Flight plan will change to cut noise of F-22A jets
The Air Force says it will change the approach flight pattern to Hickam Air Force Base to reduce any potential noise problems from the 20 F-22A Raptor combat jets that the Hawaii Air National Guard plans to fly four years from now.
F-22A RAPTOR FACTS
Type: Single-seat jet fighter
Length: 62 feet
Wingspan: 44 feet
Cost: $136 million
Power plant: Two Pratt & Whitney turbofans
Speed: Mach 1.5
Ceiling: Above 50,000 feet
Range: 1,995 miles
Source: U.S. Air Force
In the 243-page draft Environmental Assessment released yesterday, the Air Force acknowledged that "F-22A engines are more powerful and louder than F-15 engines" on the jets now flown by the pilots of the Hawaii Air Guard's 199th Squadron.
However, the Air Force said the Hawaii Air Guard "has worked with the Federal Aviation Administration to develop a landing approach which avoids the straight in pattern and reduces the potential for noise impacts off base."
Daily military aircraft operations represent only 5 percent to 6 percent of the 880 daily flights at Honolulu Airport, whose runways are jointly used by Hickam Air Force Base, the reports says.
Although the Air Force said that there will be more sonic booms when the F-22s fly over the ocean, "the altitude of F-22A training, which is generally higher than for the existing F-15s, would result in many of these sonic booms being detected as distant thunder." The 62-foot jet fighter flies at 1.5 times the speed of sound.
Daily military flight operations will increase from 53 with the F-15 jet fighters to 65 with the F-22 Raptors.
The conversion from F-15 combat jets to F-22 single-seat Raptors would generate 700 construction jobs and $37 million in direct earnings, the report said.