Due to the reported suffering in lack of oxygen of the F-22 Raptor pilots, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has ordered the Air Force to restrict flights of its most advanced fighter jet, F-22, officials said last Tuesday, May 15, 2012. Some pilots complained of dizzy spells and blackouts but engineers have yet to figure out how to fix the problem.
The F-22 Raptor will no longer be conducting longer-range flights and would stay within the reach of their runaways to ensure the pilot could do an emergency landing, George Little, Pentagon’s Spokesman told the reporters. Under Panetta’s decision, “effective immediately, all F-22 flights will remain within the proximity of potential landing locations to enable quick recovery and landing when a pilot encounter another physiological conditions during flight.”
Panetta also advised the Air Force to assist their men in the installation of the back-up oxygen system in the F-22 planes and provide a monthly progress report on the efforts to control and fix the undiagnosed technical problem. Panetta’s officials said that the first back-up systems would be installed by December 2012.
Known as the most sophisticated fighter in the world, F-22 has yet to be deployed in combat. According to the Air Force, the F-22 flies at a higher altitude than other jets, above 50,000 feet and relies solely on pressurized oxygen instead of a mixture of oxygen under pressure and air in the cockpit. The plane is also faster and more active than older jet fighters as the pilots face more gravitational forces than in other planes.
Manufactured by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Boeing Defense, Space and Security, this stealth air superiority fighter possesses capabilities that include ground attack, electronic warfare and signals intelligence roles. According to the Air Chief Marshal, Angus Houston, former Chief of the Australian Defence Force, said in 2004 that the “F-22 will be the most outstanding fighter plane ever built.”
News Source: defencetalk.com
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