The Secret Contest to Invent Invisible Aircraft

Ranked #75 in Aerospace Engineering

The story behind the technology that revolutionized both aeronautics, and the course of history

On a moonless night in January 1991, a dozen airplanes appeared in the skies over Baghdad. Or, rather, didn't appear. They arrived in the dark, their black outlines cloaking them from sight. More importantly, their odd, angular shapes, which made them look like flying origami, rendered them undetectable to Iraq's formidable air defenses. Stealth technology, developed during the decades before Desert Storm, had arrived. To American planners and strategists at the outset...

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