Thursday, August 02, 2007

F22 Raptor - Awesome


Mike Reusch, a friend who is an aeronautical engineer consultant in the defense industry sent me an email today that includes a link to some simply awesome video of the new F22 Raptor. If you are an aviation enthusiast, you will love this. Be patient, it takes a while to buffer and load, but it's worth it. You can click on the title above or here to start the video. Text of Mike's email follows:

Fast (super-cruise) and stealthy, and integrated avionics are cool, but what really impressed me was the F-22s low speed stability and maneuverability. In the late 40s and to early 60s aeronautical engineers were going nuts on how to shape intakes to handle both subsonic and super-sonic air flows, without stagnation or compressor stalls. Supersonic in itself was a big challenge because you had to use shock waves to slow the intake air mass to sub-sonic before it hit the compressor blades, or they would stall. We figured it out, but the solution was keeping a lot of air going in the front end to make sure the all hot air kept going out the back end. As I watch this Mach 2 airplane suspend motionless in air and do tail slides, I am in awe of the engines and intakes.

I used to think the Su-27 / Su-31 Cobra maneuver was the epitome of 3rd to 4th generation fighter maneuverability. That snap maneuver doesn't hold a candle to what this two-dimensional vectored-thrust fighter with fat independent horizontal stabs can do at low speed. I am sure there are far more tricks up its sleeve in the high subsonic dogfight speed range.

It [the video] is about 5 minutes long but the last 30-40 seconds are priceless. ACC [Air Combat Command for the non-Air Force folks] just approved the Raptors new DEMO profile. This was the first show. Watch the elevators of the airplane in this demo. They work independently. It also has vectored thrust.

Thanks for the email Mike.


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