Thursday, July 02, 2015

If the F-35 was a ship, it would be the SS Jimmy Carter

Living Down To Expectations ...

We’ve heard of significant shortcomings before with the fighter jet that’s supposed to be America’s future, but this is just as bad as it gets. The F-35 performed so dismally in a dogfight, that the test pilot remarked that the it had pretty much no place fighting other aircraft within visual range.

And to add insult to injury, the JSF flier discovered he couldn’t even comfortably move his head inside the radar-evading jet’s cramped cockpit. “The helmet was too large for the space inside the canopy to adequately see behind the aircraft.” That allowed the F-16 to sneak up on him.
F-35 Can't Carry Its Most Versatile Weapon Until At Least 2022
The short takeoff and vertical landing capable F-35B, which has handicapped the entire Joint Strike …
Read more
And it’s even worse than a mere maneuverability issue. At one point, the pilot’s helmet was so big he couldn’t even turn his head inside the cockpit.

That’s according to a scathing report obtained by our friends over at War Is Boring that details the results of visual range air-to-air engagement tests between an F-35A and an F-16C. The F-35, which the US Air Force, Navy, and Marines are expected to rely upon, in addition to the air arms of militaries across the world for at least the next few decades, was supposed to be better than its F-16 predecessor in all respects. [Oh, there's more....]

There will be an upsidewhen Obama sells them to Iran.
"Beautiful! Just freaking beautiful!" cuzzin ricky


leelu said...

Everyone is quoting the same article, written by an anonymous source. I don't think it's the end of the story, much less the plane's epitaph. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Teething prollems I say. Teething prollems.
ols-mo-william dds

Anonymous said...

Some follow-on traffic points out that the test was a constrained one, examining specific aspects of the F-35's performance envelope, an extreme part of the envelope in which the F-35 doesn't perform well. Also, the F-35 in the test is an early test model, not a full-up production model, and thus it's lacking some of the bells 'n whistles.

In the F-35, the pilot doesn't need to turn his head to look around. The integral head's-up display in the helmet is tied into sensors all over the airframe that can provide pilot a spherical view. This, he doesn't need to have his plane lined up and pointed at an enemy to shoot; he just "points and clicks" at what ever he needs to, at any aspect, and the plane does the rest.

Also, air-to-air is not the F-35's forte; it's air-to-ground. The F-22 is intended to clear the air, and it too has some magical sensors and pilot interface.

Finally, the guy at War is Boring has a bug up his butt about the Air Force in general, so take everything he writes with a block of salt.

Anonymous said...

Wonder how it would fare against a Harrier? New piece of crap vs. old piece of crap. Wonder if they will loose as many fleet pilots getting the bugs out as both version 1 and version 2. There was a shitload of bad blood in the Corps about that plane-Anymouse

Anonymous said...

The F-35 is over budget, behind schedule, and undercapable, a Jack of All Trades and Master of None, pushed forward in a theoretical effort to save defence dollars in the face of our military becoming a vast day care center and social engineering organization.

It's essentially designed by committee, having had input from our NATO allies, and, I think, subcontracting of some components to factories in NATO countries. IOW, a SOP to our NATO allies, most of whom have never pulled their weight to defend themselves, instead spending on social programs and government bureaucracy.

As to capability, choose stealth, range or payload. You can have one of the three. It has short legs with an internal full warload and internal fuel, external stores lose whatever stealth it had, and more internal fuel cuts the payload. If the Marines are operating from near frontline hasty airfields, it may very well do the job, but the VSTOL capability cuts into the capability the AF and Navy could have had with a dedicated platform specifically for their needs. And Close Air Support? From offshore carriers or distant airbases? Other than Marines, hahahahahaha.

FWIW, I was in a plant a few years ago that made components for the aircraft, and workers there told me they had a 75% reject rate, yet the company kept the contract and presumably made a profit. The project reeks of politics, with Congressman and NATO allies wheedling contracts for their constituencies.

The F-15 is the Eagle, the F-16 the Falcon.
How does the F-35 Committee or the F-35 Lobbyist sound?
Lt. Col. Gen. Tailgunner dick

Anonymous said...

One airframe for all three services. What could go wrong?
c.umulus n.imbusi iii

Anonymous said...

Tailgunner, your comment reminds me of the German Gewehr 1888, commonly called the "Commission Rifle." It too was designed by a committee of experts from one of the premier fighting forces in the world. It was one of the shortest-lived main battle rifles in history after news of its field failures got out. As I recall, it was quickly replaced by a rifle designed by a single guy with a small team that new what they were doing -- the Mauser Gewehr 1998.
---Another Bob

Anonymous said...

Robert Strange McNamara, that most famous of odd ducks, would be very proud.

Sir H the Comet

Anonymous said...

Rodge, I need to remain anonymous due to my work as an engineer on this program. I have been working on it since the fly-off between YF options. It is difficult to defend all aspects of the program, when those of us that are involved can't say a word. Only those outside of the program can speak, and most speak from a perspective of naivete at best. I understand that it is incredibly difficult to agree with something as expensive as this. Can we at least stop comparing a musket's stabbing ability with a bayonet against a bayoneted m4? Let everyone argue about the merits of the m4, but please stop comparing them.

Burgie said...

F-22 is a superb aircraft but the Pols needed something new. Cancelling the continued production of the F-22 in order to ramp up the F-35 will bite our butts, and it may happen sooner then we hope.


Anonymous said...

Anon: 7:11 PM
I respect you for your efforts, but IMHO, your skills and those of others on your team have been spread thin chasing a will-o-wisp. If politicians and Def Dept directed you to build the best VSTOL CAS aircraft in the world, I'd bet you'd do it well, a lot faster and cheaper than trying to make one platform do everything for everybody.
McNamara tried it in the '60's with the F-111 program, and wasted time, money and lives in the process. The navalized version and the figher versions finally fell by the wayside, and the plane ended up being a fine tactical bomber, but I can't help think focusing on just that mission would have brought it home sooner and less costly in every way. I wish you/we had that opportunity with the F-35.
Lt. Col. Gen. Tailgunner dick

Anonymous said...

Lt. Col., thank you for the kudos. I am honored to have worked with so many people that cared so much that they spent their lives' efforts working at something they felt would make a difference. It is humbling. Results are the difference though, and we all know that.
I have also been lucky enough to work (briefly) on some of the legacy systems mentioned by others. They are the tops. I could not imagine a greater crew to follow.
I do not ask for acceptance of the current admin, nor of the DoD. I only ask for skepticism of the occasional negative press that pops up.

Anonymous said...

We all know that performance and effectiveness are secondary to its role as a new platform to milk the taxpayer out of a few trillion dollars.


Ole Phat Stu said...

Even the Harrier could VIFF around corners in a dogfight, outturning anything else.
The F (F stands for Fail?) 35 can'T?

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to go into a lot of sourced garbage and write an essay. I don't really have an opinion on the F-35 program, however, something needs to be said.

This F35 was a flight test model. It doesn't have the majority of it's combat systems installed as it would in a future dog fight.

The F-16 came out in 1974, and it has had 40 years to slowly accumulate it's full arsenal of weaponry. They are still fitting these to the F-35, in a much smaller time frame. But that isn't relevant because this was a test of it's flight, not it's combat ability.


Anonymous said...

John Boyd must be doing pinwheels in his grave...

Anonymous said...

Scrap the F 35. Build more F 16s and F 22s. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

F35 wIll not be able to defeat a horde of UAVs, each manufactured at 1% of the cost.

UAVs are not limited by the design parameters necessary to keep a meat sack alive and conscious in the vehicle. They can out climb, out turn, out loiter and out-run a manned aircraft.

They can go on a suicide run and not chicken out at the last second.

T'was an entrenched pilot "union" in the pentagon that brought us that white elephant of a loser-mobile.

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