Air Force jet crashes in California

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PostWed Mar 25, 2009 8:00 pm » by Dirtyrabbit

Air Force jet crashes in California
WASHINGTON (CNN) — An Air Force F-22 crashed Wednesday near Edwards Air Force Base in California, Air Force officials said.

The single-seat fighter crashed about 10:30 a.m. (1:30 p.m. ET) for unknown reasons, the officials said.

The status of the pilot was unknown. ... alifornia/

F-22 crashes in California desert near air base

19 minutes ago

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — The Air Force says an F-22 fighter has crashed near Edwards Air Force Base in the high desert of Southern California.

Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Ann Stefanek confirmed the crash Wednesday but had no other details.

Stefanek had no information on the status of the pilot.

The F-22 is the Air Force's new top-of-the-line fighter. ... AD9757L8O0

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PostWed Mar 25, 2009 8:06 pm » by Truthsekr76

Is it me...or has there been alot of planes/jets falling from the skies lately? It seems like every other day there is news of a crash. And most of the time they crash for "unknown" reasons.

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PostWed Mar 25, 2009 8:38 pm » by Wrathofkahn

A little bit on the f-22....

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The Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation, fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology. It is primarily an air superiority fighter, but has multiple capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles.

The United States Air Force considers the F-22 a critical component of the US strike force, and claims that the F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.[1] Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, Chief of the Australian Defence Force, said in 2004 that the "F-22 will be the most outstanding fighter plane ever built."[5]

Faced with a protracted and costly development period, the aircraft was variously designated F-22 and F/A-22 during the three years before formally entering US Air Force service in December 2005, as the F-22A. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems and final assembly of the F-22. Program partner Boeing Integrated Defense Systems provides the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and all of the pilot and maintenance training systems.

* 1 Development
o 1.1 Into production
o 1.2 Procurement
o 1.3 Ban on exports
* 2 Design
o 2.1 Characteristics
o 2.2 Avionics
o 2.3 Cockpit
o 2.4 Airframe
o 2.5 Armament
o 2.6 Stealth
o 2.7 External lighting
* 3 Operational history
o 3.1 YF-22 "Lightning II"
o 3.2 F-22 Raptor to F/A-22 and back again
o 3.3 Testing
o 3.4 Recent developments
* 4 Variants
* 5 Operators
* 6 Aircraft on display
* 7 Specifications (F-22 Raptor)
* 8 Controversy
* 9 Popular culture
* 10 See also
* 11 References
o 11.1 Notes
o 11.2 Bibliography
* 12 External links

[edit] Development

In 1981 the United States Air Force (USAF) developed a requirement for a new air superiority fighter, the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF), to replace the capability of the F-15 Eagle, primarily the F-15A, B, C and D variants. ATF was a demonstration and validation program undertaken by the USAF to develop a next-generation air superiority fighter to counter emerging worldwide threats, including development and proliferation of Soviet-era Su-27 "Flanker"-class fighter aircraft. It was envisaged that the ATF would incorporate emerging technologies including advanced alloys and composite materials, advanced fly-by-wire flight control systems, higher power propulsion systems, and low-observable/stealth technology.

A request for proposal (RFP) was issued in July 1986, and two contractor teams, Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics and Northrop/McDonnell Douglas were selected in October 1986 to undertake a 50-month demonstration/validation phase, culminating in the flight test of two prototypes, the YF-22 and the YF-23.

On 23 April 1991 the USAF ended the design and test flight competition by announcing Lockheed's YF-22 as the winner. It was anticipated at the time that 650 aircraft would be ordered.[6]

[edit] Into production
The first operational F-22 Raptor is painted at the Lockheed Martin assembly plant at Marietta, Georgia

The first production F-22 was delivered to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on 14 January 2003 and "Dedicated Initial Operational Test and Evaluation" commenced on 27 October 2003. By 2004, 51 Raptors had been delivered.

The first crash of a production F-22 occurred during takeoff at Nellis Air Force Base on 20 December 2004, in which the pilot ejected safely prior to impact.[7] The crash investigation revealed that a brief interruption in power during an engine shutdown prior to flight caused a malfunction in the flight-control system;[8] consequently, the aircraft design was corrected to avoid the problem.

In August 2007, the United States Air Force signed a $5 billion, multi-year contract with Lockheed Martin that will extend production to 2011,[9] and as of 2008, F-22 Raptors are being procured at the rate of 20 per year.[4]

In a ceremony on 29 August 2007, Lockheed Martin reached its "100th F-22 Raptor" milestone, delivering AF Serial No. 05-4100.[10]

[edit] Procurement
Two F-22s during flight testing, the upper one being the first EMD F-22, "Raptor 01".

The United States Air Force originally planned to order 750 ATFs, with production beginning in 1994; however, the 1990 Major Aircraft Review altered the plan to 648 aircraft beginning in 1996. The goal changed again in 1994, when it became 442 aircraft entering service in 2003 or 2004, but a 1997 Department of Defense report put the purchase at 339. In 2003, the Air Force said that the existing congressional cost cap limited the purchase to 277. By 2006, the Pentagon said it will buy 183 aircraft, which would save $15 billion but raise the cost of each aircraft, and this plan has been de facto approved by Congress in the form of a multi-year procurement plan, which still holds open the possibility for new orders past that point. The total cost of the program by 2006 was $62 billion.[11]

In April 2006, the cost of the F-22 was assessed by the Government Accountability Office to be $361 million per aircraft. This cost reflects the F-22 total program cost, divided by the number of fighters the Air Force is programmed to buy; and which has so far invested $28 billion in the Raptor's research, development and testing. That money, referred to as a "sunk cost", is already spent and is separate from money used for future decision-making, including procuring a copy of the jet. The Unit Procurement Cost was estimated at $177.6 million in 2006 based on a production run of 181 airframes.[12] This unit cost will decrease if total production is higher. This cost includes $3.233 billion already spent on research and development by 2006.[13]

By the time all 183 fighters have been purchased, $34 billion will have been spent on actual procurement, resulting in a total program cost of $62 billion or about $339 million per aircraft. The incremental cost for one additional F-22 is around $138 million;[4] decreasing with larger volumes. If the Air Force were to buy 100 more F-22s today, the cost of each one would be less and would continue to drop with additional aircraft purchases.[11]
F-22 Raptors over Utah in their first official deployment, October 2005.

The F-22 is not the most expensive aircraft aloft. That distinction likely belongs to the roughly $1.157 billion (1998 USD) per unit B-2 Spirit,[14] whose orders went from 132 to 21 when the Cold War ended thus making the unit cost skyrocket, though the incremental cost was under US$1 billion. The F-22 uses fewer radar absorbent materials than the B-2 or F-117 Nighthawk, which is expected to translate into lower maintenance costs.

On 31 July 2007, Lockheed Martin received a multiyear contract for 60 F-22s worth a total of US$7.3 billion.[9][15] The contract brings the number of F-22s on order to 183 and extends production through 2011.[9]

During the two-month grounding of nearly 700 older F-15s in November and December 2007, some US Senators demanded that Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England release three government reports that support additional F-22 Raptors beyond the planned 183 jets.[16] The USAF has requested that the F-22 remain in production after the 183 planned fighters. This is believed to be a response to the recent grounding of F-15A-D fighters.[17]

In January 2008, the Pentagon announced that it would ask Congress for funds to buy additional F-22s to replace other aircraft lost in combat, and proposed that $497 million that would have been used to shut down the F-22 line instead be used to buy four more F-22s, keeping open the production line beyond 2011 and providing the next Presidential administration the option to buy even more F-22s.[18] The funds earmarked for the line shutdown, however, were directed by Pentagon Comptroller Tina W. Jonas on 17 December 2007, to be used to fund repairs to the F-15 fleet caused by the worldwide grounding of that aircraft in November 2007. This diversion had the same effect of postponing the decision to shut down the F-22 production line until at least 2009.[19][20] On September 24, 2008, US Congress passed a defense spending bill with funding for F-22 long lead items for future production.[21] On November 12, 2008, the Pentagon released $50 million of the $140 million approved by Congress to buy parts for an additional four planes, thus leaving the Raptor program in the hands of the incoming Obama Administration.[22] Additional funds to complete the four planes will be provided in a future war supplemental bill, which would bring the total planes procured to 187.

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