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Lockheed Martin F/A-22 Raptor

Lockheed Martin F/A-22 Raptor Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2005 Title Lockheed Martin F/A-22 Raptor
Author Jay Miller Publisher Aerofax
Published 2005 ISBN 1-85780-158-X
Format 128 pages, softbound MSRP (CDN) $29.95


At last. Jay Miller has been able to lift the veil of secrecy on the Air Force's newest front-line fighter - the F/A-22 Raptor. The world's most expensive fighter, the F-22 represents a significant number of technological advances in one airframe:

  • First and foremost, this is a stealth aircraft. Gone are all of those blade antennas and other protrusions that double as radar reflectors. Weapons are stored internally.
  • Second, the aircraft is aerodynamically clean - it can supercruise at Mach 1.6 without afterburner.
  • Third, this is a dogfighter. The aircraft can maneuver into realms of the flight regime that would put other fighters into deep stalls and spins. To help the aircraft through these regimes are a pair of Pratt & Whitney F119 engines with vectoring exhaust nozzles.
  • Finally, the F-22 is the most automated (computer-controlled) machine in the sky. The pilot still moves the stick, throttles and rudders, but computers manage the aerodynamics, engines, sensors, communications, countermeasures, etc. In short, if they could have spared the radar cross-section, there'd be a dome behind the cockpit representing the head of R2-D2.

Lockheed Martin F/A-22 Raptor

The aircraft is just entering service, with the first operational squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base and a new Raptor squadron trading in its Eagles at Langley AFB. Consquently, the focus of this book is on the development and overall design of the aircraft. Coverage includes:

  • The Most Advanced Fighter in the World
  • The Development of Dem/Val
  • YF-22A Flight Test Program
  • EMD and Production
  • Construction and Systems
  • Powerplant
  • YF-22A and F/A-22A Gallery

In addition to some great narrative on the development of this interesting aircraft, the author has compiled an impressive array of photos to illustrate this title. While there are a few black & white photos present, the vast majority of the images are full color. There are nice photos of the cockpit, weapons bays, weapons loads, engines and much more. While the aircraft is designed to carry everything internally, there is a single photo showing four external fuel tanks under the wings of a test rig.

If you're an military aviation enthusiast and/or scale modeler, this is another great Aerofax title to add to your library. Recommended!