F-22 Raptor


Baddest Bird in the World

    Air chief marshall Angus Houston, Chief of the Australian Defence Force said that the F-22 is "....the most outstanding fighter plane ever built." And he has good reason to say that. As many of you know, the Raptor was introduced into the USAF in December of 2005, and has been shown in movies such as Transformers and Iron Man. One of the many reasons it is so popular is that it is unlike any other fighter plane ever built, and the USAF claims "the F-22A cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter." This is because the Raptor is equipped with integrated avionics, stealth capabilities, supercruise, and unparralelled maneuverability. Not to mention freakin' sweet weapons.

What are integrated avionics? What are avionics? Well, i'm not exactly sure. I tried to research it, but it was really confusing. So from what I understand, avionics are radar abilities, targeting systems, communication systems, radar jamming, and threat detection computers, to name a few. To best summarize integrated avionics, here is what one pilot said on www.dosomethingamazing.com "while nobody can see us, with all our integrated avionics, we can see them. Throw that together with supercruise....we [the raptor and I] are a very lethal combination."

Cruise speed is the speed that a jet can fly at without the use of afterburners. Afterburners leave a largely noticeable heat trail, which would leave a fighter vulnerable to radar. So, supercruise is the ability to fly at supersonic speeds (abt. +750 MPH) without having to use an afterburner. That means a Raptor pilot can fly Mach 1.5 over a target, unleash a JDAM bomb (look for a video of it, it's a crazy big explosion), and fly away without a single hint of detection. You've got to admit, that's amazing, seeing as how no other USAF fighter can do that.

How exactly does stealth come into play? Well, it would seem like it would be hard to hide the ridiculously noisy engines of a fighter jet coming towards you right