posted on Nov, 4 2017 @ 12:43 PM
Since no one else seemed inclined to acknowledge the 20 years- amazing how time flies even faster than jets- since Raptor 4001 flew, I thought it was
appropriate to give a nod to the best manned fighter ever built.
A little news also seems appropriate...the USAF has passed along the estimated cost to Congress on how much money it would take to upgrade the
remaining non-combat coded Raptors. That number is around 33 or 34 units. It would include those units that are reserved for testing.
This includes HMCSs for those units!
While this is going to be down the road, it is interesting where these newly coded units would be stationed. Assuming a squadron would be retained for
training, that would leave what (?) two squadrons for potential placement elsewhere. Kadena? Lakenheath? No change?
So to celebrate this full generation length of the Raptor's existence, I invite general comments on the rocky road, both politically and technically
this amazing aircraft has endured.
My two-bits worth is that I cede reality that twenty years is long enough to discard any possibility, or frankly need for a new raptor run. More than
enough time has passed to move straight to sixth gen development. I may be slow but eventually I get it...
My last comment is this: The YF-23 was NEVER the better choice. It could have perhaps ended up the better platform or, equally possible, a worse one.
It was never faster than the YF-22, unless paper projections trump actual physical comparisons. It was a close call, though, and zero regrets on my
part selecting the 22 over the 23. JMO, though.
A magnificent airplane. One that we should all be proud of.