The first mission we’ll fly is the Take-Off training flight. This mission will introduce us to some basic F-22 systems, basic communications, taxiing, takeoff and landing. All training missions include a briefing on the required tasks and “MISSION OBJECTIVES” that define the success or failure of the mission. Surviving the mission is a prerequisite for all of the training missions.
Welcome to your new ride: the Lockheed Martin F-22! I could get all specific on you and tell you how fast, how far, how high, and all the other thousands of numbers this aircraft is capable of, but let’s just hit the high points. The main features of the F-22 include: thrust vectoring, stealth, super-cruise, and ultra-modern avionics designed to give the F-22 every advantage on the modern battlefield. We’ll cover more on the capabilities of the F-22 as our training progresses.
One small gripe here. In the non-combat training missions, I would have preferred to fly a “clean” F-22 with no ordnance. Unfortunately, the training missions do not allow you to change your load-out, so suspend your disbelief and fly your training flights with a fully armed F-22!
Climbing into the cockpit of the F-22 you can immediately tell that this is cutting edge stuff. Well, actually, it *was* cutting edge stuff in late 1990, but by modern standards the multi-tube EFIS cockpit isn’t a new concept any longer. In fact, many new business jets sport cockpits that would rival the F-22 in “gee-whiz” technology. Nevertheless, the F-22 cockpit has a very clean and functional design that presents information in a readily digestible format.