F-22 Raptor documentary: F-22 Raptor is a $335 million stealth machine. with that same budget, You could launch a SpaceX Falcon-9 5 times. and still have money left over.
This tactical fighter was developed by LOCKHEED MARTIN exclusively for the U.S Air Force.
The first F-22 was unveiled and had its first flight in 1997. Its creation was fueled by emerging worldwide competitors. including Soviet warplanes, such as the Su-27 ”Flanker” and MiG – 29 “Fulcrum”.
The engineering behind the Air Force’s new vehicle was cutting-edge for the time. It was the first operational aircraft to combine SUPERCRUISE.
Super maneuverability stealth and sensor fusion in a Single weapons Platform. One of the reasons for the Raptor’s extreme agility is Thrust Vectoring.
Unlike conventional jets, the F-22 uses pitch-axis thrust vectoring nozzles in the exhaust of its two Pratt & Whitney F-199 engines.
to redirect thrust more than 20 degrees up and down, Maximum speed without external stores is approximately MACH 1.8 (1,381 Miles per hour) at military power. and greater than MACH 2 (1,535 Miles per hour) with afterburners.
The ability of the Raptor to supercruise.
AKA SUSTAIN SUPERSONIC FLIGHT without using its afterburners.
allows it to intercept targets more effectively. then SUBSONIC AIRCRAFT
AFTERBURNER – DEPENDENT AIRCRAFT
THE RAPTOR was designed to be incredibly stealthy
if you look at it head-on you’ll see that the wings and horizontal. stabilizer aligns perfectly. helping to reduce the radar signature. it was also designed to have decreased radio emissions. an infrared signature acoustic signature, as well as reduced visibility to the naked eye.
You might not see the F-22, but it will see you. The craft has an integrated avionics system. that combines sensor fusion data from the radar, and other external sensors to enhance pilots’ situational awareness.
Key systems include an infrared and ultraviolet missile launch detector. an active electronically scanned array radar. and a passive radar detector with more than 30 antennas blended into the wings and fuselage. Radar emissions can also be focused to overload enemy sensors.
as an electronic-attack capability. Once the F-22 sees you you’re in trouble. It has three internal weapons bays a large main bay on the bottom of the fuselage and two smaller bays on the sides.
The main bay can accommodate six LAU – 142/A launchers for beyond – visual – range missiles. and each side bay has an LAU – 141/A launcher for short-range missiles.
Internal weapon bays help to maintain the aircraft’s stealthy profile. and also minimize drag When it is time to launch missiles. the bay doors only need to open for less than a second.
When this happens pneumatic or hydraulic arms. push missiles clear of the aircraft.
The F-35 is another premier aircraft in the U.S Air Force. that carries out similar missions to the F-22.
BUT how do the two Aircraft compare?
The F-35 has a top speed of Mach 1.60(1,227 miles per hour). The F-22 can reach Mach 2.25(1,726 miles per hour) The F-22 also climbs at a rate of 62,000 feet(18,900 meters) per minute compared to the F-35’s. 45,000 feet(13,700 meters)per minute.
One F-22 costs an estimated $334 million with a per-hour flight cost of roughly $60,000.
The F-35 costs about $91 million per vehicle. with a per-hour flight cost of around $36,000. a seemingly less expensive solution.
Additionally, the F-35’s engine can’t be beaten. It’s the most powerful jet engine available for a fighter.
What’s the future of the F-22?
In 2011 Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated the F-22 was no longer relevant in post-Cold War conflicts and called for an end to production. The last F-22 was delivered in 2012.
The U.S. Air Force currently has 186 F-22s that are, on average 12 Years old only 183 are still in service. They are such impressive feats of engineering.
that U.S. officials considered restarting production. but the Air Force Ultimately chose to buy updated F-15 fighter jets from Boeing. In the 2030s it seems the F-22 will be replaced by the Next Generation Air Dominance family of vehicles.
There will be just four fighter types in the fleet and the F-22 isn’t included Instead, we will have the F-35, F-15EX, F-16 Ngad fighter jet.
But until the next generation takes off we’ll be able to appreciate the extreme engineering of the F-22. as it soars through our skies.