The Design of the F-22 Raptor

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The last half-century has seen more technological advances than perhaps any other 50-year period in world history. From space travel to microprocessors, the public has been given capabilities and possibilities that would have been unimaginable, let alone achievable, only two generations earlier. Though many different people have been involved in making these things possible, the military and the defense industry have always been two of the leaders in discovering and utilizing new technology.

One of the main forces driving this great leap forward in weapons technology was the Cold War with the former Soviet Union. The two sides constantly battled to produce a better weapons system, one that would make the enemy think twice before striking. This was especially true in the Air Force, as fighters became faster, more agile, and, most importantly, more lethal. In the late 1970’s, however, the United States began to fully utilize a technology that would forever alter the battle for air superiority; they had discovered the ability to hide—stealth.

However, as capable as American research and development had become, our capitalist society still fostered competition and, therefore, could divide the best engineers against each other. Instead of combining their efforts on a project, their loyalties lay with their company. As the size and scope of several of these defense projects grew, many aerospace firms began to realize that they did not have the capital to sink into the development of some of these systems. Moreover, the government began to realize that a single company could not produce as good a product as several companies could if they consolidated their efforts. Therefore, a trend has started over the last two decades of “teaming” for hightech defense projects. Two or more companies come together to combine their efforts on a project, design and manufacture a quality product, and then split and go their separate ways. Download free Organic Chemistry Supplement here

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