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Air Force pilots explain why the F-22 Raptor is a ‘beast’ in aerial combat

May 16, 2022

From the Task and Purpose website

U.S. Air Force Maj. Josh ‘Cabo’ Gunderson, F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team commander, performs during an air show in Fort Worth, Texas, Oct. 17, 2020. The F-22’s raw power and thrust vectoring technology gives the aircraft super maneuverability in the air-to-air battlespace. (1st Lt. Sam Eckholm / U.S. Air Force)

Operator’s manuals have a boring reputation, but not if they are written for one of the best fighter jets ever developed. 

Retired Air Force Col. Terry “Stretch” Scott found that out during his time flying the F-22 Raptor, the Air Force’s fifth-generation fighter designed to kick down the door of enemy air defenses. 

“The flight controls … are phenomenal,” Scott said on the Fighter Pilot Podcast in 2019. The original operator’s manual actually read “you may fly this aircraft with reckless abandon,” he recalled, and while the manual has changed since the aircraft’s first flight more than two decades ago, the spirit of the Raptor is the same as ever.

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