Learning All About The "F-15 On Steroids"
It has been called an F-15 Eagle on steroids because of its
advanced technologies. The F/A-22 Raptor, the Air Force's newest
aircraft, has gained recognition as the first stealth supersonic
fighter in the world.
The $1.5 million cockpit simulator brought to Sheppard AFB Feb.
16 to 18 gave Airmen a chance to learn more about its capabilities
and even fly it.
"You can't compare it to anything," said Jim Conlin, of Lockheed
Martin Corp., about the aircraft's revolutionary capabilities.
"It's like bringing a gun to a knife fight."
Mr. Conlin, the F/A-22 manager of customer requirements
operations for the company, said the cockpit demonstrator is the
tip of the iceberg of what is actually on the aircraft. He said
some components of the actual cockpit could not be included for
The Raptor is the first fighter that is stealthy and can fly at
supersonic speeds without igniting the afterburners. Mr. Conlin
said this allows the fighter to get to a fight faster and stay
longer because of better fuel efficiency. The aircraft is set to
cruise at Mach 1.5-plus without afterburners.
The demonstrator is somewhat like a video game, he said. That
could change the stereotype of future fighter pilots.
"I hate to admit it, but the kids who are video gamers will be
your best pilots," Mr. Conlin said.
Senior Airman Tim Sikardi of the 82nd Mission Support Squadron
said he is into flight simulator games at home, but this simulator
was nothing like he has ever encountered.
"It's just a lot more realistic," he said after his turn at the
controls. "The graphics are incredible."
Airman Sikardi said, even though people are around you, you
focus on the three-paneled screen and do not even notice the others
in the hangar.
This was a chance to see one of the newest aircraft that Airmen
will be training on in the near future, said Ron Devereaux, the
single point manager for F/A-22 avionics at the 365th Training
"We're trying to get people here at Sheppard excited about the
F/A-22 training here," he said. "That's what this is about."
(ANN salutes John Ingle, 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs,