Have Blue: The Still-Shadowy Lockheed Jet Buried at Groom Lake

lockheed have blue  Have Blue: The Still-Shadowy Lockheed Jet Buried at Groom Lake(Image: U.S. Federal Government via Lockheed, public domain)

Often eclipsed by its more famous relative the F-117A Nighthawk (aka Stealth Fighter), for which it served as a proof-of-concept vehicle, Lockheed’s small Have Blue technology demonstrator remains a shadowy aircraft to this day. Relatively few photographs exist in the public domain, and a crashed article that had once been earmarked for display remains buried in an unmarked grave at the Groom Lake test facility in Nevada, popularly known as Area 51.

lockheed have blue xst 1  Have Blue: The Still-Shadowy Lockheed Jet Buried at Groom Lake

lockheed have blue xst 2  Have Blue: The Still-Shadowy Lockheed Jet Buried at Groom Lake(Images: DARPA/US Air ForceU.S. Government via Lockheed, public domain)

Designed and built by the famous Skunk Works and test flown in total secrecy from 1977 to 1979, Have Blue demonstrators XST-1 and XST-2 tested the angular, faceted design that gave the F-117A its sinister appearance and low observability.

Despite the loss of both aircraft (with pilots ejecting to safety) the programme was deemed a success and development of the larger Nighthawk went ahead. Meanwhile, both Have Blue wrecks were quietly buried in anonymous graves within the boundaries of the Nellis Test Range.

near have blue resting place  Have Blue: The Still-Shadowy Lockheed Jet Buried at Groom Lake(Image: Google Earth)

One of the demonstrators was reportedly interred at Groom Lake, immediately south of the former A-12 Oxcart hangar complex (above). Years later, when Have Blue’s existence had finally been made public, Lockheed engineers set about trying to unearth the relatively intact wreck for restoration as a static display article.

lockheed have blue in flight  Have Blue: The Still-Shadowy Lockheed Jet Buried at Groom Lake(Image: USAF, public domain)

But their efforts went unrewarded. Some reports say they couldn’t find it, while others assert that the search was cancelled when engineers began unearthing the shattered components of other classified programmes. Whatever the truth may be, it’s thought that the wreck now lies beneath a paved section of recently constructed taxiway. If this is the case, Have Blue is unlikely to see the light of day any time soon – if ever!

 

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