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Second Raptor Flies Non-stop Cross Country to Edwards

Aug. 26, 1998
Release No. 98-08-26

(Photo Gallery)
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, CALIF.-- The second F-22 off the assembly line in Georgia, Raptor 4002, flew non-stop cross country and landed at noon today on the main runway at Edwards AFB, where flight testing on the next generation air superiority fighter will continue.

Raptor 4002, the second F-22 built by Air Force contractors Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Pratt& Whitney, took off from Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Marietta, Ga. at 10:35 a.m. EST. En route, the aircraft conducted several air refueling evaluations behind a KC-135.

"The flight went exactly as planned," said Lt. Col. Steve Rainey, who piloted the aircraft on the program’s first cross-continental flight. "I’m running out of adjectives to describe the way the F-22 flies. This is the best aircraft I’ve ever flown in aerial refueling. It is an extremely stable platform and a joy to fly."

The Raptor flew at 28,000 feet and .7 Mach during the four and one-half hour flight to its new home at the F-22 Combined Test Force, here.

"We have achieved yet another milestone in the F-22 test program," said Lt. Col. C.D. Moore, commander of the F-22 CTF. "Having two aircraft at Edwards will enable us to expand the F-22 envelope much faster."

Since 4002’s first flight from Dobbins on June 29, Air Force and contractor test pilots have flown the aircraft 10 times for a total of 20 flight test hours, completing a number of test points to measure its flying qualities. Flying quality maneuvers have included bank-to-bank rolls, flight at varied engine settings and landing gear retraction and extension. Combined, the two Raptors have flown 38 sorties totaling 59.4 hours at Edwards and Marietta.

The F-22 is widely regarded as the most advanced fighter in the world, combining a revolutionary leap in technology and capability with reduced support requirements and maintenance costs. It will replace the F-15 as America’s front-line air superiority fighter, with deliveries to operational units beginning in 2002.

The F-22’s combination of stealth, integrated avionics, maneuverability and super cruise – supersonic flight without afterburner – will give Raptor pilots a first-look, first-shot, first-kill capability against the aircraft of any potential enemy. The F-22 is designed to provide not just air superiority, but air dominance, winning quickly and decisively with few U.S. and allied casualties. The F-22 also has an inherent air-to-ground capability.

A team of contractors led by Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Pratt & Whitney builds the F-22.

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