Hampton Roads, Va. – NewsChannel 3 got a first-hand look at a F-22 Raptor as it did every maneuver in the book, preparing for this year’s Virginia Beach Patriotic Oceanfront Air Show next weekend.
“It’s always a ton of fun for me. I get out there. I’ve got a good airplane. The weather was great today. A little bit of wind but nothing we couldn’t handle,” said Capt. John Cummings, pilot of the F-22.
“No other fighter fielded today can match the stealth capabilities of the F-22. It’s not invisible, but it’s pretty close,” said Col. Kevin Huyck, Commander of the 1st Fighter Wing.
With every flip and turn of the aircraft, members of the Air Combat Command F-22 Demonstration Team showed what it can do.
“When [the pilot] comes out, he’s got his game face on. He knows that he wants to demonstrate the 5th generation, the premier fighter of the United States Air Force and show our country, our public, and also our enemies just a fraction of what this aircraft is capable of,” said Jason Kraemer, F-22 Maintenance NCOIC.
“The key mission and role of that fighter – the F-22 – is to go into contested and denied air space and hold enemy targets at risk,” said Col. Huyck.
Col. Huyck says the F-22 helps his team answer the call to combat operations anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. And a big reason the aircraft is in this year’s airshow is to let people here in Hampton Roads see that it is combat ready.
“Every time you see an F-22 flying back to base or going to the training areas, you know that every minute is spent on training. Every hour that is spent in the air is maintaining that high capability of combat readiness for our team,” said Col. Huyck.
It’s an aircraft ready for any combat mission and ready for this year’s air show, too.
The Virginia Beach Patriotic Festival Oceanfront Air Show will be from Friday, May 30 through Sunday, June 1, 2014.