Lockheed YF-22 Lightning II
The Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics YF-22 was a prototype fighter aircraft designed for the United States Air Force. The YF-22 was a finalist in the United States Air Force's Advanced Tactical Fighter competition, and examples were built. The YF-22 won the contest against the Northrop YF-23, and entered production as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. The YF-22 is similar to the F-22, but with differences in the cockpit, tail fins and wings.
Design and development
The USAF's Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program was conceived in the early 1980s, to provide a replacement for the F-15 Eagle. The Air Force issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the fighter in September 1985, then modified the RFP to include flying prototypes in the final selection. Proposals were submitted by Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed, Northrop, and McDonnell Douglas in July 1986. Lockheed and Northrop were selected in October 1986 for the demonstration phase, ending in a flyoff of prototypes. The companies had previously agreed to form the Lockheed/ General Dynamics/Boeing team and Northrop/McDonnell Douglas team.
The Lockheed team designed the YF-22 and the Northrop team designed the YF-23. Two examples of each prototype were built for the Demonstration-Validation phase: one with General Electric YF120 engines, the other with Pratt & Whitney YF119 engines.
The YF-22 first flew on 29 September 1990. Flight testing began afterwards and added the second aircraft for each competitor in late October 1990. The YF-22 with GE engines achieved Mach 1.58 in supercruise. Flight testing continued until December 1990. Following flight testing, the contractor teams submitted proposals for ATF production.
TECHNICAL NOTES (F-22A):
Armament: One 20mm M61A2 Vulcan cannon, six AIM-120C AMRAAM and two AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles in internal weapons bays, provisions for external fuel tanks and weapons on four mount points
Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100s of approx. 35,000 lbs. thrust each with afterburner (one YF-22 had General Electric F120-GE-100 turbofans, engine competition won by P&W)
Maximum speed: Approx. Mach 2.0
Service ceiling: Approx. 65,000 ft. (ATF design spec)
Span: 44 ft. 6 in.
Length: 62 ft. 1 in.
Height: 16 ft. 5 in.
Weight: 58,000 lbs. takeoff (YF-22/ATF design spec)