The first 12 F-22 Raptors are airborne with the remaining to HURRIVAC out from the Langley Air Force Base away from hurricane Irene sometime today. The U.S. Air Force granted a temporary flight waiver for experienced F-22 Raptor pilots. Today is the first time the jets are airborne since (May 2011), almost 4 months after they were grounded. The Jets were grounded because of a fault in the onboard oxygen system (OBOGS) which affected and still is affecting the entire fleet. The F-22s began leaving for Grissom ARB, Ind., around 10 a.m. Friday. They will be kept at Grissom until the storm clears and then will be authorized to fly back to Langley, weather permitting, where the grounding will once again take effect, Langley spokeswoman Monica Miller Rodgers told the Daily Report Friday morning. "This is a one-time flight authority to get out of the area affected by Irene," she said. The National Hurricane Center is predicting Irene will hit the Virginia area over the weekend, with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour.
F-22 Raptor Art- Hurrivac 2011
Image: Air Show Buzz