Throughout the history of airplanes designed specifically to hunt and kill other airplanes, there have been some truly awe-inspiring designs. I can’t speak for the rest of you, but since the first moment I saw the Lockheed-Martin F-22 Raptor, my heart–and my breath–was stolen in spectacular fashion.
While I certainly mean no disrespect to the Mighty Mighty, the Viper, or even the Flanker family of jets designed by Sukhoi, there is just something absolutely captivating about the world’s only operational 5th-Generation fighter. I will admit to some bias, as several of my best friends fly or used to fly the Raptor.
Even so, there’s no denying the jet just looks…mean. Add fast. Then stealthy. Certainly lethal. With twin tails, twin engines, sleek and sexy lines, there’s no mistaking this jet for anything other than what it is: captivating. Then throw in the low observability, sensor fusion, and the ability to supercruise, and you’ve got yourself one incredibly sexy, badass airplane.
Disagree if you must, but the Raptor, in addition to being the sexiest, is the most lethal and feared combat aircraft in the world. And while it–yes, we know–hasn’t faced another jet in air-to-air combat, it has quickly proven itself in its first ten years of service. In case you missed that article, happy reading.