February 1982 Northrop test pilot Richard G. Thomas, made the first flight of TACIT BLUE. The first production F-117A (80-10785) was delivered to DREAMLAND, disassembled, inside a C-5.
April 1982 Test pilot Bob Riedenauer attempted takeoff in the first production F-117A (80-10785) on its maiden checkout flight. Before the first test flight, technicians relocated a servomechanism from one equipment bay to another, and rewired it. Unfortunately, they inadvertently reversed the rate gyros. As Riedenauer lifted off, the aircraft flipped over backwards and crashed. He suffered injuries that left him hospitalized for seven months.
The aircraft was a complete loss and, since the takeoff had not been successful in any sense, the "flight" was not even included in the test logs.
Mid-1982 Project HAVE GLASS was undertaken to significantly reduce the radar cross-section of the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. A series of modifications included RAM coatings and fillings, reflective materials, and component shape changes.
June 1983 AeroVironment received CIA sponsorship to build a proof-of-concept high-altitude, solar- powered, radio-controlled UAV called HALSOL. It was essentially a rectangular flying wing made from lightweight materials. Initial test flights were powered by eight electric motors using silver-zinc batteries. HALSOL made nine test flights, beginning in June 1983.
Col. Ralph H. Graham assigned as commander of DET 3, AFFTC.
March 1984 Lt. Gen. Robert M. Bond, Vice Commander of Air Force Systems Command, visited Groom Lake for two orientation flights in YF-117A (79-10782).
April 1984 Lt. Gen. Robert M. Bond made two orientation flights in a Russian-built MiG-23 jet fighter. While making a high-speed run during his second flight, Bond lost control and crashed in Area 25 of the Nevada Test Site. He was killed while ejecting.
Richard Thomas completed the 100th flight of TACIT BLUE.
August 1984 Approximately 89,000 acres of public land and private holdings northeast of Groom Lake were closed to the public for "national security reasons." This area comprised the Groom Mountain Range that overlooks the lakebed. The appropriation was done without fulfilling the legal requirements for an environmental impact statement. Air Force officials denied there would be any significant impact because the area would only be used as a buffer zone.
February 1985 TACIT BLUE completed its final flight. Following a highly successful test program, the one- of-a-kind aircraft was stored in the Area 51 "boneyard." Eventually, it was displayed at a classified museum facility in the low bay (called "Dyson's Dock") of Hangar 18.
April 1985 Col. Karl M. Jones Jr. assigned as commander of DET 3, AFFTC.
Mid-1985 Maj. Frank T. Birk piloted the first flight of a "classified demonstrator" at Groom Lake. For his work on the project, the Society of Experimental Test Pilots gave Birk the Lieutenant General Bobby Bond Memorial Aviator Award which "recognizes an AFSC military rated crew member for outstanding contribution to AFSC's test and evaluation mission while participating in aerial duties."