How do the materials in the weapons bay cope with the intense temperatures of a rocket engine? In some photos you can see the flaming exhaust contacting directly with the internals of the bay. Aren't there wires in there?
As Boff180 said, there is a deflector built into the back end of the rail to prevent any damage to the internal components. A pilot told me that this was installed because on the earlier test jets there was no shield and the rocket exhaust would severely damage the wiring when a missile was fired.
If this has been asked before then a thousand pardons upon my house but....is the seeker uncaged inside or outside the bay? I always assumed the 9L/M had to see the target to get a good self-track. And is that also the case for the 9X?
9X hasn't been integrated yet AFAIK; and besides, without an IRST system, the F-22 has no choice but to hang the IR missiles out long enough for the things to get their own lock (while also taking into account which side is being used).
Nice closeup pics em745 and checksixx thanks for posting those.
I couldn't get anywhere near that close, these photo's were taken on May 25, 2012 when the F-22 was parked at MacArthur airport in Ronkonkoma, NY prior to the Jones Beach airshow that weekend (don't pay attention to the date stamp - camera got confused when I changed the battery)! @#$%!!!
But AiM-9X (once integrated into the airframe) will have Lock On After Launch correct?
F-22 Raptor side view MacArthur Airport Ronkonkoma, NY May 25, 2012
F-22 weapons bay closeup MacArthur Airport May 25, 2012
A fighter without a gun . . . is like an airplane without a wing.— Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF.
Although it's preferred, in theory ya don't...reeeeally need a helmet sight to shoot a HOBS missile. Don't know if the 9X has the same types of seeker tones as the 9L/M, but as long as the radar still has the target and the target hasn't maneuvered outside the seeker's FOV (which for the 9X is pretty dang big) then you can try to uncage and if the seeker goes to self-track, you should get a tone to tell ya that.
That said, this should not be attempted if friendlies may in the same piece of sky as your intended target.