Recently released photographs show flyable Raptors departing Tyndall to Langley AFB after Hurricane ravaged the key airbase in Florida on Oct. 10, 2018.
Tyndall Air Force Base was heavily damaged earlier this month after the Category 4 storm tore through the base. As Hurricane Michael approached the base, mission capable F-22s assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing were “Hurrevaced” to Wright-Patterson AFB (and later relocated to Joint Base Langley-Eustis). According the data emerged thus far, at that time 31 percent of 55 Raptors assigned to the unit were NMC (non-mission capable) and could not be moved away. So they were sheltered in place and consequently damaged: photos of F-22s and QF-16s in Tyndall’s shredded hangars have already made the news after they started circulating social media.
After the first assessment the Air Force’s top leaders said the F-22s that had remained in Tyndall when Hurricane Michael struck were not as badly damaged as originally feared. According to the first reports, as many as 17 aircraft were possibly damaged by Michael. The Air Force has not disclosed yet how many Raptors were exactly damaged and the extent of such damages but the more recent figures point to 10 to 14 Raptors.
“Some F-22s that sustained minor damages will be moved to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, early next week to join F-22s that were previously moved there,” Military.com’s Oriana Pawlyk reported today. However, photographs released by the DoD in the last few hours show Raptors being flown out of Tyndall by pilots from the 27th Fighter Wing, Joint Base Langly-Eustis, Virginia, on Oct. 21 and 22.
Additional photographs show surviving F-22s being towed to the runway on Oct. 24.
This photograph shows five surviving F-22s and the tail numbers of three of these:
Based on these images the following F-22A were in Tydall when Hurricane Michael hit and survived it: 01-4022, 02-4031, 02-4040, 03-4044 and 04-4083.
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.
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