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F-22 to fly again  (Source: USAF)
Raptor set to fly above 50,000 as restriction lifts

The grounding of the USAF F-22 Raptor fleet has dragged on for months as the investigation into what caused issues with the onboard oxygen generation system were investigated. At this point, there is still no clear answer on what gave multiple pilots hypoxia-like symptoms during flights. Affected pilots in several instances were found to have toxins in their blood.

Last week, reports indicated that USAF chief Gen. Norton Schwartz would be 
given options to grant flight status back to the F-22 fleet. Schwartz has approved a plan that will allow the 160 F-22 aircraft in the fleet to fly above 50,000 feet according to Defense News. The Raptor has a 60,000-foot ceiling.

The life support systems will be inspected daily on all of the aircraft, and all the systems will be extensively inspected before any of the jets take to the skies. The plan also calls for F-22 pilots to undergo physiological tests and to have additional protective equipment when they fly. Exactly what the extra equipment would be is unknown.

"We now have enough insight from recent studies and investigations that a return to flight is prudent and appropriate," Schwartz said. "We're managing the risks with our aircrews, and we're continuing to study the F-22's oxygen systems and collect data to improve its performance." 

As the F-22 fleet is preparing to return to the skies, the long-delayed and over budget F-35 fighter is again 
under pressure. USAF Secretary Michael Donley pledged support to the F-35 on September 19. However, with budget cuts coming and Washington looking for everything they can find to cut costs, Donley didn’t offer answers to what functionalities on the F-35 the USAF would be willing to lose to bring the cost of the fighters down.

Donley said that it would be difficult to eliminate core functionality from the program. "There are 12 core functions in the Air Force, there are none that we can just jettison," Donley said. "Each of those core functions is performing an important mission not just for the Air Force but the joint team."

Lockheed Martin says that as of now the F-35B STOVL version of the fighter is ahead on flight testing slightly and will be heading to sea trials in the first week of October if all goes as planned. The carrier-based F-35C will start sea trials next spring according to officials.

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RE: What a waste of $$$ and time!
By Black1969ta on 9/20/2011 9:53:09 PM , Rating: 1
Are you really that much of a Drama Queen?

The Taliban and Al-Qaeda, not "Al Queda" were manufactured by the CIA in order to help take down the "Communist Threat" Only they underestimated the religion of the Middle East. They considered Iraq and Iran to be simple Children, and they just needed our money and exposure to western ways, then these "Children" would drop their old ways and adopt the ways and beliefs of the gloriously, pretentious westerners.

Turns out the religious leaders of the Middle East, are not easily swayed by the "almighty Dollar". Also turns out, that much like an American child though, when you spoil a child with money and no real direction, then suddenly have a change of heart and withdraw financial as a condition of following directions, The middle East responded just like an American Brat would, "violently"

And Us lazy Americans wonder why!

BTW I am from the American Midwest, but fall under the spell of the fallacy that Americans are any better than others.

RE: What a waste of $$$ and time!
By 91TTZ on 9/21/2011 10:08:57 AM , Rating: 2
The Taliban and Al-Qaeda, not "Al Queda" were manufactured by the CIA in order to help take down the "Communist Threat" Only they underestimated the religion of the Middle East.


The Taliban wasn't even founded until 1994, long after the communist USSR had dissolved. Also, we didn't "manufacture" any of the groups over there, but we did provide support to groups that were already fighting the USSR.

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