A new video was posted on Instagram showing a U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth fighter aircraft performing a breathtaking maneuver.
The video was posted by Mark Fingar (@markfingar) and was taken at Langley Air Force Base (Joint Base Langley–Eustis) in Virginia. The F-22 belonged to the USAF Air Combat Command (ACC) F-22 Demonstration Team which performs “precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the unique capabilities of the fifth-generation fighter aircraft”.
Mark Fingar tagged F-22 Demo Team commander Maj. Joshua “Cabo” Gunderson (@cabogunderson) in the video but is not clear that he was piloting the aircraft.
The video shows clearly the movement of the aircraft’s control surfaces during the maneuvering.
According to The Aviationist’s David Cenciotti, the Raptor was performing a maneuver called the F-22 Maximum Power Takeoff to High AOA Loop.
Maneuver Description from ACC Heritage Maneuvers Package:
Select full AB at brake release and check engine conditions on the roll. Rotate at tech order speed and begin climb. Confirm gear is retracted and the light is extinguished in the gear handle. Accelerate in full AB with a positive climb rate until approaching show center and on the 1,500’ show line. At 250 KCAS begin an aggressive pull (soft to hard stop initially) up to 75 degrees nose-high. Hold 75 degrees nose-high (water mark) and allow airspeed to slow, AOA to decrease and altitude to increase. Passing 3,000 feet AGL, smoothly bring the nose to 90 degrees nose-high and wait for 3,500 feet AGL. At 3,500 feet AGL, execute a full aft stick high AOA loop to bring the nose to 90 degrees nose-low. Hold 90 degrees nose-low and accelerate. At 100 KCAS, execute a 405- degree roll to set the lift vector on a 45-degree reposition line. If 100 KCAS is not obtained prior to 2,800 feet AGL, do not execute the 405-degree roll, but rather a 45-degree roll to set the reposition line and begin recovery within parameters. Regardless of orientation, execute a 36-degree AOA recovery NLT 2,000 feet AGL and reposition for the next maneuver.
This breathtaking maneuver is possible due to the aircraft’s sophisticated aero design, advanced flight controls, thrust vectoring, and high thrust-to-weight ratio.
F-22 Demonstration Team
The F-22 Demonstration Team performs precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the unique capabilities of the fifth-generation fighter aircraft. The team also teams up with Air Force Heritage flight exhibiting the professional qualities the Air Force develops in the people who fly, maintain and support these aircraft.
The F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team is stationed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia.
In March 2007, the team participated in its debut air show at Tyndall Air Force Base. Since then, the team has performed more than 250 demonstrations across the world.
Prior to 2016, the team consisted of the pilot, safety officer, superintendent, team chief, multiple crew chiefs, and avionics specialists. Now, the team has 19 total members to include public affairs and aircrew flight equipment technicians. Together, the team visits local schools, hospitals, and participates in various community events in addition to performing aerial demonstrations.
The team kicked off their 2020 show season at the Singapore Airshow 2020.
The F-22 Raptor is the U.S. Air Force’s premier 5th generation fighter aircraft and is the world’s first operational stealth fighter aircraft (F-117 Nighthawk is an attack aircraft).
The Raptor’s combination of stealth, supercruise, extreme maneuverability, and integrated avionics represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The Raptor performs both air-to-air (A2A) and air-to-ground (A2G) missions.