Watch: F-22 Raptor performs mind-blowing “falling leaf” maneuver

There are few -if any- aircraft in the world’s military arsenals than can match the F-22 Raptor. Easily one of the most American things ever made, the F-22 is a fearsome fighter that can perform stunning maneuvers, sneak up on enemy aircraft undetected and help maintain American air superiority around the world- all while looking fabulous doing so.

The F-22 is capable of two-dimensional thrust vectoring, which means the pilot is capable of manipulating the direction of the engines’ thrust in order to control the attitude, pitch and roll of the aircraft. In addition, the Raptor’s sleek design and advanced control systems allow it to pull off graceful maneuvers, such as the “falling leaf”:

With components of the aircraft originating in forty-six states, the F-22’s main components are split up between three companies: Boeing, Lockheed-Martin (two branches/manufacturing plants) and of course, Pratt & Whitney.

Sexier than a pair of non-authorized Oakleys and with a Fire Iridium-colored canopy to match, the F-22 is the jet that steals the hearts of airshow attendees and strikes fear into enemy pilots all over the globe.

With a top advertised speed of  1,498 MPH, the Raptor’s performance comes at the staggering cost of $150 million per plane. While there are around 184 aircraft in inventory, there likely aren’t going to be any more in service anytime soon- the current administration has been adamant about ceasing F-22 production for nearly a decade, mostly in favor of cutting costs for the already expensive F-35 program.

Still, the Raptor remains the uncontested king of the skies, and likely will continue to do so well into the future.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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