F-22 Raptor Flight Tests Resume
by Ted Gogoll
06/06/00 06:57:42 PM U.S. EDT
Flight testing of one of the U.S. Air Force’s two F-22 Raptors resumed after a four-week delay because of tiny cracks found in the jets’ canopies. An F-22 tiger team had found hairline surface cracks, less than an inch long, under a lower area where 140 bolts attach a 190-lb. transparency to the canopy frame. But the team determined the existing canopy had enough residual strength for continued flight testing, which is being staged at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The team suspects the cracking on the next-generation fighter, which replaces the F-15, is from higher-than-expected stresses during manufacturing, assembly, and installation operations. Sierracin Sylmar Corp. built the aircraft’s canopy transparency.