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Air Frame

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1.0 Introduction

Here you can find all there is to know about the F-22 Airframe. Some images may take a bit time to load in case you are using a slow modem, but it is definitely worthwhile to wait.  Feel free to read some interviews about the F/A-22 to learn more about the airframe from the people with first hand experience.
2.0 General specifications
Weight empty 14,365 kg 31,670 lb
Max take-off weight 27,216 kg 60,000 lb
Max external stores 2270 kg 5000lb
Dimensions Wing span 13.56 m 44 ft 6 in
Tail Span 5.74 m 18 ft 10 in
Horizontal tail span 8.84 m 29 ft
Wing Area   840 sq feet
Length overall 18.90 m 62 ft 08 in
Height overall 5.08 m 16 ft 67 in
Track width 3.23 m 10.60 ft
Engine thrust class   35.000 lb
Performance Supercruise Mach 1.58  
Performance Afterburning mode Mach 1.7  
Max level speed 921 mph 800 kts
Ceiling 15,240 m 50,000 ft
G limit +9 G +9 G

3.0 Main fuselage components

The F-22 fuselage is built in 4 major parts which are manufactured by different companies. This image shows who is doing what.

- Lockheed Martin in Marietta takes care of constructing the Forward fuselage, the fins, flaps, ailerons and front-end flaps and for mating the three major fuselage components

- Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth takes care of building the Mid Fuselage. This is the largest and most complex of the F-22 assemblies. It is approximately 17 feet long, 15 feet wide, and six feet high and weighs about 8,500 pounds as shipped. Most of the wiring and tubing for the aircraft subsystems is integrated here.

- Boeing takes care of building the Aft fuselage, main wings, power supplies, auxiliary power units, auxiliary power generation systems, airframe-mounted accessory drives and the fire-protection system.

Boeing also takes care of the aircraft's environmental control system and fuel, electrical, hydraulic and engine subsystems.

A completed aft fuselage weighs 5,000 pounds and measures 19 feet long by 12 feet wide. The aft fuselage is 67 percent titanium, 22 percent aluminum and 11 percent composite by weight.

- Pratt & Whitney delivers the 2 P-119 jet engines that power the F-22.

4.0 Inner Structure

Most of the structural loads are absorbed by 5 titanium bulkheads in the middle section of the F-22 (shown black here). The largest one has a dimension of 16 ft by 6 feet, weighing 149 kg (329 lb).

The welded booms of the aft fuselage are extremely weight-efficient and reduce the use of traditional fasteners by approximately 75 percent.

5.0 Wings

The wings of the F-22 are the so-called large area clipped delta type, being efficient at high speed. The wings have large leading edge flaps, which make the aircraft capable of also being efficient at low speeds and to enable it to reach extreme Angles of Attack (AOT) of over 60 degrees.

The F-22's wings, which function as fuel tanks, have undergone a series of pressure tests to ensure they are leak proof. Boeing applied several advanced manufacturing processes to build the wings, which are made primarily of titanium and composites.

5.1 Fins

The fins are located at the back end of the plane and when viewed from the side, the large fin blocks the heat radiation of the aircrafts engine exhausts as well as any radar search scan.

The surfaces and edges are positioned on the F-22 in groups. The horizontal aileron edges are aligned parallel with the main wings, as well as the fins which are angled the same as the sloped body sides of the plane )looked at from the front)

The vertical fins contain besides the steering rudders, several antenna's and sensors, used by the avionics for target acquisition as well as communications.

5.2 Weapon bays

The F-22 is armed with 6 AIM-120C missiles, or 2 GBU-30 1000 lb JDAM bombs in the ventral bays. These are located on the bottom of the plane. 2 AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles are stored internally in the sides of the air intake ducts. The weapons bays are covered by doors, which are closed during normal flight. When an AIM-9 missile is fired, the door opens, an ejection mechanism is positioning the missiles outside the plane and the missiles is fired. The AIM-120C missile just drops from the plane and ignites its rocket when it is on a safe distance from the plane. After firing a missile, the doors close again to preserve stealth.

5.3 Landing Gear

The landing gear is a Menasco retractable tricycle type, stressed for no-flare landings of up to 3.05m/s downward speed. The nosewheel tyre measures 23.5 x 7.5-10 and the 2 mainwheel tyres measure 37 x 11.5-18.

5.4 Air inlets

The air intakes are located to the sides of the narrower part of the fighter's nose. The inner tubes, where gas and liquid flow, curves inward then upward, to cover the front part of the engine. Looking at the F-22 from the front, the face of the engine is completely invisible dramatically decreasing the chance of radar detection.

6.0 Production Technologies

The F-22 program also heralds the first application of titanium castings in the aircraft primary structure. Using an advanced process that involves subjecting castings to intense heat and pressure in an autoclave, the F-22 team was able to cast multiple complex shapes as a single high-strength titanium structure. The process avoids weight by eliminating mechanical joints and reduces material costs and machining time.

The wings are the first to contain spars produced by resin-transfer molding (RTM), an advanced process for manufacturing complex composite parts that reduces cost and improves quality and consistency. Also, the spars use a corrugated "sine-wave" design that makes them stronger and lighter than the traditional "I-beam" design.

The wings, along with the first F-22 rear fuselage, herald industry's first use of an automated, laser-guided drilling machine. Developed by Boeing, the system uses lasers with a targeting feature and automated data feedback software to guide the drill exactly to the correct location before drilling. It does so by measuring the relative position of the drill to the structure and automatically making positional adjustments. Holes are drilled to within .007-inch tolerance of engineering specifications and their location, size and depth are controlled by engineering data fed into a computer. Operated by machinists, the system drills about 7,000 holes in each wing. The holes are used for wing-skin, fairing and door attachments.

Laser-guided precision drilling eliminates expensive tooling, ensures quality and eliminates the costly rework associated with manual drilling.

Data courtesy of Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney and various public internet sources. F-22 exploded view Artwork courtesy of Mike Badrocke,


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F-22 And YF-22 Differences (Click Below):