This day in history, September 29, 1990, the YF-22, later known as the F-22 Raptor, takes flight for the first time.
In 1981 the U.S. Air Force developed a requirement for an Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) to replace the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon to combat the development of advanced fighters like the MiG-29.
On September 29, 1990, the YF-22 took off from Palmdale, piloted by David L. Ferguson. The flight lasted for 18 minutes and it reached a height of about 12,500 feet and reached a speed of 290 miles per hour.
The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a single-seat, twin-engine, all weather stealth tactical fighter aircraft developed for the U.S. Air Force. The result of the USAF’s Advanced Tactical Fighter program, the aircraft was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities including ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles.
Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor and is responsible for the majority of the airframe, weapon systems, and final assembly of the F-22, while program partner Boeing, provides the wings, aft fuselage, avionics integration, and training systems.