Oldest Raptor back in service

Anything goes, as long as it is about the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
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basher54321

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Unread post31 Aug 2018, 18:21

The U.S. Air Force has announced on 30 August that the oldest flying F-22 Raptor fighter jet, which has been on the ground for almost six years, is back in service.

The fifth-generation fighter #91-4006, which has been on the ground for almost six years, was one of the first F-22 Raptors to have avionics installed for testing and has been at the 411th FLTS since it arrived in May 2001.

https://defence-blog.com/news/oldest-fl ... rvice.html
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lrrpf52

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Unread post01 Sep 2018, 13:51

Here's the Edwards AFB article:

https://www.edwards.af.mil/News/Article ... sky-again/

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The fifth-generation fighter was one of the first F-22 Raptors to have avionics installed for testing and has been at the 411th FLTS since it arrived in May 2001.

However, in November 2012, Raptor 4006 needed costly upgrades and the decision was made to put it into storage, possibly never to fly again due to the budget sequestration at the time, according to Lt. Col. Lee Bryant, 411th FLTS commander and F-22 CTF director.

“This was a gainfully employed airplane when she was working,” said Steve Rainey, Lockheed Martin F-22 chief test pilot and member of the F-22 CTF. Rainey also emceed the ceremony.

After eventually getting approval and funding from the Air Force to overhaul the Raptor, a “purple” team of Air Force, Lockheed and Boeing personnel worked for 27 months here at Edwards to restore the jet back to flying status. This included 25,000 man-hours and almost 11,000 individual fixes/parts. The completed refurbishment extends the Raptor’s life from 2,000 flight hours to 4,000 FH and gives it newer avionics systems for testing.

Rainey was the first military F-22 Raptor pilot while in the Air Force and has worked on the Raptor program almost since its beginning. It was only fitting that the rise of the new phoenix was completed July 17 when Rainey took the newly refurbished Raptor to the sky for its “second first flight.”

Raptor 4006 is currently the oldest flying F-22. It will now be used as a flight sciences aircraft, which will be an integral part of F-22 fleet modernization.

"It increases our test fleet from three to four giving us another flight sciences jet," said Bryant. "This will help us tackle the expanding F-22 modernization program."

Brig. Gen. E. John Teichert, 412th Test Wing commander, said he has flown 4006 numerous times when was assigned to the 411th FLTS as a project pilot and later as a squadron commander.

“Our warfighter needs her back flying again,” said Teichert.

Today, the Air Force has 183 Raptors in its inventory and boasts that the F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.
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mixelflick

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Unread post01 Sep 2018, 13:55

Nice to see her return to the air..

With so few built, we need every single available airframe airworthy. Hopefully, the USAF bites on Lockheed's latest offer for a hybrid F-22/35. Speaking of which, will these Edwards test birds be spearheading that effort if it comes to pass? I'd imagine they're starting with the F-22 airframe, and building DAS/EOTS etc into it...
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lrrpf52

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Unread post01 Sep 2018, 13:59

Here's a previous forum thread on it where the plans to bring 91-4006 out of storage and upgrade her from Block 10 to Block 20 are discussed:

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=53326

Maybe we should merge the threads?
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FlightDreamz

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Unread post01 Sep 2018, 14:12

The completed refurbishment extends the Raptor’s life from 2,000 flight hours to 4,000 FH....

That doesn't seem like a lot of flight hours??!! I agree with mixelflick that we need all the F-22 Raptors that the U.S.A.F. can get (wasn't a E.M.D. F-22 rebuilt to a full combat capable earlier this year)?
Maybe room in the budget can be found to produce an updated F-22 see https://www.defenseone.com/business/201 ... ce/150943/ (maybe have Japan help produce/fund it)? But with the B-21 Raider yet to enter service, and the T-X trainer yet to be selected https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/08 ... -aircraft/
and the U.S.A.F. just canceled the J-STARS replacement! I'm not optimistic that any new production F-22s are forthcoming.
A fighter without a gun . . . is like an airplane without a wing.— Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF.
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popcorn

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Unread post01 Sep 2018, 23:26

Every Raptor Belongs in the air.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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charlielima223

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Unread post07 Sep 2018, 08:16

She's still so beautiful
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lrrpf52

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Unread post07 Sep 2018, 15:52

This is the first I've seen reference to Block 10 and Block 20 F-22As.

Does anyone have an idea of what delineates the production blocks and what tail numbers fall under different blocks? I've only seen references to avionics suite upgrades in the past. I did a search, and all the hits were F-35 or F-16, not F-22.

I was watching some simulation video of an F-22, and the speed that it is able to fly at really hits you pretty hard compared to other birds. The kinematics and g loading at high speed really are in a world of their own.

It came across to me that they really took a lot of what F-15C pilots wanted for supersonic maneuvering performance at altitude, and made that the baseline for performance and weapons release envelopes at much higher speeds.

If someone ever did some Raptor E-M diagrams, they would be way off the charts, like a MiG-25 that can pull 9g and not bleed energy since thrust vectoring is used to control pitch and roll, rather than introduce drag from the stabs.

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mixelflick

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Unread post07 Sep 2018, 16:06

Interesting you should mention the comparison to Foxbat...

Years ago I recall seeing mention of the first few Red Flag's the Raptor participated in. I don't recall who said it, but it was definitely said: "We haven't seen closure rates like this since the Foxbat and Foxhound...".

I am kicking myself for not saving that quote, but you have to believe it's accurate. Perhaps not the red lined top speeds of those 2, but supersonic closure rates nevertheless. It must be absolutely mind numbing were it not for integrated avionics, because they had to assume an enemy aircraft with supercruise too. Picture then mach 3 closure rates.

The algorithms must really be something...

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