Hobby Master HA2810 USAF Lockheed-Martin F-22 Raptor Air Dominance Fighter - 412th Test Wing, Edwards Air Force Base, California, 2013 [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 US F-22A Raptor was attached to the 412th Test Wing, then deployed to Edwards Air Force Base, California, during 2013.
Release Date: June 2014
Historical Account: "Proof by Trial" - The 412th Test Wing plans, conducts, analyzes, and reports on all flight and ground testing of aircraft, weapons systems, software and components as well as modeling and simulation for the USAF. It is also the host wing for Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. - the 2nd largest base in the Air Force. The wing oversees base day-to-day operations and provides support for over 10,000 military, federal civilian and contract personnel assigned to a 470 square mile installation. Approximately 1500 Test Wing Desert Warriors directly support the test and evaluation mission of the Air Force Test Center and the 412th Test Wing.
The wing is responsible for operating the base, including the infrastructure, communication systems, security, fire protection, transportation, supply, finance, contracting, legal services, personnel and manpower support, housing, education, chapel and quality of life programs on a 301,000-acre base in the middle of the Mojave Desert, the second largest base in the U.S. Air Force.
The 412th TW is host to over 100,000 visitors annually and supports over 25,000 dependents, retirees, and veterans. Major units within the wing include the 412th Mission Support and the 412th Medical Groups, as well the 412th Civil Engineer/Transportation Directorate, 412th Security Forces Squadron and the Services and Comptroller Divisions. Staff agencies include chaplain services, base comptroller, inspector general, manpower and organization, and military equal opportunity and public affairs.