However, being able to hold my breath that long would not make me a more capable writer or engineer - the two main areas of professional expression I'm currently engaged in. I would not include "can hold breath for 2 minutes" in a resume looking for an engineering or writing job -it's just not relevant to those tasks.
So, when I hear people say that the F-22 Raptor is "the most capable aircraft ever," I have to object and ask what they mean by "most capable."
When I assess a system's capability, I'm looking at its ability to contribute to the fight. Since 2001, any system that doesn't provide capabilities we need in Iraq or Afghanistan is, by my definition, not very capable. And that's precisely the case with the Raptor. It first went operational in 2005, and it has yet to fly a combat mission in either war. It's not bringing anything (a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g) to the fight. In what sense is it, therefore, the "most capable" jet around?
To put it plainly, the F-22 does things we don't currently need to do. We may need to do them someday, although I think that's not as likely as some people do. But it is a demonstrable fact that we don't need these capabilities today... or any time soon. The SECDEF himself said the Raptor is "irrelevant" to the fights in Iraq and Afghanistan. To my mind, that makes it one of the least capable aircraft in the inventory (and that's not even factoring in its maintenance issues, low availability rates, etc). Combine that with the $65B we've spent on the thing and you can see why we've decided to not buy any more of them.
So yeah, it can hold its breath for a long time, but that capability doesn't line up with the near- or mid-term needs. What we need are aircraft that are capable of accomplishing the mission. The Raptor clearly is not. I'm not saying we should scrap the whole fleet. I'm just saying we should stop trying to paint it as the "most capable" system we've got.