These are probably the best F-22 Raptor air-to-air images we have ever seen!

Sep 15 2015 - 14 Comments

Arctic Raptors provide Alaska Air Dominance.

The images in this post show F-22 Raptor stealth fighters belonging to the 90th FS “Pair-O-Dice,” the first F-22 squadron in Alaska, receiving its advanced aircraft in 2007.

Taken by aviation photographer John Dibbs, they were released by Lockheed Martin’s Code One magazine along with an interesting story about the Arctic Raptors based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Along with 90th and 525th FS, belonging to 3rd Wing, the 302nd FS is an Air Force Reserve Command’s associate unit that provides pilots and maintainers who fly and fix the aircraft alongside their active duty counterparts.

As the Code One article points out, not only do the pilots of the 302nd are on alert, ready to go at a moment’s notice, year-round, they are also the most experienced F-22 squadron in the USAF, with four of the eleven total Raptor pilots who have achieved the 1,000-hour milestone.

F-22 Code One 1

The Arctic Raptors “are nine hours or less flight time to almost any location in the northern hemisphere. Further, with the renewed Russian bomber activity over the last several years, the F-22s at Elmendorf are on alert twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.”

Indeed, F-22s based in Alaska have often been scrambled to intercept Russian Tu-95s in the past months.

H/T Guillaume Steuer (@G_Steuer) for the heads-up

F-22 Code One 3

Image credit: John Dibbs / Code One

 

  • USAF5MapsUK

    Nice!

    • B-Sabre

      Very. I never noticed that the AIM-9 is canted that far outboard when they expose the launch rail.

  • McPosterdoor

    Oop, your A9’s are showing, better zip that up.

  • Marco

    American flag in the cockpit… mmm I’d say “it’s still not clear whether this is a standard decoration or a pilot customization is still open to debate; for sure it doesn’t seem to be made of fire-resistant material as one should expect from almost everything inside the cockpit”

    • cencio4

      I’m not sure whether you’ve ever been in an aircraft cockpit but there are some things that are not fire-resistant, including maps.
      But unlike seat headrest covers, they are not supposed to follow the pilot once he ejects….this is the point.

      • B-Sabre

        And pilots….I’m not sure whether you’ve ever been in an aircraft cockpit but there are some things that are not fire-resistant, including maps.”
        And pilots….

      • Business traveller

        I know we´ve had this discussion before cencio4.
        But if it was up to me, those flags would be gone in an instant.
        One day, one of those fighters will have to do a sudden manouver, and the flag will fall down, and jam, or be in the way of the flight controls. And we will have the accident.

    • B-Sabre

      From the way the flags are folded, I suspect that they are meant to be “presentation flags” for somebody. Somebody (VIP, retiring officer, family member) is going to get the flag in a presentation case, with a copy of the photo and a little plaque saying that this flag flew in defense of America’s freedom on such and such date etc etc. In the Army you see (or did see) a lot of similar presentation flags marked with Baghdad, Kabul, Helmand, etc.

      At least they aren’t red-velvet lace-trimmed doilies!
      http://alert5.com/2015/08/05/cockpit-footage-from-north-korean-su-25/

    • My guess is a trinket or good luck charm of sorts. Perhaps the flag belonged to someone he knew, a relative maybe. Either way if you get close enough to see the flag A) you definitely don’t need it to know the plane’s American and B) you are probably going to win the dogfight since the pilot is sleeping.

  • B-Sabre

    “As the Code One article points out, not only do the pilots of the 302nd are on alert, ready to go at a moment’s notice…”
    Grammar fail!

  • Ed

    Well. Depending on the role of course.

    /partypooper

  • Uniform223

    The USAF has already tested Block 2 AIM-9X for the F-22. Full compatibility with the Xray wont happen until completion of increment 3.2B

    • Indeed – just need that increment to come out – man I miss the block numbers frankly.

  • JB1794

    Actually cheaper than the F-35 as well. Which is an incredible shame it got cut as this platform blows away the F-35.