork, passion and determination.