Thursday, July 21, 2011

The F-22 Raptor

Today was a hot one, so I didn't think I was going to get outside to post some pictures. I decided to take some pictures of some more of my diecast models.

This particular aircraft is the F-22 Raptor.
Recently, it dawned on me that this aircraft has been in development for over 20 years. When I was in college, I did a presentation for our undergraduate symposium about vortex shedding. As part of my presentation, I had a model of a YF-22 that I taped some streamers behind to show vortext shedding in three dimensions. That was in 1992. So we are sitting on a 20 year old aircraft and it is barely in service.
The F-22 was developed from the YF-22 (Y is typically used to designate a prototype). The Air Force was looking for a fighter to replace the F-15 and held a competition between the YF-22 and YF-23. In 1991, the YF-22 was awarded the contract.
The F-22 has a number of differences between the YF-22. One of the main differences is that it has smaller tailfins. The F-22 had its first flight in 1997. The first production aircraft was introduced in 2005.
One of the neat things about the F-22 is that it can go supersonic without afterburners. It is also a stealth aircraft with some pretty advanced avionics. Sadly, the run will be limited to 187 aircraft as the costs overruns caught up to it. The F-35 is supposed to supplement but that one seems to have troubles too, so I don't know. We may find ourselves having to rely on over 30 year old fighters as there wont be enough replacements for the F-15's and F-16's currently in service.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good looking diecast model of the Raptor!