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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: I hope
By AntDX316 on 9/25/2011 5:32:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thus, the difference in air to air will be with the pilot more than the plane.


I don't think it's the pilot that wins or losses an air to air fight but the missles and electronics that hit or miss each aircraft..

lots of km range missles and if they get close to each other it's the close missles that can be fired and hit it's target from any angle at close range..

imo I think it's what the pilot selects as choice to fire not how the pilot flies.. I think it's come to a point where a computer automatically picks the ideal radar/missle to use in every condition scenario..

if there isn't then.. it needs to unless the electronics computer that decides that by real-time analysis has been shot or malfunctioned then yes the pilot wins or losses an air to air fight.. but considering that situation does it from both sides.. then the one with the "automatic" system should win considering all is sophisticated to the max and technology is equivalent to each..

so superior missle hitting technology for long/medium/short range = win

plus I don't even think it would get that far.. if there really was an "air-to-air" war against nations not against rogue pilots I think nuking/airstriking/long range missle hitting on airbases would happen..

the only nations who have the best of the best fighters r the major ones.. Russia, China, US.. if there was a war.. financial and air travel for commuters would suffer serverly.. nuclear radation would happen possibly.. World War 3..


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