F 22 Raptor - more expensive than gold equivalent by weight

The F 22 Raptor can rightfully be called the "aircraft of the 21st century." Its designers, apparently, managed to combine extremely high flight characteristics with the most modern electronics and the latest refinements in the field of stele technology. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, Russian fifth-generation fighters were still on the ground ...

Research into the shape of a tactical combat aircraft intended to replace the fourth-generation McDonnell-Douglas F-15 Eagle fighter began in the United States back in the 1970s. They were conducted both by scientific centers of the Air Force and by enterprises of the aviation industry. Within the framework of these purely "paper" research projects, a variety of, at times very exotic, concepts were considered, aerodynamic schemes "duck" and "triplane", forward-swept and adaptive wing, thrust vector control system, etc. At the same time, a wide range of possible types of aircraft were studied. In 1980, after the coming to power of Ronald Reagan, who set a course for the accelerated modernization of the American military potential, the work became more concrete. The convergence of the positions of the industry and the customer was facilitated by an unofficial meeting of leading specialists of aircraft manufacturers and the leadership of the Air Force, held at the Anageim airbase (California) in October 1982. In the course of the discussion, the appearance of an aircraft in the "weight category" of 27-36 tons with a range of 1100-1500 km (that is, almost like that of the Su-27) began to emerge, designed to solve two main tasks: defeat ground targets and gain superiority in air. The key requirements for it included supersonic cruising speed, low radar and thermal signature, the ability to operate from short (460 m) runways, increased maneuverability at subsonic and supersonic speeds, efficiency in long-range missile air combat.