I noticed this little hole that is right in front of the cockpit window of the F-22 Raptor. In some photos, it seems to be closed, while in other photos, it's open.

Does anyone know (or think they know) what the purpose of this hole is? Is it a ram air intake for air conditioning? Or is this classified?

Here are examples:

Closed hole: enter image description here

Open hole: enter image description here


1 Answer 1


The appearance of being closed/open is a light trick; light reflecting off the tiny transparent window of the missile launch detector.

This detector typically sees in IR and would detect the plume of a heat-seeking missile. According to Wikipedia, the model used on the F-22 is AN/AAR-56 (IR based). (There are videos available on YouTube for its output; example.)

In the below cutaway, it's label number 7. Note it says windows, so I suppose there's more than one for the different angles (after some eye strain I couldn't find another 7).

enter image description here
Source: pinterest.com

The F-35 uses the AN/AAQ-37, below are the various locations:

enter image description here
Source: daumcdn.net (Korean)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I wasn't able to find another number 7 either, but I did find a number 44, which seems to be the same thing. Thanks for sharing the detailed diagram! $\endgroup$
    – F16Falcon
    Aug 1, 2019 at 1:16

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