BZs Nellis 2010 - F22

Photo Gallery

There is no doubt that the F-22 Raptor reigns as the world's best fighter aircraft. It is so far ahead of the competition, it's in a league by itself! What makes the plane so superior is its stealth capabilities. Practically invisible to radar, the plane has a built in advantage over non-stealth aircraft. Even though stealth characteristics aren't very flashy, the planes' awesome acceleration, speed, and agility really impressed everyone!
- Bernard Zee

Rocketing down the length of the runway, the F-22 is quickly off the ground and retracts the landing gear.

With energy to spare, the Raptor performs an aggressive pull up with the Nellis control tower behind it.

The Raptor kept its moves close to the crowd with a very tight airshow routine. Here he is making a hard turn showing off the 2D thrust vectoring nozzles in afterburner.

The nozzles on the F-22 can point up or down by 20deg, which increases the roll rate of the plane by 50 percent - making it much more maneuverable than other fighters.

Power for the Raptor comes from a pair of Pratt and Whitney F119-PW-100 engines, capable of 70,000lbs of thrust in afterburner!

With an excellent power to weight ratio, the F-22 can sit on its tail and go straight up!

In order to maintain its stealth profile, weapons need to carried internally. This shot shows the weapon bays opening up.

There are 4 internal bays - with 2 small ones on each side, and 2 main ones below. The plane short range sidewider missiles are carried in the side bays, while the longer range AIM-120 AMRAAMs are carried in the main bays.

The plane looks very different from different angles. Not a stretch at all to say the plane is beautiful!

Accelerating very quickly, the Raptor makes a nice photo pass - with a bit of vapor on the wings as a bonus!

What's so awesome about this demo is that is the judicious use of afterburner throughout! Sounds unbelievable too!

Computer controlled fly-by-wire makes low speed, high angle of attack, and spin recovery look effortless.

Another impressive attribute of the Raptor is the ability to supercruise. That is, maintain supersonic speed without the use of afterburner. This allows the plane to cover a lot of ground quickly without wasting a lot of fuel.

The F-22 then joins up with a P-51 Mustang, F-86 Sabre, and F-4 Phantom for a most impressive Heritage Flight.

These 4 aircraft represent the pinnacle of US air force fighter dominance from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, to the present.

Amazing how quickly aviation technology has progressed. Not surprisingly, the unit costs have likewise skyrocketed!

Whereas there were over 16 thousand P-51s produced, there will be less than 200 F-22s built.

Here's the Heritage flight breaking formation.

The Sabrejet and Mustang crossing.

The F-22 Raptor comes around for another high speed pass.

Feel the heat!

Back on the ground, the F-22 takes a victory lap in front of the crowd. The Thunderbirds F-16 planes can be seen in the back.

I believe that's Major Dvid "Zeke" Skalicky giving the thumbs up! Great show Zeke!

BZ Nellis 2010 Gallery Index