May 14, 2007 (by John Nolan) - An F-22A Raptor stealth fighter that was used in demonstration flights earlier this decade is being prepared for public display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
F-22A Raptor #91-4003 at the U.S. Air Force's Restoration Hangar.
The public will get its first chance to see the F-22A Raptor in the museum on Friday while it is being restored. The museum hopes to have the aircraft on permanent display by late July.
Responsible for managing the F-22 program, the 478th Aeronautical Systems Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base led the effort to prepare the aircraft for transfer to the museum.
The plane's status as state-of-the art technology serves as a contrast to the museum's traditional profile as steward of the Air Force's historic aircraft.
Since entering the Air Force's operational inventory in December 2005, the F-22A has been forging an impressive record in exercises and early deployments, proving its unmatched capabilities and exceeding even the lofty expectations surrounding the program.
Raptors participating in Exercise Northern Edge last June at Elmendorf AFB
, Alaska, achieved a staggering kill ratio of 144 to 0 flying against legacy fighters and recorded an impressive 97 percent mission capability rate.
The museum's Raptor was one of nine built for engineering, manufacture and development testing in 1999. Since 1998, the museum already possesses an earlier prototype model, the YF-22 which is set to be replaced by this new F-22A #91-4003
. There have been several requests that the museum keep both aircraft.