Taken on Dec. 5, 2019 the cool photo in this post shows two U.S. Air Force (USAF) Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor (F-22A 05-4084 and 05-4093) flying over Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (HI).
The two former Tyndall AFB (FL) F-22As clearly show the different colors of the used composite materials and stealthy paint.
Because of hurricane Michael (October 2018), the whole Tyndall Raptor fleet was distributed to other bases, hence the TY code.
As previously reported, an F-22 Raptor with “eroded” stealth coating on her nose was spotted last summer while being refuelled by a KC-135 Stratotanker over Syria (CLICK HERE to see the photos of the F-22 Raptor with crumbled radar-absorbing coating over Syria).
The USAF F-22 Raptors started to lose their radar-absorbing coating in 2016 while they are taking part in military operation in Syria.
The radar-absorbing coating, that hides the Raptor from radars in fact, warped and started to peel off. At the time the USAF said that one of the reasons of this problem were climatic conditions affecting the area of operations.
External factors, such as rain and sand dust, not only wrinkle and peel off the coating but also turn it into its original liquid state, John Cottam, Lockheed-Martin F-22 Program Manager, pointed out.
Actually the first problems with F-22’s radar-absorbing coating were experienced in 2009, when Raptor pilots complained that the coating easily erased from F-22’s body during contact with fuel and lubricating oil.
However Lockheed Martin developed a new, more resistant coating which is applied to all F-22s during maintenance operations.
Nevertheless as a source close to the F-22 Raptor program, who wishes to remain anonymous, said to The Aviation Geek Club that cracked coating should not compromise the plane’s stealth capabilities “Coating performance before, during and after the deployment have remained the same. As valued of an asset as the Raptor is we would have had to pause Raptor operations if an issue would cause a compromise to its capabilities. It would have been a very big deal if that was the case considering how often we are requested by not only U.S. but partners nations also.”
Photo credit: USAF
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