The F-117 planes themselves weren’t the only element that was tested at the Lake Groom area but the weapons that were used in these stealth fighters were also tested.
During this time the Lake Groom base was also used as the training base for the first class of frontline pilots who were assigned to the F-117 stealth fighters.
The river bed was not the only geographic feature that made the Groom Lake location perfect for U-2 development, however, the mountains of the Emigrant Valley as well as the Nevada Test Site perimeter that had been set up provided for plenty of protection of any activity and testing that took place in the area.
Lockheed began to build out the area to suit their testing needs and by 1955 they had set up a base that consisted of a 5,000 foot runway and a number of shelters, homes and workshops to house the workers assigned to the area.
The center of Area 51 features a large airfield and the intended purpose for the base is to test and develop experimental weapons and aircraft for use by the United States military.
The location of Area 51 puts it inside the Nevada Test and Training Range and it is referred to by military personnel as the Air Force Flight Test Center – Detachment 3.
For those who believe that there is something peculiar happening over at Area 51, rumors of extraterrestrial activity abound.
The government enforces these rumors by refusing to address any matters concerning the military base; however, as a matter of national security one could expect no different from them.
The length of the new aircraft demanded a much longer runway, as well as additional facilities to house and maintain the aircraft.
The base built by Lockheed was particularly sparse but it served its purpose and the same month that the base saw the completion of its runway it saw delivery of its first U-2.
One month after the delivery of its first U-2, the makeshift base saw its first U-2 take flight.
In 1977 the Lockheed Have Blue stealth fighter prototype was finalized and took flight.
A number of other similar prototypes were also developed for the next four years until the testing of the Have Blue transformed in to the production of the F-117 stealth planes.
While U-2 plane fleets were dispatched to Soviet territory just a year later, U-2 development continued but was frequently interrupted by the activities at the NTS.