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Posted 27 July 2010
Photo by SSgt. Austin M. May

An F-22 Raptor from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, hangs off the wing of a KC-135 tanker en route to the United States during a Coronet mission on 27 July 2010. Coronets are specialized aerial refueling missions designed to allow fighters to fly long distances safely. By sticking close to the tanker during the flight, the fighter pilot can regularly top off his fuel tanks to ensure the aircraft had enough fuel to reach safety in the event he has to land unexpectedly. The Raptor pilot performed at the Farnborough International airshow in mid July. The tanker is assigned to the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, England.

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