Visiting the Museum of Aviation’s New F-117A Nighthawk – Warner Robins Overnight Road Trip Radio Report; 23/24 May 2023

I hadn’t planned to travel this month since I’m taking a week-long road trip next month, but when the Museum of Aviation at Robins AFB announced that they would have their newly acquired F-117A Nighthawk on temporary display for two weeks before going behind closed doors for a year for restoration, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see it. I left Savannah around lunch time on Tuesday and arrived in Warner Robins just in time to get some photos of the F-117 before the museum closed at 4:00 PM. I stayed overnight and visited the museum in full on Wednesday morning before heading back to Savannah.

While in Warner Robins, I did some listening from the motel room with a Uniden BCD436HP and SDS100 and did some listening from the mobile station. I caught some C-130s and F-15s doing test flights out of the Robins AFB ALC (Air Logistics Complex), some F-16s working in the Bulldog MOA, a bunch of Middle Georgia State College student pilot flights, and a lot of fire department traffic on the Houston Peach Regional Radio System and the Central Georgia Interoperable Regional Radio System. On the Amateur Radio side of things, there wasn’t much going on between Savannah and Warner Robins, but once I got to Warner Robins, there was good activity on 2m/70cm repeaters there and in Macon.

The Museum of Aviation at Robins AFB

The Museum of Aviation recently acquired F-117A 81-10794, “Delta Dawn.” It arrived on 18 May 2023 and will be going back for a yearlong restoration, but they have it out in their amphitheater for two weeks beginning this week, so visitors have a chance to see it. 81-10794/Delta Dawn first flew on 15 April 1983 and saw combat during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Allied Force, and Operation Iraqi Freedom, flying a total of 73 combat missions. In its current condition, it’s naked – without its radar absorbent coatings and leading edges because that material is still classified, and it was removed prior to being flown to Robins. The museum will no doubt replicate those in non-classified form during its restoration, but it’s quite interesting to see the bare F-117 airframe.

The museum also has another new aircraft: a MQ-1B Predator (08-3243), which is on display in the rotunda of the main building, suspended above the F-15. Even though you can’t walk up to it and get a close look at it, that’s actually a good way to display the Predator because as you move up to the second and third floors of the museum, you get to see it not only from below, but from various side angles as well.

Restoration continues the museum’s B-17 and while it may not look like there’s been a lot of progress, the nose turret is looking great as does the tail gun position. Speaking of the tail gun, if you visit, walk under the B-29 and take a good at the B-17 from the tail, you can look right down into the tail gunner’s position. If you look closely through the cockpit windows and nose, you can also tell that there is a lot of work going on inside the B-17.

While walking around outside of the museum, I noticed that there is a MiG-21 behind the museum awaiting restoration. I don’t know anything about the history of the aircraft, but it looks like its bort number at one time was 87.

Amateur Radio

145.2900- (PL 82.5) - Bryron
145.4300- (PL 88.5) - Macon
146.6700- (PL 82.5) - Warner Robins (Peach State Intertie)
146.7750- (CSQ) - Macon
146.8500- (CSQ) - Warner Robins
146.8950- (PL 88.5) - Macon (Peach State Intertie)
147.1500+ (PL 123.0) - Cedar Grove
147.3000+ (PL 107.2) - Centerville (very active during rush hour)
147.3300+ (PL 77.0) - Dublin
440.6500+ (DMR CC1) - Cochran
444.7000+ (PL 103.5) - Macon

MilCom & Aviation

133.225/257.975 - Robins AFB Tower
121.850/275.800 - Robins AFB Ground
119.600/124.200/279.600 - Atlanta TRACON
225.925 - Robins ALC
128.200/257.800 - Middle Georgia Regional Airport Tower

ROGUE 15 (F-15, Robins ALC)
ROGUE 19 (F-15, Robins ALC)
ROGUE 33 (C-130H, 92-0554, 152nd AW/Robins ALC)
ROGUE 37 (MC-130J, 09-6207, 67th SOS/Robins ALC)
SLAM 90 (C-17A, 97-0043, 452nd AW)
N38RX (EC35, AirEvac 176 Laurens Co)
NIGHTTRAIN ### (P28A & BL8, Middle Georgia State College

USAF (157) TRS (Robins AFB site)
 TG 56066 - Robins AFB FD/EMS?; unenc
 TG 56110 - Robins AFB Unknown; enc
 TG 56121 - Robins AFB Base Ops; enc
 TG 56122 - Robins AFB Tower; enc
 TG 56123 - Robins AFB Crash/Fire; enc
 TG 56141 - 116th/461st ACW; enc
 TG 56193 - Robins AFB Unknown; enc

343.750 - Bulldog MOA
308.950 - 169th/157th FS U14?
346.625 - 169th/157th FS U15?
237.250 - 169th/157th FS U16?

MACE ## (F-16CM, 169th FW/157th FS)
VIPER ## (F-16CM, 169th FW/157th FS)
DEMON ## (F-16CM, 169th FW/157th FS)

228.400 - Townsend Range
252.900 - Townsend Range
326.700 - VMFAT-501 Tac 1

NITRO ## (F-35B, VMFAT-501)

322.325/128.100 - Atlanta Center Augusta Low
282.300/135.975 - Jax Center Alma High

CHECK 6# (F/A-18C/D, VMFA-312)
OMEGA 71 (B703, N707MQ, Omega Air)

Public Safety

Houston-Peach Regional Radio System
 TG 16 - Houston CO FD Dispatch
 TG 17 - Houston Co FD Fireground 1
 TG 18 - Houston Co FD Fireground 2
 TG 22 - Houston Co FD Fireground 3
 TG 61 - Warner Robins FD Dispatch
 TG 91 - Centerville FD Dispatch
 TG 121 - Perry FD Dispatch
Central Georgia Interoperable Regional Radio System
 TG 132 - Macon-Bibb Co FD Dispatch 1
 TG 134 - Macon-Bibb Co FD Scene 2
 TG 135 - Macon-Bibb Co FD Scene 3
 TG 136 - Macon-Bibb Co FD Scene 4
 TG 152 - Macon-Bibb Co FD Event 2
 TG 1101 - Monroe Co FD Dispatch

159.4500 (NXDN48 RAN 45) - Jones County FD Dispatch 
155.3550 (DMR TS1 CC1 TG 300) - Laurens County FD Dispatch
156.1350 (DMR TS1 CC1 & CC2 TG 100) - Laurens County EMS Dispatch
154.3850 (DMR TS1 CC2 TG 500) - Dublin FD Dispatch (Laurens County)

159.2250 (PL 123.0) - GFC D3 Macon Repeater
159.2400 (PL 167.9) - GFC D6 Bleckley Repeater

151.8500 (DCS 047) - AirEvac 102/176, Dublin


Before I left to return to Savannah on Wednesday, I met a friend and his son for lunch at My Grandma’s Empanadas in Warner Robins. I’m glad he suggested it, because the food was wonderful. I had the three-empanada special with a mild beef empanada, a spicy pork empanada, and a market fresh empanada (spinach, mushrooms, and feta cheese) with a side of Cuban rice and beans; the empanadas were delicious, without being the least bit greasy. The rice and beans were terrific (I could have made a meal just off of those…). If you visit the Museum of Aviation, My Grandma’s Empanadas is just up the road, you wouldn’t be making a mistake stopping there for lunch. For supper on Tuesday evening, I stopped by Gregg’s 2.0 Family Restaurant just south of My Grandma’s Empanadas and had their House Special (Spanish Rice with beef, chicken, shrimp, and grilled peppers and onions) and it was quite good as well. Gregg’s seems to specialize in Mexican food, but they have other types of food on the menu as well.

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