Jaw-Dropping Video Shows F-22 Raptor Demo Jet Performing A Max Power Takeoff to High AOA Loop Maneuver

The high AOA loop. (Image credit: @markfingar/USAF)

This video shows how maneuverable an F-22 Raptor can be.

The F-22 Raptor Demo Team is the world’s first 5th generation dedicated combat aircraft demonstration unit and remains the only solo jet, twin-engine, vectored-thrust demonstration unit in the world. The team is based at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, and is commanded Maj. Joshua “Cabo” Gunderson, who has taken over the role of Demo Team leader from Maj. Paul “Loco” Lopez. He comes from a previous assignment at the 90th Fighter Squadron “Pair ‘O Dice” based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska and will lead between 19 and 22 members that perform functions ranging from media production, public affairs, logistics, maintenance support and flying operations.

As display or demo teams, the F-22’s Demo Team is preparing for the upcoming airshow season, although this will probably be affected by the cancellations caused by COVID-19 emergency. The video embedded below was indeed taken during a demo practice filmed by imagemaker Mark Fingar.

It shows one of the trademark maneuvers of the Raptor: the F-22 Maximum Power Takeoff to High AOA Loop. Here’s the official description of the maneuver as described in the ACC Heritage Maneuvers Package: we can’t be sure “Cabo” performed it at those exact parameters, but they should not be too different from those approved by the FAA for the 2017 season.

“Select full AB at brake release and check engine conditions on the roll. Rotate at tech order speed and begin climb. Confirm gear is retracted and the light is extinguished in the gear handle. Accelerate infull AB with a positive climb rate until approaching show center and on the 1,500’ show line. At 250 KCAS begin an aggressive pull (soft to hard stop initially) up to 75 degrees nose-high. Hold 75 degrees nose-high (water mark) and allow airspeed to slow, AOA to decrease and altitude to increase. Passing 3,000 feet AGL, smoothly bring the nose to 90 degrees nose-high and wait for 3,500 feet AGL. At 3,500 feet AGL, execute a full aft stick high AOA loop to bring the nose to 90 degrees nose-low. Hold 90degrees nose-low and accelerate. At 100 KCAS, execute a 405-degree roll to set the lift vector on a 45-degree reposition line. If 100 KCAS is not obtained prior to 2,800 feet AGL, do not execute the 405-degree roll, but rather a 45-degree roll to set the reposition line and begin recovery within parameters. Regardless of orientation, execute a 36-degree AOA recovery NLT 2,000 feet AGL and reposition for the next maneuver.”

The F-22’s maneuverability is impressive, isn’t it?

About David Cenciotti
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.