by Staff Sgt. Hillary Stonemetz
Air Force Recruiting Service
5/23/2013 - JBSA-RANDOLPH, Texas -- After
more than five years of service, one of the Air Force's mobile
marketing assets, the F-22 Raptor-themed chopper, retired and moved to
its new home in the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force located at
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Designed by the Orange County Choppers, the chopper is now on display in the museum's gift shop.
"It is one of the first artifacts seen by the 1.2 million visitors who
visit the museum annually," said Jeffery Underwood, NMUSAF historian.
"Future plans call for its display on a raised platform that will allow
visitors to view its unique features more easily."
During its service, the chopper reached millions of people through
appearances on the reality television show American Chopper and the
Military Channel, and by being displayed over 1,000 Air Force recruiting
events nationwide, according to Master Sgt. Lance Griffin, Air Force
Recruiting Service Strategic Marketing Division advertising
Griffin has been involved with the chopper project from the very beginning.
"With the popularity of the show American Chopper, we partnered with OCC
back in 2005 to build this chopper," he said. "The chopper demonstrated
how a passion for mechanics can translate into a career in the Air
The chopper toured the nation in a trailer that featured a video
documenting the chopper being built. The 150-horse power chopper sports
an F-22 Raptor custom theme complete with F-22 shaped mirrors, rims,
seat, exhaust and an aircraft themed paint scheme.
It was officially retired in 2010, and has been on display in the AFRS
Headquarters' lobby until being donated to the Air Force museum this
"The National Museum of the United States Air Force maintains a close
relationship with the Air Force Recruiting Service, and obtaining the
OCC Chopper will help us to tell the public the Air Force's story and to
educate our youth," Underwood said. "Its F-22 Raptor theme will convey
the importance of air power while assisting in teaching the principles
of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)."