Air & Space Airshow Spotter's Guide
You know how to tell a Viper from a Hornet, but does your airshow-newbie friend? Here are recognition tips, bite-size histories, specs and info links for the airplanes most likely to appear at airshows this year.
- By airspacemag.com
- AirSpaceMag.com, April 01, 2012
Illustrations by Harry Whitver
How to recognize: Twin vertical tails canted outward, broad back, gold-tinted cockpit canopy, modified delta wing.
Claim to fame at airshows: Stands on its tail, tips over backward into a loop within a box of airspace not much larger than itself, winks at the crowd by opening and closing its bomb bay doors.
Claim to fame in service: The F-22 helped demonstrate the technologies of fifth-generation fighters, with its unprecedented agility and a supercruise speed greater than Mach 1.5 without afterburner.
Mission: The Raptor is a multi-mission fighter; among its missions are intelligence gathering, surveillance, reconnaissance, and electronic attack.
Performance and specifications: The F-22 can takeoff at 83,500 pounds and fly at Mach 2 with its afterburner, and equipped with two external fuel tanks sustain a range of 1,600 nautical miles. Its two F119-PW-100 engines produce 35,000 pounds of thrust and are fitted with two-dimensional thrust nozzles, which can be positioned to help the Raptor fly tight maneuvers.
Main variants: The Raptor was produced in its original version until May of 2009, after 187 units had been completed.
FAS Raptor Page