|YF-22 "Lightning II"|
|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.
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. 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. Proposals were submitted by Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed,Northrop, and McDonnell Douglas in July 1986. 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.
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.
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". The F-35 later received the Lightning II name in 2006.
The YF-22 first flew on 29 September 1990. Flight testing began afterwards and added the second aircraft for each competitor in late October 1990. The YF-22 with GE engines achieved Mach 1.58 in supercruise. Flight testing continued until December 1990. Following flight testing, the contractor teams submitted proposals for ATF production.
Aircraft on display
- YF-22 Raptor, s/n 87-0700, is on display at the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum, Edwards Air Force Base, California.
- 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 AFB, Nevada. Its current status is unknown.
Note some specifications are estimated.