The Raptor Rocks
F-22s treat airshow fans to a maneuverability demo.
- By Linda Shiner
- Air & Space magazine, September 2006
Master Sgt. Keith Baxter, USAF
(Page 2 of 2)
He’s seen demos and videos of performances by the Russian MiG 29 and Sukhoi Su 35, and admits that their maneuverability is probably on a par with the F-22. "I can do everything they can do and vice versa," he says. "We can all do some pretty neat stuff. But I love this part of it: That’s all they have. They don’t have the stealth , they don’t have the supercruise, they don’t have the integrated sensors, the avionics. We have an aircraft that does everything a fighter pilot has ever wanted to do. It has it all—you can tell by the price tag," he says, (about $137 million per copy, or $338 million if you count in all the Air Force's research costs).
For their performance, which started at 2:40 p.m., Shower and Bergeson took off from Langley, 800 miles away, at about 1:25. "We were going slow," Shower says. "We were only doing about .9 Mach. Over the continental United States, there’s only a couple of places we’re allowed to go supersonic so we don’t scare everybody. But we did the math and figured we could be there if we supercruised in about 25 or 30 minutes."
Shower will be performing at other airshows this year: tentatively at Edwards Air Force Base on October 28 and 29 and at Nellis Air Force Base on November 11 and 12.