F-22 Raptor

Info and pictures up to *** from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-22_Raptor

The F-22 Raptor is an American fighter aircraft that utilizes stealth technology. It is an air superiority fighter, but is equipped for ground attack, electronic warfare and signals intelligence roles as well. The United States Air Force considers the F-22 a critical component of the US Global Strike Task Force.

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Lockheed Martin is the main contractor of the F-22 Raptor. The F-22 Raptor is an air superiority fighter meant to replace the F-15 Eagle. Because of the cost of the Raptor, the US has kept the F-15 in service and added the F-22 Raptor as a supplement. As stated above the F-22 Raptor can be used for other roles but is mainly air superiority. It is one of the most advanced planes in the world along with the British/German/Italian/Spanish Eurofighter Typhoon and the Russian MiG MFI. It is very manoevrable, largely thanks to thrust vectoring. This means that the F-22 can direct the nozzles out of which come the exhaust gases from the jet engines. Effectively, the F-22 is moving the thrust. This means that it doesn’t just move its ailerons to turn (like most planes do), but it also uses thrust vectoring, making it be able to turn very sharply. It works in the same way that it does on a Harrier Jump jet or an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, only not as extreme. On these planes, thrust vectoring actually enables them to take off and land vertically. Contrarily to the Eurofighter, the F-22 is aerodynamically stable.

Another important feature the F-22 Raptor has is Stealth. This really brings up its chances of survival in combat. Enemy aircraft can only use heat-seeking missiles and guns against the F-22. They can only use radar guided missiles with great difficulty, if they can at all. It also means that the F-22 can sneak up behind enemy aircraft and shoot them down before the enemy even realised the F-22 was there. The F-22 is great in BVR (Beyond Visual Range) combat. It will see enemies on its radar while the enemy still has no idea the F-22 is there. The enemy will have to see the F-22 with their own eyes. The F-22 is a perfect example of new generation stealth. The F-117 Nighthawk is a stealth bomber (a very good one too). It uses materials which absorb radar signals and also has a very strange shape which deflects the signals away from enemy radar. This means that the F-117 is not very aerodynamic and the shape is not ideal. The F-22 does not need a strange shape like this. It just absorbs the radar signals. Both the F-117 and the F-22 keep bombs and weapons inside, because they reflect radar signals well. The weapons are only exposed for a brief moment whilst a bomb is dropped.

The F-22 Raptor can supercruise. This is very useful because it means that it can fly at super-sonic speeds without afterburner. Afterburner uses a lot of fuel and increases the heat coming from the back of the plane, making the plane an easy target for heat seeking missiles. So having cooler air coming out the back of the plane is good. Only the Eurofighter Typhoon can also do this.

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Information below is a mixture from http://www.raf.mod.uk/equipment/typhooneurofighter.cfm
and http://www.globalaircraft.org/planes/f-22_raptor.pl

  • Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100
  • Thrust: 35,000lbs
  • Max speed: 2Mach
  • Length: 62 ft 1 inch
  • Max altitude: 65,000ft
  • Span: 13.1m
  • Aircrew: 1
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