Look . . . Up in the sky . . . It's a bird! . . . It's a plane! . . . It's a campaign issue!
Whatever it is or was or may be will have to wait a while longer to be discovered. The Air Force has been told to forget about going public this week with confirmation that it is indeed flying a super-secret "stealth" fighter, a plane that, like the still-not-seen B-2 intercontinental bomber, is supposed to be virtually invisible to radar. So now you see it and now you don't. More aptly, now you don't see it and now you still don't see it. We don't know if this disappearing act consternates the nation's enemies, but surely it has to disappoint some of its politicians.
Sen. Chic Hecht (R-Nev.), is one. Hecht is in a tough reelection campaign. The stealth fighter, if it in fact exists, is reputedly stationed at a base in Nevada, if Nevada in fact exists. Hecht planned a press conference to follow the Air Force's stealth announcement, no doubt to brag a little about how he enriched the local economy by bringing the stealth fighter to his state and to remind voters that the Reagan Administration's enormously costly military buildup really bought some things, like fighters at a reported $50 million to $70 million a copy. But when the Air Force canceled its announcement--it now denies it ever intended to make one--Hecht's hope for some coattail publicity was lost.