The US Air Force took delivery of the last F-22 Raptor todayat Lockheed Martin’s plant in Marietta, Georgia.
It was a pretty elaborate affair with all the USAF big wigslike the chief, General Norton Schwartz, Air Combat Command boss General MikeHostage, Pacific Air Forces commander General Gary North and a host of others.
Lockheed had its big wigs there too–CEO Bob Stevens,Aeronautics head Larry Lawson, and F-22 manager Jeff Babione all spoke duringthe ceremony.
And, of course, there legions of Lockheed and line USAFpersonnel–many of whom have worked on the program for decades. Which is a starkreminder that the Advanced Tactical Fighter effort originated in the early1980s.
Overall, the mood was bittersweet since the USAF ended upwith only a tiny fraction of the number of jets it wanted. 195 total–whichbreaks down into 187 production jets and 8 developmental test planes. Two havebeen lost, so the operational fleet consists of 185 jets.
Anyways, here are some pictures I took of the last jet10-4195.
My original plan was to have a full article up on the news part of thesite, but unfortunately technological glitches have scuttled that effort. So this will have to hold you guys over till the morning.