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In the not too distant future strange craft will zoom across our skies. These are not UFOs, they’re not alien craft from another planet, these are machines developed and built by human engineers and designers. Today’s science fiction will become tomorrow’s reality. These are the aircraft of the future!
What you’re about to see is a glimpse into the future of aviation. Winged aircraft as we know them will soon be a thing of the past. Across the world designers are racing to create fantastic new aircraft that can fly humans higher, faster, and further than ever before. New military designs, airliners that can take us to the edge of space and around the planet in minutes, and new propulsion systems that will make the jet engine obsolete forever.
One casualty of this race for the future sits abandoned on an airfield, this fighter was more advanced than aircraft in service, but was already obsolete. It was the loser in the engineering competition of the century. In 1985 the United States Air Force demanded a new fighter plane, one that would incorporate the most up-to-date advances in stealth and agility. Two multibillion dollar designs by rival companies took to the air in a fight to the death. One was the Northrop YF-23, it had diamond shaped wings. The other was the Lockheed YF-22. The winner would become the backbone of the US Air Force, the loser a billion dollar pile of scrap.
A fierce fight was about to take place between the two most advanced fighter aircraft ever built. The test pilots fought to outperform each other. But after the YF-23’s wheels touched the ground it never flew again. With its greater performance and agility, the YF-22 was chosen to take the US Air Force into the next millennium. It is a truly remarkable craft, it is able to reach speeds and perform manoeuvres far beyond that of the front line fighter of the time, the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle.
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