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Old Apr 1, 2004, 07:40 PM   #1
idkew
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F 22 Raptor seen on I-80! Pictures!

Ok, maybe I am just a little too excited, but I was driving from Chicago to Iowa today, and about 2 miles before the Mississippi, I saw a disassembled F 22 Raptor on the bed of a semi. Picts below.

Picts of the F 22 in flight.

Sorry the picts aren't too great, but I was accelerating onto 80 from 88, and the semi was slowing for a weigh station.

But, this shows the scale, especially of the huge engines.
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Old Apr 1, 2004, 07:43 PM   #2
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wow that is pretty neat actually.
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Old Apr 1, 2004, 08:14 PM   #3
Sedulous
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Wow, you'd think a $300 million high tech military plane would have more security/secrecy.
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Old Apr 1, 2004, 08:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sedulous
Wow, you'd think a $300 million high tech military plane would have more security/secrecy.
Look at the state it's in. It was probably a non-flying chassis used to test structural integrity or something like that.

It doesn't even look like it was meant to ever fly. The lower wing roots look horrible and the sides are in really bad shape.

This was probably a test chassis of sorts.
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Old Apr 1, 2004, 08:32 PM   #5
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yeah- i can't figure out where it was going.

there is a huge rockwell collins plant in cedar rapids, iowa. they make radar for jets and missiles there, among other military things. there is an arsenal a few miles from where the pictures was taken, but why would it be going there?

isn't there some military stuff in nebraska?

plus- i wouldn't say it will never fly. it is possible, but this is unfinished and readied for shipping, open air shipping. i doubt much would be present beside the frame in this situation.

but why would it not be wrapped in something??? maybe it will never fly.

maybe i am supporting some espionage by posting these

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Old Apr 1, 2004, 08:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idkew
i doubt much would be present beside the frame in this situation.
Agreed. The radar is missing and the white boxes in the nose seem to be placeholders.

The HUD and most of the avionics are probably not installed (as seen from the clear shot of the nose.)

Quote:
but why would it not be wrapped in something??? maybe it will never fly.

maybe i am supporting some espionage by posting these
It might not be wrapped because there just isn't anything to hide.

Oh, and be wary of black unmarked sedans following you...you never know if this violates some law....
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Old Apr 1, 2004, 10:33 PM   #7
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That's amazing.
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Old Apr 6, 2004, 10:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idkew
plus- i wouldn't say it will never fly. it is possible, but this is unfinished and readied for shipping, open air shipping. i doubt much would be present beside the frame in this situation.
You're correct, this is not a flightworthy airframe, at least not any more. There are definite signs that this aircraft did have engines and hydraulic systems installed at one time, but have since been removed. Some panels have been replaced (or were originally fitted) to serve as contour-mimicking structures in place of dielectric and EM-transparent components.

Some of the wing-root connecting anchors appear to be sheared-off or removed and there is a decided lack of the yellow-green zinc chromate primer that is prevalent on airworthy pre-delivery (and active-duty) aircraft.

The most telling indicator in your photos is the fact that the wiring harnesses are exposed to the airstream, and even allowed to dangle out of one of the openings at the rear of the wing root. They don't do that with brand-new $90+ million aircraft.

Also, the fact that it's being moved through Iowa on a truck indicates that this is a Raptor that's left the factory and is in no hurry toward its destination. The F/A-22's are assembled start-to-finish in Marietta, Ga. and are typically delivered by air, either under their own power or in a C-5B.

Quote:
Originally Posted by idkew
But, this shows the scale, especially of the huge engines.
Yes, the F/A-22 is huge, being somewhat larger than the F-15. But the engine bays only reference the diameter of the compressor and precombustion stages - with the thrust-vectoring nozzle installed, the engines are even bigger than is indicated here.

BTW, if the engines were installed, taking a photo of them would land you in trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by job
Agreed. The radar is missing and the white boxes in the nose seem to be placeholders.
The F/A-22 doesn't have a traditional radar. It uses a 360-degree electronically phased/pulsed array. Although there is a transmitter under the radome, there are additional arrays placed throughout the structure of the aircraft. I can tell you where they are, but then both of us would be in trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by job
It might not be wrapped because there just isn't anything to hide.
Exactly. If they had anything they didn't want you to see, the would have covered it up (and there are a few locations on this airframe where they did hide sensitive structures and components). They transported it on public roads in the middle of the day on the back of a flatbed without a tarp. This pretty much says that they couldn't have cared less about who say the airframe or took photos.

Lockheed knows all about transporting aircraft structures in secret. They moved the U-2's, A-12's and the prototype SR-71 to "an undisclosed test facility in Nevada" via public roads on the back of a flatbed (in special shipping containers). And they also have access to a pair of dedicated C-5B Galaxy heavy lift aircraft for transporting components for the F/A-22, F-35 and C-130J programs. (And they have a couple of AMC C-5B's that they borrow for black world projects, too.)
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Old Apr 6, 2004, 10:44 AM   #9
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stowaway

So, if we hid away in one of those engine housings we might wind up in a place that doesn't exist, like Area 51? (Or worse.)
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Old Apr 6, 2004, 11:02 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JDar
So, if we hid away in one of those engine housings we might wind up in a place that doesn't exist, like Area 51? (Or worse.)

More like California or Merietta, GA.


The F-22 in the pictures is used for structural testing. My guess is it was either coming from or going to Edwards.
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Old Apr 13, 2004, 02:50 PM   #11
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That's pretty neat, coming across something like that on the highway... The only person I know of who saw a military jet on the highway happened to see the thing go up in a ball of flames in his rear view mirror as it crashed in the median. The pilot ejected, but it was a scary thing to see...

My guess as to what they're doing with this aircraft is that a private contractor needs to work with the plane to work on installing they're equipment, or something like that...

Or maybe somebody bought it off of e-bay...
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Old Apr 17, 2004, 02:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by idkew
isn't there some military stuff in nebraska?
Yeah. Offutt AFB, headquarters of the US Strategic Command. Which, in combination with distance from any oceans or borders, makes the Omaha area feel pretty damn secure
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Old Jun 16, 2004, 12:34 PM   #13
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Thats probably one going to be radar-return tested. They stick it up on a post and see how good it shows up on radar, to test stealth. For that, it doesn't matter if it has bad roots or missing internal pieces.
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