December 1971 Project AQUILINE was canceled and the surviving airframes were placed in storage.
May 1973 Project HAVE IDEA was initiated to evaluate foreign aircraft at Area 51 and elsewhere. The test aircraft initially included MiG-21 and MiG-17 variants.
July 1974 The CIA Office of Special Activities (OSA) filed a Memorandum of Agreement regarding a classified project to be undertaken at Area 51. The top-secret project, with a classified code-name, was expected to last about one year. Six permanent personnel were assigned to the test site, with up to 20 personnel "on site during peak periods of short duration activity." Project personnel planned to use Hangars 13 through 17 at the south end of the test site.
July 1975 The 4477th TEF Red Eagles was activated at Nellis AFB to support evaluation of foreign aircraft.
November 1977 A C-5 had arrived at Area 51 carrying the Lockheed HAVE BLUE prototype. Also known as the Experimental Survivable Testbed (XST), HAVE BLUE was the progenitor of the Lockheed F-117A. It was the first airplane built to be virtually invisible to radar.
December 1977 6513th Test Squadron Red Hats was activated at Edwards AFB to support evaluation of foreign aircraft.
HAVE BLUE completed its maiden flight with Lockheed test pilot Bill Park at the controls. On hand to witness the event were Skunk Works chief Ben Rich, his predecessor "Kelly" Johnson, and Ken Perko of the Advanced Research Projects Agency. The flight was also monitored by the White House Situation Room and Tactical Air Command Headquarters at Langley AFB, Virginia.
March 1978 The first HAVE BLUE aircraft (Article 1001) was returned to Burbank for modifications. It was prepared for RCS tests (with RAM coatings and removal of the nose boom).
April 1978 HAVE BLUE (Article 1001) returned to Area 51.
May 1978 During a test flight in HAVE BLUE a sudden drop caused the airplane to slam down hard on the runway. Fearing he would slide off the runway, Bill Park applied full power and aborted the landing. He climbed to altitude, automatically retracting the gear, and again attempted to land. The chase pilot told Park that his right main gear had failed to come down. As fuel levels became critical, Park decided to eject. He was struck by the seat and knocked unconscious during bailout, suffering injuries that ended his flying career.
The wreckage was buried near Groom Lake.
July 1978 HAVE BLUE (Article 1002), the low-observables technology demonstrator, made its first flight piloted by Lt. Col. Norman K. "Ken" Dyson.
October 1978 Lockheed conducted the first test of its stealth cruise missile, code-named SENIOR PROM. Six prototypes were built. They somewhat resembled a subscale, unmanned version of the HAVE BLUE. The demonstrator models were launched from a DC-130 from the 6514th Test Squadron from Hill AFB, Utah. The SENIOR PROM test articles and launch aircraft