Hobby Master HA2801 USAF Lockheed-Martin F-22 Air Dominance Fighter - 27th Fighter Squadron, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, May 12th, 2005 [Low-Vis Scheme] (1:72 Scale)
"The F-22's integrated avionics gives it first-look, first-shot, first-kill capability that will guarantee U.S. air dominance for the next 40 years."
- Lockheed-Martin, prime contractor for the F-22 Air Dominance Fighter
Intended to be the leading American advanced tactical fighter in the early part of the 21st century, the Raptor is the world's most expensive fighter to date costing about $120 million per unit, or $361 million per unit when development costs are added. Part of the reason for the decrease in the requirement is that the F-35 Lightning II uses much of the technology used on the F-22, but at a much more affordable price. To a large extent the cost of these technologies is only lower for the F-35 because they have already been developed for the F-22. Had the F-22 not been developed, the costs of these technologies for the F-35 would have been significantly higher.
Next generation technology abound in the Raptor. For starters, the F-22's dual Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines with afterburners incorporate thrust vectoring. Thrust vectoring is in the pitch axis only, with a range of 20 degrees. The maximum thrust is classified, though most sources place it at about 35,000 lbf (156 kN). Maximum speed is estimated to be Mach 1.72 in supercruise mode and without external weapons; with afterburners, it is greater than Mach 2.0 (2120 km/h), according to Lockheed Martin. The Raptor can easily exceed its design speed limits, particularly at low altitudes; max-speed alerts help prevent the pilot from exceeding the limits. Gen. John P. Jumper, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, September 6th, 2001 to September 2nd, 2005, flew the Raptor faster than Mach 1.7 without afterburners on January 13th, 2005. The absence of variable intake ramps may make speeds greater than Mach 2.0 unreachable, but there is no evidence to prove this. Such ramps would be used to prevent engine surge, but the intake itself may be designed to prevent this. Former Lockheed Raptor chief test pilot Paul Metz says the Raptor has a fixed inlet. Paul Metz has also stated that the F-22 has a top speed greater than 1600 mph (Mach 2.42) and its climb rate is faster than the F-15 Eagle. This is because the F-22 is one of the few fighter aircraft with a thrust to weight ratio significantly greater than 1:1.
The true top-speed of the F-22 is largely unknown, as engine power is only one factor. The ability of the airframe to withstand the stress and heat from friction is a key factor, especially in an aircraft using as many polymers as the F-22. However, while some aircraft are faster on paper, the internal carriage of its standard combat load allows the aircraft to reach comparatively higher performance with a heavy load over other modern aircraft due to its lack of drag from external stores. It is one of a handful of aircraft that can sustain supersonic flight without the use of afterburner augmented thrust. The fuel usage from using afterburners would have greatly reduces its flight time.
The F-22 is highly maneuverable, at both supersonic and subsonic speeds. The usage of the F-22's thrust vectoring nozzles allows the aircraft to turn tightly, and perform extremely high alpha maneuvers such as Pugachev's Cobra and the Kulbit. The F-22 is also capable of maintaining a constant angle of attack of over 60 degrees.
Avionics include Raytheon and Northrop Grumman AN/APG-77 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, possibly the most capable radar in active service, with both long-range target acquisition and low probability of interception of its own signals by enemy aircraft.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of a F-22 is attached to the 27th Squadron, which was based out of Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, on May 12th, 2005.
Release Date: April 2010
Historical Account: "Lightning in a Bottle" - The F-22 is claimed by several sources to be the world's most effective air-superiority fighter. One such source is Air Marshal Angus Houston, chief of the Australian Defence Force, and former head of the Royal Australian Air Force, who said in 2004 that the "F-22 will be the most outstanding fighter plane ever built." US government secrecy makes comparisons with other aircraft difficult. Among its advantages are its sustained high speed and altitude capabilities, thrust vectoring, sensors, stealth features, advanced avionics, and ability to receive data from other U.S. systems.
Though exceptional maneuverability for a stealth aircraft seems unneeded, Lockheed Martin and the USAF decided that the Raptor should prepare for all threats. Notably, in the past, similar assumptions about the unimportance of maneuverability for the F-4 Phantom II turned out to be incorrect; the moreso for anti-aircraft systems like the SA-21 'Growler', which may be capable of detecting stealth planes since there is information exchange with neighboring radars, which observes the appropriate zone via different angles and form of signal.
In March 2005, United States Air Force Chief of Staff General John P. Jumper, then the only person to have flown both the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Raptor, gave a verbal comparison on the two aircraft. He said that "the Eurofighter is both agile and sophisticated, but is still difficult to compare to the F-22 Raptor." "They are different kinds of airplanes to start with," the general said. "It's like asking us to compare a NASCAR car with a Formula 1 car. They are both exciting in different ways, but they are designed for different levels of performance."
In early 2006, after an exercise involving just eight F-22s in Nevada in Nov. 2005, Lieutenant Colonel Jim Hecker, commander of the 27th Fighter Squadron (FS) at Langley AFB, Virginia, commented "We killed 33 F-15Cs and didn't suffer a single loss. They didn't see us at all."
In June 2006 during Exercise Northern Edge (Alaska's largest joint military training exercise), the F-22A achieved a 144-to-zero kill-to-loss ratio against F-15s, F-16s and F/A-18s simulating MiG-29 'Fulcrums', Su-30 'Flankers', and other current front line Russian aircraft, which outnumbered the F-22A 4 to 1 at times. The small F-22 force of 12 aircraft generated 49% of the total kills for the exercise, and operated with an unprecedented reliability rate of 97%.