The interesting photo in this post shows F-22 less known older brother, the YF-22A. Actually, the YF-22A was the Raptor’s technology demonstrator. This fighter, in fact, was Lockheed Martin’s design for the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) Competition for the U.S. Air Force (USAF) where it was picked over its competitor, the Nothrop YF-23A.As we have already explained the origins of the ATF program trace back to late 1970s, when a new generation of Soviet fighters and Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) prompted the USAF to find a replacement for the F-15 Eagle air superiority fighter.The Advanced Tactical Fighter entered the Demonstration and Validation phase in 1986. The prototype aircraft (YF-22A and YF-23A) both completed their first flights in late 1990.The extensive flight tests conducted demonstrated that the YF-23A (named Black Widow II) was stealthier and faster while the YF-22A (named Lightning II) was more agile.
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