The flight demonstration was nothing short of spectacular! The thrust vectoring nozzles really enhance the maneuverability. Watching the flight control system work during the tail slide was mind boggling- every flight control surface was "twitching" as the F-22 started sliding backwards.
***SEE SYSTEMS OVERVIEW:
The F-22 flew twice on Sunday and joined in with the F-15 and P-51 for the "Heritage Flight". After the Heritage Flight, each aircraft does a high speed pass, breaking turn, then gear down and land. Here, the F-22 pilot still feeling the need for speed, goes into the breaking turn with the afterburners lit. We photographers never discourage the use of full afterburners! Sierra Hotel!
The Air Combat Command demonstration pilot, Major "Max" Moga, was the first pilot to be selected for the F-22 Raptor Demonstration program. At airshows, "Max" puts the F-22 through a series of maneuvers that show off the F-22 Raptor's agile handling capabilities. The Raptor's two Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines are equipped with afterburners and two dimensional thrust vectoring nozzles. The two engines develop a total of 70,000 lbs. of thrust for the 40,000 lb. airframe, allowing incredible acceleration and vertical climb performance. The vectored thrust and large control surfaces can produce maneuvers that no conventional fighter jet can perform.
The F-22 Raptor's sophisticated aerodynamics, advanced flight controls, thrust vectoring nozzles, and high thrust-to-weight ratio enable the F-22 to outmaneuver all current and projected future fighters. The F-22 Raptor can cruise at mach 1.5 without using afterburners- known as supercruise. Supercruise greatly expands the range and speed over other fighter aircraft. The F-22's airframe design and avionics suite work together rendering it invisible to the enemy. The F-22 not only can protect itself with these abilities, but other assets as well.