The test aircraft, nicknamed "Dragon," has now been dubbed the "Gray Dragon." If the gray pattern is successful, the current fleet of fifty-five F-117 will be repainted in the two-tone scheme. It won't be the first time the F-117 has operated in different colors. During the mid-90s, the Air Force experimented with a camouflage scheme that was a gray scheme with swaths of brown and blue to break up the shape, but someone high in the chain of command allegedly demanded an all-black color scheme for the fleet. Doug Mohney.
An F-117 stealth fighter has been flying day and night missions with a new two-tone gray paint job, similar to what is used on the F-22. Previously, the official F-117 paint scheme has been all black, to match its initial role as a nighttime-only attack aircraft. But Air Force officials want to test a different paint scheme that will allow use of the fighter around the clock. On a clear day with plenty of light, the original black scheme clearly stands out against a blue sky or white clouds, making it easier to find visually not a good thing if you want to fly during daylight hours. There is a suspicion that the all-black scheme may have contributed to the shoot down of an F-117 over Serbia in March 1999, its jet-black outline standing out against a dull gray sky with light from ground fire reflecting off the clouds and enhancing its silhouette.