Deadly F-22 Raptor Looks All Peaceful Flying Over a Blanket of Fluffy Clouds

Fighter aircraft are some of the deadliest machines ever made by humans. Designed to strike hard and fast from above, either at ground or air targets, they are so dreaded that entire defense systems had to be invented to fend them off.
F-22 Raptor over the U.S. Virgin Islands 12 photos
Photo: Lauren Kelly
F-22 Raptor over the U.S. Virgin IslandsF-22 Raptor taking off from Alaska baseF-22 Raptor taking off from HawaiiF-22 Raptor taking offF-22 Raptor over Nellis Air Force BaseF-22 RaptorF-22 RaptorF-22 RaptorF-22 RaptorF-22 RaptorF-22 Raptor
Generally speaking, fighter aircraft are also beautiful pieces of engineering, as they blend like in no other field form and function. But if there is one thing these flying weapons platforms are not, that would be peaceful.

From time to time though, some of them do get that peaceful aura, thanks to a combination of setting, timing, and proper photography equipment. And for this this pic here, all these factors came together to create an almost serene image of a war machine.

What we’re looking at is an F-22 Raptor deployed with the 325th Fighter Wing. It is seen here as it flew over the U.S. Virgin Islands back at the beginning of February, on a training mission. Below it we see no land or sea, but just a vast expanse of fluffy white, a blanket of clouds that covered the entire area at the time.

Despite being alone in this pic, the plane was not alone in the sky. Seven other F-22s were up there at the time, taking turns connecting themselves to a KC-135 Stratotanker deployed with the 507th Air Refueling Wing to get their much-needed fill.

It is probably from the Stratotanker that a Nikon camera was pointed at the fighter jet, snapping it in this incredible, Photo of the Day-worthy instance.

And there’s one other thing going for the F-22: it’s incredibly rare (just 195 of them were ever made, 9 of which test aircraft, and the U.S. Air Force is the only one using them), and any sight of it is a reason for celebration for military aircraft enthusiasts.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows other F-22s.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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