"This is the best fighter in the world," said the crew chief of the two F-22A Raptors that had arrived at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) Air Show Media Day. He added (with a southern twang), "This is the closest that they have ever let the general public get to the aircraft." The CNE was host to the first air show appearance outside of the U.S. of the USAF’s newest jet fighter.
"This aircraft will only be flown by the United States Air Force. Canada, and all our allies will be sold the F-35," added the crew chief.
"This is the easiest and nicest plane that I have ever flown. It also does maneuvers that no other fighter is capable of," said Major "Max" Mohr, the pilot of one of the Raptors.
"The Raptor costs $130 million," responded Mohr to a question. After a year of training he didn't seem very worried about flying something that expensive.
The F-22A Raptor's combination of stealth, supercruise (the added thrust of 35,000 lbs/engine allows it to cruise at 1.5 mach), maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities, according to the U.S. Air Force Fact Sheet.
The Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions allowing full realization of operational concepts vital to the 21st century air force.
The F-22A cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft. A combination of sensor capability, integrated avionics, situational awareness, and weapons provides first-kill opportunity against threats.
The F-22A brings stealth into the day, enabling it not only to protect itself but other assets.
The Raptor engines produce more thrust than any current fighter engine. It achieves cruise speed without using an afterburner.
The sophisticated F-22A aerodesign, advanced flight controls, thrust vectoring, and high thrust-to-weight ratio provide the capability to outmaneuver all current and projected aircraft.
The Raptor has a cannon that allows the plane to perform "Top Gun" and rockets that can eliminate the enemy before he even knows you are there in different configurations depending whether one fires air-to-air or air-to-ground.
At the air show the F-22A Raptor was the first aircraft to do a fifteen minute aeronautic display, performing maneuvers not yet seen by other aircraft. One act was the "cobra" which was first seen performed by the Soviet MIG-29 at Trenton Canadian Air Force Base, where the plane is close to stall, nose in the air then moves forward like a cobra striking. That was the simplest act of all.
Another interesting aircraft at the media event ,that also performed at the air show,was the giant C-17. Since the Canadian one was already flying on Afghanistan missions the one at the air show belonged to the USAF. It has a cargo area half the size of a football field or equal to that of three Hercules C-130's.
The show also celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the CF-18, Canada's front line fighter.
And then there was the F-22A Raptor.
F-22A makes CNE air show appearance