September 29 This Day During the Cold War

September 29, 1990 – The YF-22, which would later become the F-22 Raptor, flies for the first time. The Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics YF-22 was a single-seat, twin-engined prototype fighter aircraft designed for the United States Air Force (USAF). The YF-22 was a finalist in the USAF’s Advanced Tactical Fighter competition; two prototypes were built. The YF-22 won the contest against the Northrop YF-23, and entered production as the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. The YF-22 is aerodynamically similar to the F-22, but with differences in the position and design of the cockpit, tail fins and wings, and in internal structural layout. Two aircraft were built. The first YF-22 (serial number 87-0700, N22YF), with the GE YF120, was rolled out on 29 August 1990. PAV-1 first flew on 29 September 1990, taking off from Palmdale piloted by David L. Ferguson. During the 18-minute flight, PAV-1 reached a maximum speed of 250 knots (460 km/h; 290 mph) and a height of 12,500 feet (3,800 m), before landing at Edwards AFB. Following the flight, Ferguson said that the remainder of the YF-22 test program would be concentrated on “…the manoeuvrability of the aeroplane, both supersonic and subsonic”. The second YF-22 (PAV-2, s/n 87-0701, N22YX), made its maiden flight on 30 October at the hands of Tom Morgenfeld.

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