The F-22 Raptor's Flight Controls As Told By A USAF Test Pilot
Updated: May 20
The F-22 Raptor is the US Air Force's premier air dominance fighter and is respected around the world as being a formidable opponent in the air to air arena. This is especially true when you're facing a flight of four Raptors flown by experienced instructors and Weapons School grads. Thanks to its low observable characteristics and ability to detect aircraft, without warning the aircraft being watched, it can sneak up on opponents without them knowing. This stalking ability was demonstrated by the famous 2013 encounter between a US F-22 and an IRIAF (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force) F-4 Phantom. (Check out the article by The Aviationist describing the encounter HERE)
If the Raptor does end up merging with an opponent the pilot can leverage the F-22's almost unmatched maneuvering abilities to stay on the offensive for an AIM-9X shot that will most certainly end the dogfight. These abilities are made possible by it's high thrust F119 engines and fully digital flight control system that Lt. Col Randy "Laz" Gordon so eloquently details in this weeks installment of Aviation Around the Internet!
Lt. Col. Laz does a great job explaining the similarities and the stark differences between the flight controls of the simple Cessna 172 and the F-22 Raptor in front of MIT students at their Private Pilot ground school course. He covers topics like stealth, fly-by-wire, and touches on permanent magnetic generators used to create electrical current to power the flight control system. Super-nerds like us can learn all about these magnetic generators HERE thanks to the folks at NASA.
Slides from this presentation are available at the link below:
Check back next week as we take a ride in the mighty Viper with the US Air Force Thunderbirds!