Watch an F-22 Raptor Perform a Stunning High-Altitude Inverted Somersault
Video has emerged showing an F-22 Raptor performing an amazing maneuver. The aircraft, thanks to its two-dimensional thrust vectoring, high thrust-to-weight ratio, and massive control surfaces, was able to complete a belly-first somersault while at high altitude. The stunt seems to defy physics during the flip as the nose changes directions with a shocking amount of speed.
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Although the maneuver isn’t practical for modern air combat, it nonetheless demonstrates the capabilities of the Raptor when a skilled pilot is at the controls.
The F-22 has the ability to quickly change directions even at low speeds, something that could allow it to turn the tables on enemy forces should the need arise.
According to The Drive, the Raptor is equipped with the AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, though doesn’t have a helmet-mounted sight available, preventing the pilot from being able to aim the weapon at targets located far from the centerline axis of the jet.
The next generation Sidewinder is more capable, featuring longer detection ranges and a wider field of view, but the jet still has to be pointed in the general direction of the target to ensure that the missile locks on.
The majority of fighter jets in service, including those used by enemy forces, have helmet-mounted sights for higher precision aiming when using short-range air-to-air missiles.
Thanks to the F-22’s thrust vectoring, the aircraft provides a significant amount of control even when operated at high speeds and altitudes. Raptor pilots are known to reach heights of up to 60,000 feet and travel at speeds greater than Mach 1.5 as they supercruise.
The video of the somersault maneuver makes it clear that the F-22 and its pilots are highly capable and that the aircraft has a few tricks up its sleeves.
Behold the F-22 Raptor doing its raptoring thing up high. Some wild slow-speed nose pointing capability here. Read all about these types of maneuvers and why an F-22 pilot could find it useful here: https://t.co/RG8gwWYjr6 @thewarzonewire pic.twitter.com/iAPlq0ceDA
— The Drive Video (@DRIVE) March 2, 2018