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8 Amazing Things You Didn't Know About The F-22 Raptor

These 8 facts will make any pilot envious of those who fly the F-22 Raptor for a living...

1) Thrust Vectoring... 4th "Control Surface"

The Raptor is extremely agile, in part due to thrust vectoring. Unlike conventional jets, the F-22 uses vectoring nozzles in the exhaust of its two Pratt & Whitney F-119 engines to redirect thrust more than 20 degrees up and down. This is one of the reasons why it can perform maneuvers that no other comparable jet can touch.

2nd Lt. Sam Eckholm

2) The First Flight Was In 1997

After over 44,000 hours of wind tunnel testing and thousands of engineers working year-round, the Raptor's first flight was in 1997. It took over 3,500 test flights before the F-22 was operational in 2005.

2nd Lt. Sam Eckholm

3) Think Your SkyHawk Rental Is Expensive? Try $65,000+ Per Flight Hour

In 2013, TIME Magazine reported the cost per hour to operate the F-22A was $68,362. Included in the cost is the cost of ownership, engineering changes over time, fuel and maintenance costs, crew staffing, etc.

4) Each Raptor Costs $150 Millon

With a price tag of $150, you could buy a brand new Airbus A320 and SAVE $50 Million. More impressive is the estimated lifecycle cost of over $334 Million.

2nd Lt. Sam Eckholm

5) Ferry Range Of 1,800 Miles

While 1,800 miles won't get you all the way across the country, that's a pretty impressive range for a fighter aircraft. While ferrying, the airplane is equipped with two exterior fuel tanks.

Staff Sgt. Cory Bush

6) Stealth Isn't "Invisible"

While the F-22 has an impressive capability for stealth flight, it isn't entirely "invisible" to radar screens. The radar signature is somewhat comparable to the size of a bumblebee. If you look at the Raptor head-on, you'll notice that the wings and horizontal stabilizer align perfectly, reducing the overall radar signature.

2nd Lt. Sam Eckholm

7) Only Found Here, In The USA

The F-22 is one of our only fighter aircraft that will never be exported to another country. There's a ban on exporting the jet to other countries, even our allies, to protect its stealth technology.

2nd Lt. Sam Eckholm

8) The F-22 Can "Supercruise" Without Afterburners

The Raptor can fly fully loaded at Mach 1.5 without afterburner use. This is extremely unusual for fighter aircraft, considering most require afterburner to sustain Mach flight.

2nd Lt. Sam Eckholm

What else do you want to know about the F-22 Raptor? Tell us in the comments below.

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