Did the US Air Force put a balloon sticker on the F-22 fighter jet that shot down the Chinese spy balloon?!
Take a look at the viral photo, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : US Put Chinese Balloon Sticker On F-22 Fighter Jet!
Pro-CCP netizens are either mocking or criticising the US Air Force for putting a balloon sticker on the F-22 fighter jet that shot down the Chinese spy balloon!
The U.S. F-22 fighter jet has created the current record for the highest altitude air kill: 65,000 feet. It is said that after returning, he even tattooed a pattern on the plane to commemorate the military exploits. Don’t you think it is annoying?
Well here it is the #Balloon decal 😁
Fifty cents: anti-aircraft weapon hit mosquitoes‼ ️
At 03:39 on February 5, Beijing time, an F-22 fighter jet that took off from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, USA, launched an AIM-9X worth about 400,000 US dollars at an altitude of nearly 18,000 meters (58,000 feet). The “Sidewinder” infrared-guided air-to-air missile shot down a CCP high-altitude balloon worth hundreds of dollars flying at an altitude of about 20,000 meters (65,000 feet), and the balloon wreckage then fell in the waters off the coast of South Carolina.
Recommended : Why US Shot Down Chinese Spy Balloon With Missile!
Truth : US Did Not Put Chinese Balloon Sticker On F-22 Fighter Jet!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created and propagated by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), and pro-CCP netizens, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : It Was First Official F-22 Air-to-Air Kill
First, we need to acknowledge that the shooting down of the Chinese spy balloon was officially the first air-to-air kill for the F-22 Raptor fighter jet.
Although the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor entered US Air Force service in December 2005, it has not engaged in any air-to-air combat. Its combat sorties had so far consisted of very limited bombing missions in the Middle East.
So shooting down the Chinese spy balloon was the first time the F-22 was “blooded” in air combat, albeit against an easy target that could not manoeuvre to evade, or fire back.
I mention this point because it is entirely possible and legitimate for the pilot to put a balloon sticker on his F-22 fighter jet.
Fact #2 : Viral Photo Was Edited From 2020 Photo
While it is possible that the F-22 fighter jet that shot down the Chinese spy balloon may sport a kill marking of some sort, there was no official release of any photo of such a kill marking or decal.
What I can confirm is that the viral photo was edited, by adding a white balloon sticker onto a photo originally posted by the Edwards Air Force Base on April 3, 2020.
Here is a photo comparison I created, showing the Edwards Air Force Base Facebook post, and the fake viral photo.
Fact #3 : FRANK01 Flew From Langley Air Force Base
The viral photo shows an F-22 Raptor flown by Major Brandon Burfeind from the 411th Flight Test Squadron, based out of Edwards Air Force Base in California. His F-22 fighter jet has a fuselage number 007, and the airframe number 91-4007.
The F-22 Raptor that shot down the Chinese spy balloon was flown by an unnamed pilot using the callsign FRANK01, from the Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.
While we do not know the name or rank of the FRANK01 pilot yet, his F-22 fighter jet is definitely not the same as the one shown in the viral photo, as he is based on a different USAF base in a different state.
Interesting note : The FRANK01 callsign is an apparent homage to World War I Medal of Honor recipient First Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr., who is known as the “Arizona Balloon Buster” for shooting down 14 German balloons, as well as four planes.
Fact #4 : This Is Just Chinese Propaganda
This is just another example of Chinese propaganda created by the infamous Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛), or pro-CCP netizens.
All of the wumao articles and videos that I looked at so far have proven to be false… at every instance. So please watch out for such false claims.
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.
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