Grey Ghost - YF-22

Grey Ghost - YF-22

Lockheed YF-22

YF-22 "Lightning II"
Role Prototype fighter
National origin United States
Manufacturer Lockheed Corporation / Boeing /General Dynamics
First flight 29 September 1990
Primary user United States Air Force
Developed into Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

The Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics YF-22 was a prototype fighter aircraft designed for the United States Air Force. The YF-22 was a finalist in the United States Air Force'sAdvanced Tactical Fighter competition, and examples were built. The YF-22 won the contest against the Northrop YF-23, and entered production as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. The YF-22 is similar to the F-22, but with differences in the cockpit, tail fins and wings.

[edit]Design and development

The USAF's Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program was conceived in the early 1980s, to provide a replacement for the F-15 Eagle.[1] The Air Force issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the fighter in September 1985, then modified the RFP to include flying prototypes in the final selection.[2] Proposals were submitted by BoeingGeneral DynamicsLockheed,Northrop, and McDonnell Douglas in July 1986.[3] Lockheed and Northrop were selected in October 1986 for the demonstration phase, ending in a flyoff of prototypes. The companies had previously agreed to form the Lockheed/ General Dynamics/Boeing team and Northrop/McDonnell Douglas team.[4]

The Lockheed team designed the YF-22 and the Northrop team designed the YF-23. Two examples of each prototype were built for the Demonstration-Validation phase: one withGeneral Electric YF120 engines, the other with Pratt & Whitney YF119 engines.[5][6]

The YF-22 was given the unofficial name "Lightning II", after the World War II fighter P-38, by Lockheed, which persisted until the mid-1990s when the USAF officially named the aircraft "Raptor".[7] The F-35 later received the Lightning II name in 2006.[8]

The YF-22 first flew on 29 September 1990.[9] Flight testing began afterwards and added the second aircraft for each competitor in late October 1990.[10] The YF-22 with GE engines achieved Mach 1.58 in supercruise.[11] Flight testing continued until December 1990. Following flight testing, the contractor teams submitted proposals for ATF production.[10]

[edit]Aircraft on display

  • YF-22 Raptor, s/n 87-0700, is on display at the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum, Edwards Air Force BaseCalifornia.[12]
  • YF-22 Raptor, s/n 87-0701 was being used as a promotional aid during the major festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the USAF held at Nellis AFBNevada. Its current status is unknown.

[edit]Specifications (YF-22)

Note some specifications are estimated.