The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor of the US Air Force (USAF) is the most expensive fighter in the world, and also one of the most maneuverable.
This maneuverability is due, to a large extent, to its two-dimensional adjustable nozzles, thanks to which the F-22 can perform maneuvers that previously seemed impossible in a fighter, with very tight turns that They test the physical endurance of their pilots. Currently, the US has 183 operational F-22s between the USAF, the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve. These aircraft, known as stealth fighters due to their very low radar signature, are divided into 13 fighter squadrons and 3 evaluation squadrons.
In addition, since 2007 the USAF has had a demonstration unit, the F-22 Raptor Demo Team, consisting of an F-22 fighter currently flown by Captain Samuel "RaZZ" Larson. This unit is dedicated to making aerial displays to demonstrate the capabilities of this formidable fighter. In late April, the F-22 Raptor Demo Team was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, doing a display. This unit has published today a video of that flight, recorded from the cockpit:
Let's see some screenshots from the video. Here we see the F-22 moments after takeoff from Fort Lauderdale International Airport. Below on the right we can see the six F/A-18E Super Hornet fighters and the C-130J Super Hercules "Fat Albert" of the Blue Angels, the US Navy aerobatic patrol, which also participated in the Air Dot Show 2023 in that city in Florida.
The F-22 with a large condensation trail on its wings in a climb in front of the beaches of Fort Lauderdale. These contrails are formed due to the vacuum effect created by the pressure difference between the two sides of the wing. This vacuum generates a very low temperature that condenses water vapor in very humid atmospheres, such as that of the Florida coast.
A beautiful image of the F-22 with the coast in the background, again with a condensation trail on its wings.
One of the most striking moments of this exhibition was the launching of flares, a passive defense that airplanes carry to mislead infrared-guided missiles, that is, they look for heat sources to reach their target. aim.
You can see here a video of WL Tan's Aviation Videos (OC) recorded in this same exhibition, in which we see the F-22 from the outside:
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