Westmoreland County International Airshow to include newest fighter jet
An F-22 Raptor, the Air Force’s newest fighter jet that combines stealth, maneuverability and integrated avionics, has been added to the lineup of the Shop ‘n Save Westmoreland County International Airshow, organizers announced Tuesday.
The Raptor, which can reach a speed of 1,520 mph, will perform tactical demonstrations at the air show on May 21-22 at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity.
“The F-22 represents the latest in aviation technology, and having it perform at our air show is a true tribute to our region,” said Gabe Monzo, executive director of the Westmoreland County Airport Authority, which organizes the event.
Monzo said he had to wait for confirmation of the booking after lining up the Raptor’s performance at a convention in Las Vegas in December.
The F-22 also will perform a “Heritage Flight” at the show and will fly in formation with a World War II-era aircraft that hasn’t been determined. Monzo said he hopes to get a P-51 Mustang fighter, which has a maximum speed of 437 mph, to perform with the Raptor.
The $150 million Raptor was developed for the Air Force Advanced Tactical Fighter program. It was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter but has additional capabilities, including ground attack, electronic warfare and signals intelligence roles, according to the Air Force.
The Raptor joins a lineup of performers highlighted by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds precision jet demonstration team and the U.S. Army Golden Parachute Team.
“Things are pointing in the right direction,” Monzo said.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or [email protected].