Lockheed F-22 Raptor
1990
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Lockheed F-22 Raptor

Without doubt, the most exciting combat aircraft of the early twenty-first century is the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. In the late 1970s, the US Air Force identified a requirement for 750 examples of an Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) to replace the F-15 Eagle. Flown by a single pilot, it must be able to survive in an environment filled with people, both in the air and on the ground, whose sole purpose is to destroy it. To test the concepts that would eventually be combined in the ATF, the US AF initiated a series of parallel research programmes. The first was the YF-16 control-configured vehicle (CCV) which flew in 1976-77 and demonstrated the decoupled control of aircraft flight path and attitude; in other words, the machine could skid sideways, turn without banking, climb or descend without changing its attitude, and point its nose left or right, or up or down, without changing its flight path. Other test vehicles involved in the ATF programme included the Grumman X-29, which flew for the first time in December 1984 and which was designed to investigate forward-sweep technology, and an F-111 fitted with a mission adaptive wing (MAW) - in other words, a wing capable of reconfiguring itself automatically to mission requirements.

Flight testing of all these experimental aircraft came under the umbrella of the USAF's Advanced Fighter Technology Integration (AFTI) programme. In September 1983, while the AFTI programme was well under way, the USAF awarded ATF concept definition study contracts to six American aerospace companies and, of these, two - Lockheed and Northrop - were selected to build demonstrator prototypes of their respective proposals. Each company produced two prototypes, the Lockheed YF-22 and the Northrop YF-23, and all four aircraft flew in 1990. Two different powerplants, the Pratt & Whitney YF119 and the General Electric YF120, were evaluated, and in April 1991 it was announced that the F-22 and F119 were the winning combination. The F119 advanced technology engine, two of which power the F-22, develops 155kN and is fitted with two-dimensional convergent/ divergent exhaust nozzles with thrust vectoring for enhanced performance and manoeuvrability. The first definitive F-22 prototype was rolled out at the Lockheed Martin plant at Marietta, Georgia, on 9 April 1997. There were numerous problems with this aircraft, including software troubles and fuel leaks, and the first flight was delayed to 7 September 1997. The second prototype first flew on 29 June 1998. By late 2001, there were eight F-22s flying.

The F-22 combines many stealth features. Its air-to-air weapons, for example, are stored internally; three internal bays house advanced short-range, medium-range and beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles. Following an assessment of the aircraft's combat role in 1993, it was decided to add a ground-attack capability, and the internal weapons bay is also capable of accommodating 454kg GBU-32 precision-guided missiles.

The F-22 is designed for a high sortie rate, with a turnaround time of less than 20 minutes, and its avionics are highly integrated to provide rapid reaction in air combat, much of its survivability depending on the pilot's ability to locate a target very early and take it out with a first shot. The F-22 was designed to meet a specific threat, which at that time was presented by large numbers of highly agile Soviet combat aircraft, its task being to engage them in their own airspace with beyond-visual-range weaponry. It will be a key component in the Global Strike Task Force, formed in 2001 to counter any threat worldwide. The USAF requirement is for 438 aircraft.

Robert Jackson "The Encyclopedia of Aircraft", 2004

3-View 
Lockheed F-22 RaptorA three-view drawing (1673 x 1220)


Specification 
 CREW1
 ENGINE2 x P+W F119-100, 155.7kN
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight28123 kg62001 lb
    Empty weight15422 kg34000 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan13.6 m45 ft 7 in
    Length18.9 m62 ft 0 in
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed2655 km/h1650 mph
    Range3700 km2299 miles
 ARMAMENT1 x 20mm cannon, 6 missiles

Comments
PO'ed Taxpayer, 21.07.2014

Never in the history of aviation has so much been spent to protect so few from so little.

Mike Trout, 10.04.2013

Shrek is love; Shrek is life

USSR-the good one, 03.07.2012

Mickey Rigney, in term of maneuverability f-22 is no match to the three-times-as-cheap su-37 DUH!

Mysery?, 03.07.2012

I am 11 and I know an important fact: this 'foamplane' costs 240 million$ to build, and here :another fact : Russia made a planes just a cool but it cost 60 million$
Reminder:Ukraine actually beat England in Euro 2012 but the referee was bribed and refused to believe it (the referee is a foxbeard)
signed: Mystery?

a.machiaverna, 01.10.2011

As good as the f-22 is , the xf-23 was the better airplane during flight evaluation trials. Politics?

Dave McNulty, 11.02.2011

Nice fighter/bomber, but the F15 was better..

Allen, 17.10.2010

This is one of the coolest planes I have ever seen in my entire life (even though I'm 13.) One day I would love to see the F-22 Raptor fly at Dobbin's Air Force Base in the air show. If you read this thanks for doing so, if you can please respond. Have a nice day , bye.

Mickey Rigney, 07.10.2010

This has turned out to be a great aircraft, it sees everyone and no one sees it, in flight. First Look,First Shot, First Kill. I was one of the first Lockheed Tech Reps on the program and Lead Rep when USAF got first aircraft at Nellis AFB. Early on we went thru a lot of software issues (and there is a lot of software on this aircraft), but we and the USAF work thru these issues and now have an aircraft that is untouchable in Air-to-Air and it can put the bomb on the target any where any time. Oh yea, you need to catch it at an Air Show - WOW, it's maneuverability is not matched!! The RAPTOR is the threat to all others!!!

Steve, 10.01.2010

The 3-view isn't an a production F-22, but actually one of the YF-22 prototype--cockpit placement, horizontal stab shape, and vertical stab sizes are different in the production F-22.

paul scott, 17.09.2009

A great potential for the USA to retain the highest technological prowess - sadly, there have been simple problems not forseen. Though it has excellent stealth characteristics, recent problems showed in just the radar-absorbing material coming off in the rain. Also, major concern is now that the USAF is encountering a staggering 30-hour maintenance schedule PER HOUR per aircraft. congress, it has now been reported, has only agreed to roughly 187 aircraft being now procured from an original 600 + order. The cost overun also has had a major impact. it was also reported that a journalist was laughed in his face when he quoted each aircraft could cost $180 million per unit (As the defense departemtn quoted just $40 million at that time). The former has proved correct. A real shame for the USAF. Instead, it looks like they're pinning more hopes on the F-35 JSF.

Anonymous, 25.11.2008

Callum i am not sure but the YB22 doesnt exist its just a spyrofoam little made up plane in the shape of a f22

Ben Thurston, 18.08.2008

I helped develop the initial test airspace for the production of this aircraft. As Military Liaison for the Atlanta ARTC Center (1989-2004), I was deeply involved with the initial as well as the production testing of all the F-22 aircraft produced.

calum morris, 16.02.2008

has anyone got pics of the YB-22?!
its a delta attack version of the raptor,
but im not sure about service

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