One of the most state of the art airframes in existence, the F-22 Raptor is the newest addition to the fighter squadrons of the United States Military. It has its origins in the observations of the Soviet fighter aircraft Flanker and Fulcrum in tie 1980’s. The geometry of the two aircraft that the Soviet Union brought to production showed interesting advantages in vortex and lift performance. Both of the Soviet Airframes were flawed in serious ways, including being underpowered, but their basic airframes made aviation advances that were later incorporated into the F-22. The F-22 was commissioned in early 1981 as a new air superiority fighter, and it was refined into the strike ATF fighter that is now known today.
Being a pilot in the Air Force involves earning a commission as an officer in the Air Force. There are several ways to do that, but besides the Air Force Academy, most of the pilots in the Air Force come up through Air Force ROTC cadet training. As an Air Force ROTC Cadet, there are many different requirements to becoming a pilot or navigator. For each, there are stringent requirements that disqualify many people. Here are the basic requirements to becoming an F-22 Air Force pilot or F-22 Navigator:
Pilot: You must stand between 64 inches (5 foot 4 inches) and 77 inches (6 foot 5 inches) tall, and your sitting height has to be between 34 inches and 40 inches. You have to meet the existing physical conditioning, weight and height Air Force requirements, and have normal color vision. You may not have any history of asthma, hay fever or allergies after age 12. And you have to have distant vision uncorrected to 20/50 and near vision of 20/20. And you have to be able to pass a Class I Air Force Flight Physical.
Navigator: You have to again meet the physical weight and height requirements, and have normal color vision. To be an Air Force navigator you again cannot have any allergies, hay fever or asthma after 12 years of age, and you have to have distant vision of at least 20/200 but corrected to 20/20, and near vision of 20/40 but corrected to 20/20. And you must meet the same height requirements as pilots; you must stand between 64 inches (5 foot 4 inches) and 77 inches (6 foot 5 inches) tall, and sitting height of between 33 and 40 inches.