On December 15, 2005, the F-22 Raptor was put into production for the United States Air Force. With only 195 currently in production, the inside of the cockpit has been kept under wraps. Very few people outside of the military have seen the inside of an F-22 cockpit. Finally, after almost 15 years, the Air Force F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team released cockpit footage.
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The stealth jet, which tops out at 1,500 miles per hour, is seen ripping through the sky as the pilot, Maj. Paul ‘Loco’ Lopez, throws the stick around for a few quick maneuvers. The F-22 is a big hit at most air shows throughout the country, and Lopez is showing what the view is like from the cockpit.
It’s worth noting that pictures of the control panel of the F-22 are typically very restricted, but a few photos have found their way online, The Drive reported. This video does not show the control panel, just pilot Lopez using the stick.
There are plenty of cockpit videos from countless planes, but the F-22 resembles something out of an alien film as the canopy of the jet is rather large, giving great lines of sight to the pilot. Back in the day, the F-22 was considered high-tech with its full glass canopy, which allows it to use an all-digital display, Business Insider reported.
The F-22’s main selling point was its hand-on throttle, which allows the pilot to keep his hand on the stick while he changes velocities. The Raptor has been in circulation in 2005, but the plane’s first combat mission wasn’t until 2014, when it was used to scout out a high-valued ISIS target held up in a building in Syria, according to Military Machine.
The hope is that the Air Force will gradually loosen its restriction on F-22 cockpit videos. Just seeing what it’s like to fly one of these high-powered aircraft is awe-inspiring.
Here’s to hoping the F-22 makes it into the new “Top Gun” film that is currently in production.