First Formal F-22 Demo:

The F-22 makes its air show flying program premier today at Andrews AFB, Md., about a year ahead of schedule. Last fall, plans called for an F-22 to merely make flybys at east coast air shows. However, Air Combat Command recently approved a “version 1.0” program, deemed ready for the public, that demonstrates some of the aircraft’s unique capabilities. The routine features a series of maximum-performance climbs, turns, flips, “tail slides,” and other maneuvers that makes use of the F-22’s extraordinary flight controls and thrust vectoring—all of which will be unfamiliar to the general public. “This is not the final version,” F-22 demo pilot Maj. Paul Moga told reporters in Washington yesterday. “But we wanted to get this out as soon as we could.” He predicted that ACC would permit more maneuvers as the 2007 season progresses. (Read more in “Raptor Puts on the Ritz.”)