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Officials: No 'smoking gun' uncovered but changes will make F-22 safe to fly
by Gene Rector
Feb 24, 2012 | 2076 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Although they were unable to reach a definitive conclusion or uncover a "smoking gun," officials believe the new F-22 fighter jet is safe to fly.

The Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, tasked to find answers to why Raptor pilots were experiencing oxygen deprivation, will reportedly release its conclusions to Congress on Monday.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz confirmed Thursday that no specific engineering fault had been identified with the jet's on-board oxygen-generating system.

"(But) we can ensure that adequate oxygen will be available to F-22 pilots at all altitudes and under the most demanding maneuvers," Schwartz is quoted in an Air Force Association account.

"The OBOGS won't impede pilots' physiological capability to rock and roll," Schwartz reportedly added.

On-board oxygen problems led to a five-month grounding of the premier, fifth-generation fighter last year.

The corrective actions to be covered in the Monday report -- again according to an AFA account -- will call for a backup oxygen system for the new jet along with software updates and new oxygen sensors.

The F-22's original plans called for a backup oxygen system, AFA reported, but it was later scrapped due to weight. The old system weighed 20 pounds. The new backup will be half that weight, AFA indicated.
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