F/A-22, NEW STEALTH AIRCRAFT, TO FLY OVER ROSE BOWL.
The future of air combat is scheduled to be on display Jan. 1, when three Air Force stealth aircraft fly in formation over the Rose Parade route and before the Rose Bowl game, officials said Friday.
The F/A-22 Raptor is the latest generation of stealth aircraft - shadowy, angular planes made with composite materials and special coatings that reduce their infrared, acoustic, electromagnetic, visual and radar signatures. This year, the Raptor will join the B-2 Spirit and the F-117A Nighthawk in the New Year's Day flybys.
In addition to its improved stealth technology, the dual-engined Raptor cruises at supersonic speeds and is highly maneuverable, officials said.
``It's one bad machine,'' said Capt. Mark Gibson from the Air Force's Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base, Va. ``It's leaps ahead in its technology.''
The Raptor made its first flight in 1997 and is currently being tested at Edwards Air Force Base. The plane is projected to be combat-ready in December 2005, said Langley's Capt. Wes Ticer.
The Raptor is the Air Force's No. 1 modernization priority, Ticer said.
``It'll be the cornerstone of air dominance in any 21st-century battlefield,'' Ticer said.
The Raptor made its first flyby Wednesday, at the aviation centennial celebration in North Carolina, officials said.
On Jan. 1, the F-117A Nighthawk and F/A-22 Raptor will be flown from Edwards, and the B-2 Spirit will fly from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.
Marshall Allen, (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4461
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Dec 21, 2003|
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