F-22 Raptor Exposes Most Vulnerable Side in Defiant Show of Confidence

F-22 Raptor shows vulnerable underside with no fear 14 photos
Photo: USAF/Staff Sgt. Donald Hudson
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In the animal world, exposing one’s belly is the supreme gesture of confidence. Seen by animals (and us humans, too) as one of the most sensitive and vital parts of their bodies, bellies are only shown when the beasts feel perfectly safe, or to show they are not feeling threatened by anyone and anything located nearby.
Likewise, the machinery we humans make are the most vulnerable in the places that could be considered their bellies. In the case of military aircraft, that would be their underside, the place from where weapons are launched and landing gears deployed.

Although airplanes fly with that part of them facing down, toward the potential onlooker, because they do so so high we don’t get to see it in great detail.

The pilot of the F-22 Raptor we have here however wanted to make sure the underside of his machine is exposed in as much detail as possible, because that’s the job: entertain people at various auto aerial across the United States and elsewhere.

The pilot is Major Joshua Gunderson, and he’s the commander of the F-22 Raptor demonstration team. This pic, recently released by the U.S. Air Force (USAF), was snapped back in early April as he was conducting a minimum radius turn as a rehearsal for Feria Internacional del Aire y del Espacio (FIDEA), South America’s largest aerospace, defense and security exhibition, held in Santiago, Chile.

A minimum radius turn is a maneuver meant to turn the airplane around in the smallest possible distance. According to some people that have witnessed the F-22 do that over the years, when properly piloted the plane can turn in as much space as a Toyota Camry needs, which is around 20 feet (6 meters).

While we can’t verify that claim, we do know such maneuvers expose the plane to curious eyes on all sides, and the detailed look this one here offers can only make us glad this is so.
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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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