Conference Takes Flight In Fighter Jet Simulation

"It's the most maneuverable. It's the stealthiest. And it's got the best integrated package that will help me so that all I've got to do is worry about the big things. And it essentially does everything for you. The hardest airplane in the world to fight would be another one of these," said former Air Force pilot and Lockheed Martin representative Dave McLelland.

The F/A-22 is power - gliding through the clouds with ease, ready to destroy anything with the push of a button.

Engineers from all over the nation, as well as the local media, were able to get a sense of that power in Lockheed Martin's F/A-22 Raptor flight simulator.

"The Raptor is a combination of some very cutting edge technologies, such as stealth, super cruise speed, extreme agility, and information technology that allows the pilot to know what's going on around him all the time," said Lockheed Martin communications manager Greg Caires.

The simulator allows a person to see what a pilot may see on a mission.

Lockheed Martin built the simulator because when the real airplane is turned on, it becomes a top secret facility with lots of classified information displayed.

This is a safe way to explain the benefits of the Raptor while showing educators ways to motivate young people to become engineers.

"The F/A-22 is a next generation fighting jet for the United States Air Force. It's gonna help shorten future wars and save lives," said Caires.

Lockheed Martin branches in Jackson and Meridian are building parts for this airplane.

There are 21 F/A-22 jets built so far.

The company says this project will bring at least 6-million dollars into the state for the next ten years.