Sunday, February 21, 2016

Book Review: Advanced Tactical Fighter to F-22 Raptor

David C. Aronstein, Michael J. Hirschberg and Albert C. Piccirillo
Advanced Tactical Fighter to F-22 Raptor
Reston, VA: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1998
Category: U.S. Air Force - Aircraft

Rating: 5-Stars

The F-22 set a standard for air dominance that no fighter either before, or since is likely to ever come close to approaching.  Relative to its peers, the F-22 combines superior thrust-to-weight ratio with extremely low wing loading, to deliver an advantage in acceleration, maximum speed, and turn rate, together with advantages in sensors and low observables technology.  Taken together, the F-22 dominates any opponent either existing or on the drawing board to a degree that no other air superiority platform has ever done before.

Advanced Tactical Fighter to F-22 Raptor tells the story of the F-22 from the pre-development studies, through the development phase, to the eventual fly-off between the YF-22 and YF-23.  This is the story of this remarkable airplane from the point of view of the engineering professional, with attention paid to the many trade studies and technology development programs that contributed to its eventual success.  The book chronicles the wind tunnel studies, weapons integration, engine test and development program, avionics integration, and many more elements that were part of this program.

This combination makes this book unparalleled in the retelling of the F-22 saga.  This is not a picture book, although it does include a wide number of black-and-white illustrations detailing the test schedule and design decisions that had to be made.  Rather, this is a unique look, that conveys just how vast and comprehensive a modern fighter development program is.

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