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(Mother Jones)   The US Air Force's new fighter jets can do everything, and by everything we mean almost nothing, including fly very much   (motherjones.com) divider line 351
    More: Asinine, fighter aircrafts, flight tests, F-16, F-35, air forces, F-15E, airplanes  
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351 Comments   (+0 »)
   

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2012-05-02 11:33:00 PM  

hasty ambush: Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: hasty ambush: Vought F4U-4 'Corsair'


Why'd you bold the designation period? That's just referring to the timeframe where the Navy used to designate planes by their manufacturer and role, rather than the modern cross-service designation system....

ooops


Cool nickname for an aircraft though...
 
2012-05-02 11:34:52 PM  

Hassan Ben Sobr: [www.fleetairarmarchive.net image 640x235]

Because why the hell not-


LOL. Fairey Swordfish. Why do I know that?
 
Ehh
2012-05-02 11:40:49 PM  
Brilliant, Deep Contact.
 
2012-05-02 11:42:34 PM  
The entire program was never about delivering a working aircraft. The entire farce has been to drag out its development in order to steal as much taxpayer money as possible and put it the pocket of the .01% who keep the wars, false fear, and false threats going for as long as possible. There's gold in them thar defense contracts.
 
2012-05-02 11:42:51 PM  

hasty ambush: edmo: LivefromGA: ladyfortuna: Whether it's true or not, there goes my Lockheed Martin stock (all 4 shares of it). Thanks, jerk writers.

I am not so sure how much the market will react to Mother Jones "reporting" on military hardware.

If it ain't on FOX you don't pay attention, correct?

"When development of the F-22 began in 1981, the Air Force intended to purchase 648 aircraft at an estimated total program cost of $99.1 billion -- making it the most expensive weapons system in history. The program began to meet what was perceived as a growing threat of Soviet air power and to replace the F-15 fighter."

As you read you'll see they adjusted the "threat" to justify the airplane. The timeline stops years ago but today the boogeyman is China.


Enemabag Jones: One thing the F22 was good for was knocking enemies out of the air before the F22 was seen.

This has been the claim behind ever fighter proposal over the last 50 years.

Secret Polish Boyfriend: The B-1 was a boondoggle at inception, but did eventually become valuable/useful after a fundamental redesign for a different mission.

Actually it did just fine reincarnated as the B-1B for the deterrence mission but was damned expensive. It cost more to operate and maintain than a B-52 which had become the wishful standard that no one is every going to match.

/flew them both

Buffs Get Boned

"There are only 66 of the "Bones" (from B-One) left, and none are doing what they were designed for (flying low and fast into heavily defended enemy territory to deliver nuclear weapons). But because the B-1Bs are twenty years younger than the B-52s, they were available for duty as much as the B-52s and became particularly popular over Afghanistan, where higher speed (compared to the B-52) enabled one B-1B to cover the entire country. On a slow day, the single B-1B could hustle from one part of the country to deliver a smart bomb or two and then be off to another tense situation on the ground. This is the first sustained use ...


Actually, as someone that deals with govt.contracts, I have a fair idea as to why the costs kept going up. It has a LOT to do with BS regs that take 45 pages to describe a product that is off the shelf, but these 45 pages make you modify it just enough to meet the govt. spec so that a lot of people feel like they have accomplished something. I cannot imagine something as complicated as an aircraft with all divisions of the DOD getting their say. I am surprised it didn't cost more. OBTW, when you take development costs, add in the PITA "costs" for dealing with the govt., then have them reduce the amount of product, aircraft in this case, the costs per unit WILL GO UP. I don't have to see ANY articles on this example to understand why the "budget" ballooned.
 
2012-05-02 11:43:31 PM  

LivefromGA: whatshisname: LivefromGA: Canada could do worse...might as well let us eat the development costs. I am sure my country isn't smart enought to charge enough for them after our politicians get to drinking and kissing each others ass.

Canada's reconsidering whether they'll buy any F-35s. I think it was around $75 million x 65 planes and a total 20-year cost of $20 billion to keep the fleet going.

Sounds like a bargain! :)


Which price $9B, $14.5B or the more realistic $25B (and even that was for 20 years not the 36(!) these are supposed to last.)
The beauty of the Canadian F-35's is there stealthy cost structure.
 
2012-05-02 11:50:19 PM  

sno man: LivefromGA: whatshisname: LivefromGA: Canada could do worse...might as well let us eat the development costs. I am sure my country isn't smart enought to charge enough for them after our politicians get to drinking and kissing each others ass.

Canada's reconsidering whether they'll buy any F-35s. I think it was around $75 million x 65 planes and a total 20-year cost of $20 billion to keep the fleet going.

Sounds like a bargain! :)

Which price $9B, $14.5B or the more realistic $25B (and even that was for 20 years not the 36(!) these are supposed to last.)
The beauty of the Canadian F-35's is there stealthy cost structure.


I guess I made a poor attempt at a joke. Our politicians are no better if not worse. Have a good night.
 
2012-05-02 11:58:39 PM  

LivefromGA: sno man: LivefromGA: whatshisname: LivefromGA: Canada could do worse...might as well let us eat the development costs. I am sure my country isn't smart enought to charge enough for them after our politicians get to drinking and kissing each others ass.

Canada's reconsidering whether they'll buy any F-35s. I think it was around $75 million x 65 planes and a total 20-year cost of $20 billion to keep the fleet going.

Sounds like a bargain! :)

Which price $9B, $14.5B or the more realistic $25B (and even that was for 20 years not the 36(!) these are supposed to last.)
The beauty of the Canadian F-35's is there stealthy cost structure.

I guess I made a poor attempt at a joke. Our politicians are no better if not worse. Have a good night.


Sorry my snark detector has been off for a few days, and together with the Harper GovernmentTM going out of their way to muddy the waters on this... anyway, you also have a good night.
 
2012-05-03 12:01:51 AM  

Huggermugger: Clemkadidlefark: I call shenanigans. On source and reportage

Right, because anything printed in Mother Jones is a commie lie, but anything broadcast on Fox News is the God's Honest Unvarnished TROOF!

/"but they wouldn't let Fox say it if'n it warnt true?!?"


No sir.

That, too is a common reaction.

A lesson Farkers have learned is that articles appear in the media for a reason less and less having to do with driving eyeballs to advertisers. Those reasons span the gamut of purposes. I call *bullshiat* on source - as in Foreign Policy and LA Times - because neither have skin in this game. Our military. These are observers without actual seat time, or an ass on the line.

That's the first thing you should have questioned. Why this article? Why now? Quis Bono?

Yes, we are told "interviews" were conducted both on-record and off, but anytime I see one of these stories about how great it would be if we threw away a weapons system, 99.999% of the time what that article is, is a cleverly manipulated PR jab to kill one program in favor of another. Limited $$$ for War Department spending means many and sundry interests are trying to knock each other's nuts out of the saddle so they can step in and get the $$$ that would have been spent. It's cutthroat and dirty and done every day heedless of our nation's actual military needs and safety capabilities.

This is not to say I trust the Pentagon to do the right thing with Budgets, R&D allocations, not to waste taxpayer dollars on boondoggles, etc. I don't.

But neither do I trust articles such as these with a flagrant bias. Again, why this article? Why now?

It also helps to have read other articles in which current pilots are ga-ga over the plane's capabilities vs. our current stable of aging air wings.

Do I automatically believe the pilot's enthusiastic reports more than "jesus, what a brick" articles? No. No Farker would.

The whole reason we here are gathered is to mock the News. Because, in my opinion, most Farkers are developing a keen sense of vectoring in on the ever elusive truth by winnowing the wheat from the chaff in articles ... how to pick out the essential facts and mock the fluff. The short of it, we're onto them, in a big way.

The LA Times are Kibble-whiffed idiots who couldn't manage to pistol whip a corpse. Foreign Policy also whiffs more than a few, in this Farker's estimation and that mag was started by two gentlemen with polar opposite political views which means, to me, an attempt to find a reasonable 'middle ground". Especially on thorny issues like Morals, Character and Intellectual Courage. So, on issues of fact rather than theory, I generally cast a jaundiced eye their direction. If they can't for something, chances are they'll fall for anything.

Plus, as a former magazine editor responsible for seven monthly industry rags (in a publishing house with 72 mastheads) I can smell a "Pay To Play" article a mile away. Pay the publisher in some manner to get your hit piece printed and in circulation. It's a forbidden practice in responsible journalism and done just about every 30 seconds in reality.

Thus, I call shenanigans.
 
2012-05-03 12:16:22 AM  
repeat repeat repeat repeat.
 
2012-05-03 12:16:50 AM  

hasty ambush: Gleeman: hasty ambush: The F4U-4 IMHO was ther best all around prop fighter of WWII.

Well, except for it being so dangerous operated from a carrier that the Navy gave it to the Marines.

My personal favorite WW2 fighter (techical factors aside) is this under-appreciated little bird:

[www.jontanis.com image 640x371]

The Royal Navy and the USMC did operate them from carriers and the USMC used it during Korea War were one shot down a Mig-15.


After they got the bugs worked out, and the RN had to come up with special landing approaches even then. Not saying it was a bad plane, just that it didn't work out for it's original intended use.


upload.wikimedia.org
Fighter with the best kill ratio in all of WW2. Suck it haters!
 
2012-05-03 12:21:42 AM  

WhyteRaven74: The F-35 has turned into a mess? F-111 engineers not surprised.


CSB, I actually know one of the F-111 engineers. The F-111 was actually cutting edge for its day being the first sweep wing aircraft. In his opinion, the biggest downfall was the side by side seating in the cockpit that gave neither pilot nor copilot a full view of the sky.
 
2012-05-03 12:22:55 AM  
Don't you know that war is only good for fattening up monopsonists and boosting politicians power?
 
2012-05-03 12:27:05 AM  

AcneVulgaris: We have enough nukes to kill everyone several times. We could have airplanes made out of nerf and nobody would dare invade us.


Our military hasn't been about stopping an invasion on our soil for a looooong time.
 
2012-05-03 12:28:20 AM  

BigBooper: Isn't that the problem? The F-35 is supposed to replace damn near every aircraft in the military.


So it's essentially the "printer/scanner/fax machine" of the military?
 
2012-05-03 12:36:40 AM  
Well here's your problem...
farm1.staticflickr.com
 
2012-05-03 12:38:03 AM  

fusillade762: AcneVulgaris: We have enough nukes to kill everyone several times. We could have airplanes made out of nerf and nobody would dare invade us.

Our military hasn't been about stopping an invasion on our soil for a looooong time.


Pretty much 200 years by my count since you were... Way before planes, for the historically challenged...
 
2012-05-03 12:38:26 AM  

rocketpants: Riothamus: rocketpants: Riothamus: Happy Hours: spcMike: Oznog: The SR71 Blackbird would be easy to criticize too. I mean, such a piece of junk, it leaks fuel all over the runway because it can't seal its own airframe when cold. It lacks the technology of a $10 jerry can. So a person could readily conclude it's an ill-designed piece of junk that was never designed to actually be USED.

The leaks are actually meant to be in there as the heat generated by the aircraft in flight causes the fuel tank to expand. Without the holes in the tank it would've over pressurized and burst.

But lets not bring engineering into this.

sounds like they didn't. I would think engineering would overcome such a problem without having it leak fuel.

PV=nRT

kthxbai

I hope you're not referencing the ideal gas law to describe the behavior of a liquid.

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 400x259]

Have you ever boiled a covered pot of water before? The gas (OMG CONVERTED FROM A LIQUID) will find a way out.


And this relates to the SR-71 fuel leakage how...?

Anyway, the gas law doesn't apply to the water until AFTER it's boiled.


Are you serious?

You know what will boil things really goddamned fast? Accelerating it to 2000+ mph!
 
2012-05-03 12:39:34 AM  

WhyteRaven74: Silverstaff: The total failure of the Maginot line was the embodiment of this failed strategy.

The Maginot Line failed because there were gaps in it. Can't hold off anyone when your fortification has a gap in it, doesn't matter what tactics they use.


Blame Belgium. If France had only given them the finger and fortified their border, they would have been in a much better position to face the thrust through the Ardennes.
 
2012-05-03 12:42:21 AM  
Clearly these guys are part of the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
 
2012-05-03 12:51:40 AM  

Clemkadidlefark: flagrant bias


Sounds like the only flagrant bias is you, with no actual facts but walls of gibber jabber text ranting and raving like a Glen Beck lunatic.
 
2012-05-03 01:10:44 AM  
 
2012-05-03 01:32:22 AM  

Gleeman: lazyguineapig33: in conclusion, USAAF did well because of numbers, not because of great planes. and that is a fact.

From the numbers you posted, the Butcher Bird's only advantage is in climb rate. And none of those numbers reflect maneuverability, the most important factor in a fighter:


He also neglected to point out that the Mustang had to fly 500 miles to the fight. The German fighters only had to get up to the bombers altitude. Once they were at altitude, the Mustang had the advantage from the lower wing loading.

The Mustang was a great fighter because it was equal to or better than almost everything that the opposition had, and because it had the legs needed to escort bombers to Berlin. The FW190 D9 was a stopgap measure with an overstressed engine that was designed to carry as much firepower as possible to altitude.

I love the p51 because it fit the army air corps strategy of the time perfectly. On topic, the f35 does not have a specific task that it is being designed for, so it does all of them somewhat poorly.

That said, I think that the networking capabilities the -35 has are it's largest advantage. We don't know what the next conflict that we will use our aircraft in will be, but I am absolutely sure that battlefield information is going to be a critical part of our strategy.

In a fight against a technologically advanced enemy, I am sure that our drones are going to have serious issues with electronic warfare, and we are going to need some platform that can operate in a harsh ECM environment. The F35 is not great, but the issues I have are with the cost, not the platform.
 
2012-05-03 01:45:56 AM  

The WindowLicker: Gleeman: lazyguineapig33: in conclusion, USAAF did well because of numbers, not because of great planes. and that is a fact.

From the numbers you posted, the Butcher Bird's only advantage is in climb rate. And none of those numbers reflect maneuverability, the most important factor in a fighter:

He also neglected to point out that the Mustang had to fly 500 miles to the fight. The German fighters only had to get up to the bombers altitude. Once they were at altitude, the Mustang had the advantage from the lower wing loading.

The Mustang was a great fighter because it was equal to or better than almost everything that the opposition had, and because it had the legs needed to escort bombers to Berlin. The FW190 D9 was a stopgap measure with an overstressed engine that was designed to carry as much firepower as possible to altitude.

I love the p51 because it fit the army air corps strategy of the time perfectly. On topic, the f35 does not have a specific task that it is being designed for, so it does all of them somewhat poorly.

That said, I think that the networking capabilities the -35 has are it's largest advantage. We don't know what the next conflict that we will use our aircraft in will be, but I am absolutely sure that battlefield information is going to be a critical part of our strategy.

In a fight against a technologically advanced enemy, I am sure that our drones are going to have serious issues with electronic warfare, and we are going to need some platform that can operate in a harsh ECM environment. The F35 is not great, but the issues I have are with the cost, not the platform.


This is exactly what I don't get about the F35. If its networking/ECM suite is so great, why don't we just put it on our current fighters? Can they not be retrofitted?
 
2012-05-03 01:54:13 AM  

Clemkadidlefark: Yes, we are told "interviews" were conducted both on-record and off, but anytime I see one of these stories about how great it would be if we threw away a weapons system, 99.999% of the time what that article is, is a cleverly manipulated PR jab to kill one program in favor of another. Limited $$$ for War Department spending means many and sundry interests are trying to knock each other's nuts out of the saddle so they can step in and get the $$$ that would have been spent. It's cutthroat and dirty and done every day heedless of our nation's actual military needs and safety capabilities.


This.

There is a lot of gear in the military that is a direct result of pressure applied by lobbyists without regard to actual military needs.

That is why I particularly like the Osprey. It clearly fits into the Marine Corps mission and long term strategic plan. It does stuff that no other aircraft can do, and it does them well.

Of course, people biatch about it not having features that none of the other aircraft it replaces have (like a turret), but those folks tend to be selling something...

Even with the occasional crashes, it is a good aircraft. As an active duty Marine, I would rather ride into combat in a V22 than a CH46. I don't however, want to ride into combat carrying a bunch of crappy gear made by the lowest bidder who has convinced congress that we need another round of "protective equipment."
 
2012-05-03 01:55:32 AM  

Clemkadidlefark: Thus, I call shenanigans.


You missed the most important part! You didn't answer! Quis Bono?
 
2012-05-03 02:15:51 AM  
How about we scrap the whole thing (just one plane) and give thousands of people the vital care they need for free for the next 20 years?

No?

Ok back to killing each other then.
 
2012-05-03 02:24:31 AM  

Don Bigles: TeddyRooseveltsMustache: Warbirds thread!

[www.asisbiz.com image 640x434]

[www.richard-seaman.com image 640x460]

[members.quicknet.nl image 640x480]

[www.richard-seaman.com image 640x460]

I see your warbirds, and raise you the most beautiful plane ever built.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x458]

/love me some Spitfires


Spitfires would also be way cheaper to build.
 
2012-05-03 03:26:29 AM  

TheBigJerk: MBrady: So, don't blame the defense contractor, blame the USAF for their clusterfark.

Oh I think there's MORE than enough blame to heap on both. AF generals needing their own pet projects, often to put on their resume to get a job with the contractors later. Contractors promising things they'll have to up the price on later. Sales guys promising everything and tech guys having to kludge together something that is "technically" correct with the requirements (best kind of correct!) because they aren't paid enough to bend the laws of physics. (Though ironically the sales guys are paid that much) And the politicians, oh the politicians. Gotta have us a shiatty engine built in an Indiana factory because fark design specs or the laws of physics, there's kickbacks to collect and votes to buy!

Publikwerks:


These guys are the future, not the F-35

But they're not as coooool!!!!111one

Actually there is the issue of hacking/jamming drones. Drones should (and likely will) serve a larger role as time goes on, but a human brain is still the most robust computer platform for an ever-changing and evolving battlefield.

Though the concept of drones controlled by larger planes and the inevitable comparison to the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier come to mind rather rapidly...


Screw you loser, why you gotta hate on Indiana for no reason?
 
2012-05-03 03:37:48 AM  

The WindowLicker: Clemkadidlefark: Yes, we are told "interviews" were conducted both on-record and off, but anytime I see one of these stories about how great it would be if we threw away a weapons system, 99.999% of the time what that article is, is a cleverly manipulated PR jab to kill one program in favor of another. Limited $$$ for War Department spending means many and sundry interests are trying to knock each other's nuts out of the saddle so they can step in and get the $$$ that would have been spent. It's cutthroat and dirty and done every day heedless of our nation's actual military needs and safety capabilities.

This.

There is a lot of gear in the military that is a direct result of pressure applied by lobbyists without regard to actual military needs.

That is why I particularly like the Osprey. It clearly fits into the Marine Corps mission and long term strategic plan. It does stuff that no other aircraft can do, and it does them well.

Of course, people biatch about it not having features that none of the other aircraft it replaces have (like a turret), but those folks tend to be selling something...

Even with the occasional crashes, it is a good aircraft. As an active duty Marine, I would rather ride into combat in a V22 than a CH46. I don't however, want to ride into combat carrying a bunch of crappy gear made by the lowest bidder who has convinced congress that we need another round of "protective equipment."


The Osprey is already obsolete. The new wave of the future is the Mighty Bug. It is a Volkswagen Beetle with wings, tail fin, and mini jet engine mounted on the top. The wings, tail fin, and jet engine are all detachable with lower-power explosive bolts. The Might Bug is carried and launched by the catapult on aircraft carriers and it is designed to hold a 4-man fire team. The team gets in the Bug, it is wheeled to the catapult, and then launched. The driver/pilot kicks in the jet engine and flies to their destination. Once they touch down the wings, tail fin, and mini jet engine are detached. The "heavy gunner" in the back seat pops the hatch and mounts his SAW or M60 on the mount used to hold the jet engine.

Estimated range will be 2,000 miles with a top speed of Mach .75. Estimated cost: $20,000 for Beetle, plus $12,000 for attachments.

Mud Bug Variant is for use solely on land. The wings, tail fin, and jet engine are not attached. The jet engine mount is used to carry any number of missile systems as well as the soon to be reintroduced Davey Crocket nuclear capable recoilless rifle.

The wave of the future is not VTOLs. It is JCMV (Jet-Capable Motorized Vehicles).
 
2012-05-03 04:33:20 AM  
What do you mean, "almost nothing?" They're great at sucking money out of the taxpayers' pockets and putting it into the pockets of the defense contractors.

Mission accomplished.
 
2012-05-03 04:39:32 AM  
And next year, the Best Korean edition of Fark will be making jokes about US planes and Photoshop.
 
2012-05-03 04:41:23 AM  
The problem is the economy. We have police everywhere, video cameras grabbing our license numbers, emails collected and crunched, cell phones monitored, buying habits algorithmed, faces grabbed in facial recognition software -- arguably 5% of this is needed and the rest is just a drag on the economy. Bush sold us a bill of goods creating the DoHS too. Why do we need it? The real source of national security is the money, the economy, to out-engineer, out-R&D opponents. That takes money and education. Police and surveillance are important, but don't ask them to design the replacement to the F-15, or even the weapon they holster. Country has been going down the shiatter since 9/11, thanks to Bush's dishonest response to it, Congress' support of same (Patriot Acts), and voters re-electing him.
 
2012-05-03 06:17:42 AM  

Mock26: The Osprey is already obsolete. The new wave of the future is the Mighty Bug. It is a Volkswagen Beetle with wings, tail fin, and mini jet engine mounted on the top. The wings, tail fin, and jet engine are all detachable with lower-power explosive bolts. The Might Bug is carried and launched by the catapult on aircraft carriers and it is designed to hold a 4-man fire team. The team gets in the Bug, it is wheeled to the catapult, and then launched. The driver/pilot kicks in the jet engine and flies to their destination. Once they touch down the wings, tail fin, and mini jet engine are detached. The "heavy gunner" in the back seat pops the hatch and mounts his SAW or M60 on the mount used to hold the jet engine.

Estimated range will be 2,000 miles with a top speed of Mach .75. Estimated cost: $20,000 for Beetle, plus $12,000 for attachments.

Mud Bug Variant is for use solely on land. The wings, tail fin, and jet engine are not attached. The jet engine mount is used to carry any number of missile systems as well as the soon to be reintroduced Davey Crocket nuclear capable recoilless rifle.

The wave of the future is not VTOLs. It is JCMV (Jet-Capable Motorized Vehicles).


psykotech.com
What their infantry weapon will look like?
 
2012-05-03 07:35:38 AM  

WhyteRaven74: Fish in a Barrel: . Revolutionary designs like that tend to kill a lot of people during development.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x426]

The Bell XV-3, first flight 1955, continued being flown until 1966.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x487]

Bell XV-15, first flight 1977, flew until 2003.

Two of each were built, and in each case one was damaged yet in both cases the pilots were only injured and in the case of the XV-15 the incident was due a loose bolt, not anything to do with the actual design. And it was the success of the XV-15 that lead to the V-22 program.


These two words should not appear so close together.
 
2012-05-03 07:53:38 AM  

studebaker hoch: Meanwhile, in Russia

/yikes


I agree; if Jeremy Clarkson is now flying for Russia, we are doomed.
 
2012-05-03 07:53:40 AM  

umad: Does the Pentagon Still Know How to Build Airplanes?

Actually, the Pentagon never did know how to build airplanes. They contract it out.

/TMYK


They don't build airplanes...they just collect them.

/hey-oh
 
2012-05-03 07:57:26 AM  

LivefromGA: Actually, as someone that deals with govt.contracts, I have a fair idea as to why the costs kept going up. It has a LOT to do with BS regs that take 45 pages to describe a product that is off the shelf, but these 45 pages make you modify it just enough to meet the govt. spec so that a lot of people feel like they have accomplished something. I cannot imagine something as complicated as an aircraft with all divisions of the DOD getting their say. I am surprised it didn't cost more. OBTW, when you take development costs, add in the PITA "costs" for dealing with the govt., then have them reduce the amount of product, aircraft in this case, the costs per unit WILL GO UP. I don't have to see ANY articles on this example to understand why the "budget" ballooned.


The regs are loved by large companies because of the way that fee is handled on government contracts. You want as large a cost as humanly possible, because that's how you make your money. Reducing the regs won't really do anything significant to prices since the entire point of cost analysis is purely cost reasonableness...and you can justify nearly anything.

The terrible state of the DCAA/DCMA are only exacerbating this; they're constantly outplayed at their own game.
 
2012-05-03 08:06:14 AM  
Silverstaff:

*sigh* This article is long on judgement and short on facts. First of all, it doesn't matter if 80% of flight testing remains to be completed. What matters is how the flight testing is going. The linked article about the F35 within this article also cites the F117 shoot down which is a completely asinine argument against stealth because:
1) The incident happened because the Serbs knew we were coming and due to the terrain we had to fly through a particular part of the sky. Everyone who actually knows anything about stealth knows its not about complete radar invisibility but reduced detection, so that part of the article shouldn't surprise anyone and is just a red herring. They through up enough radar to cook an egg and followed it with enough lead to walk on and voila, you get your shoot down. Stealth is here to stay, as evidenced by the Chinese and Russians pushing hard to get their own birds up.

anyway, back to the matter at hand:

F35 is not supposed to replace the A10. The A10 was supposed to be phased out a long, long time ago and has only been kept in service because of pressure from the other armed forces for keeping a ground attack aircraft. Its a stupid comparison to make between the F35 and A10 because they were never designed to compete with one another. The primary problem with the A10 is that it is primarily only useful in situations where in it is heavily escorted or we have total air superiority. Other than that it really is the quintessential CAS bird. I hate to see it go, but the USAF has hated it since day one. Maybe they should just give them to the army and cede that part of their fixed wing empire to the people who really need it?

The reduction in firepower between the harrier and F35 is also ridiculous. Did you know that initially the Harrier didn't even have a mounted cannon, they fixed this by adding the pods on the bottom of most harriers (the British didn't with a couple of theirs). So in that regard the F35 is already a better CAS aircraft as designed. In regards to total armament capacity it is true that the Harrier has a higher payload. Whats NOT taken into account is the development of smart weapons. You don't need to take excessive amounts of armaments to guarantee a hit now. We are using a single bomb for what we to take 2, 3, or even 4 to ensure the target was hit. Its a comparison that is not all that irrelevant given current technologies.

The whole thing about dog-fighting is also ridiculous. The F16 is an absurdly removable jet. They essentially designed an aircraft that was inherently too unstable to fly, then threw a computer into it that kept it from departing controlled flight. Then you inserted the pilot (no, seriously, that's what fly-by-wire is). Its going to be nigh-impossible to get something that's as, or more, maneuverable than the F16. Of course, there are many aspects of maneuverability that matter. Turn radius is NOT the only thing that matters in maneuverability, or an F14 would NEVER have been able to dogfight anyone. Pointing is one thing that matters...a lot and Lockmart its not like anyone is giving out specific particulars of what the F35 can actually do. . Then of course you get to the whole point behind:
1) Stealth
2) Avionics

Both of which the F35 far outstrips the F16. The idea behind this is the stealth prevents detection until you are up close thereby allowing the F35 better tactical flexibility to pick the engagement. The initial start can truly make or break an aerial engagement and the F35's electronics suite enable it to have a better start every single time. Plus with the electronics chances are the F35 can down the F16 before it gets close anyway

The F35 is NOT supposed to replace the F15 as an interceptor: that is the F22's job. The F15 is NOT supposed to replace the F15E, that bird is staying in service. So.... bad comparison

The F-35 is supposed to replace the F18. Interestingly enough you heard the EXACT SAME ARGUMENTS against the F35 when they introduced the F18........ " Its too short ranged, it lacks payload, its not maneuverable enough" well.... seems to have worked out very, very well. Also, the bias against single engines doesn't exist. If anything having two engines just gives you two different complex mechanical failure nodes. All their jets have two engines, but its not because they don't like single engine aircraft (had more to do with power ratios, I think)

The F35 has LOTS of stealth characteristics. Just because its not as near invisible as the F22 or B2 doesn't mean it doesn't provide an inherent advantage in engagement ranges. Not to mention that any radar guided missiles have to rely on external guidance extra time because their smaller and much inferior radars are also effected by stealth. (And all stealth is more effective from the front. Has to do with physics of stealth vs. what makes one of these things fly....)

Most of the complaints against the F35 are focused on cost, which is significant. Its also meant to be a plane for all three services and enable the phase out of other platforms. Its a huge program involving nearly all the NATO nations and then some more outside of it. Any change in cost is going to be reflected down the program and seem to be massive because of the sheer size of the program originally.

Have their been problems? Certainly. But lets look at it from this perspective: The F16 killed people in testing because of its unstable design and engine issues. The F14 did as well because of inlet design. The F22 has oxygen issues (and then some). F15's are having to be rebuilt because of faster than expected wear on the wings. Every plane has issues. The F35's do not transcend anything we have dealt with before and its far and away not a bad program. Hell, compare it to the Osprey and it comes out sparkling like a diamond. Also, as the specialized variants (A/B/C) further come online all of the individual capabilities for which they are designed will be improved.

You want to biatch about a useless program that isn't going anywhere biatch about LCS.
 
2012-05-03 08:13:30 AM  

sprawl15: LivefromGA: Actually, as someone that deals with govt.contracts, I have a fair idea as to why the costs kept going up. It has a LOT to do with BS regs that take 45 pages to describe a product that is off the shelf, but these 45 pages make you modify it just enough to meet the govt. spec so that a lot of people feel like they have accomplished something. I cannot imagine something as complicated as an aircraft with all divisions of the DOD getting their say. I am surprised it didn't cost more. OBTW, when you take development costs, add in the PITA "costs" for dealing with the govt., then have them reduce the amount of product, aircraft in this case, the costs per unit WILL GO UP. I don't have to see ANY articles on this example to understand why the "budget" ballooned.

The regs are loved by large companies because of the way that fee is handled on government contracts. You want as large a cost as humanly possible, because that's how you make your money. Reducing the regs won't really do anything significant to prices since the entire point of cost analysis is purely cost reasonableness...and you can justify nearly anything.

The terrible state of the DCAA/DCMA are only exacerbating this; they're constantly outplayed at their own game.


Also, a lot of regs are absurdly long and specific to prevent a company delivering an inferior product without penalty. Some of these things seem ridiculous because the government got burned in the past when they ordered what was supposed to be military grade equipment and got essentially cheap horribly made crap. But on the whole the entire procurement system is....not healthy
 
2012-05-03 08:52:46 AM  

Gleeman: OT:
The F-35:


An F-16 or F/A-18:


I know which one I'd want in a fight.


Yeah, well you'd look pretty damn silly if before the fight, we both wanted to eat a can of spaghetti-Os, cut a couple of loose threads off our uniforms, and open a bottle of wine.
Without a multi-role knife, you'd just be sitting there, all spaghetti-Oless, while I happily ate my food.
 
2012-05-03 09:01:08 AM  

profplump: Gleeman: I know which one I'd want in a fight.

You'd better hope you and your opponent picked the same kind of fight.

/ Never bring an F-16 to an F-35 fight


Never bring a gun to a clank fight.

www.girlgeniusonline.com
 
2012-05-03 09:40:17 AM  
"Have we reached some inherent plateau of complexity that we're not currently able to surpass? Have the smartest engineers all decamped to Silicon Valley? Or what?"

So, after close to two decades of creating a culture that reviles science and intellect, we're surprised that we are lacking in scientific and intellectual resources?
 
2012-05-03 11:04:08 AM  

Riothamus: rocketpants: Riothamus: rocketpants: Riothamus: Happy Hours: spcMike: Oznog: The SR71 Blackbird would be easy to criticize too. I mean, such a piece of junk, it leaks fuel all over the runway because it can't seal its own airframe when cold. It lacks the technology of a $10 jerry can. So a person could readily conclude it's an ill-designed piece of junk that was never designed to actually be USED.

The leaks are actually meant to be in there as the heat generated by the aircraft in flight causes the fuel tank to expand. Without the holes in the tank it would've over pressurized and burst.

But lets not bring engineering into this.

sounds like they didn't. I would think engineering would overcome such a problem without having it leak fuel.

PV=nRT

kthxbai

I hope you're not referencing the ideal gas law to describe the behavior of a liquid.

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 400x259]

Have you ever boiled a covered pot of water before? The gas (OMG CONVERTED FROM A LIQUID) will find a way out.


And this relates to the SR-71 fuel leakage how...?

Anyway, the gas law doesn't apply to the water until AFTER it's boiled.

Are you serious?

You know what will boil things really goddamned fast? Accelerating it to 2000+ mph!



Yes, I'm serious.

The SR-71 fuel wasn't being boiled. The reason they left gaps in the fuel tank was because the metal airframe expanded during flight as it heated. They didn't have a way to seal the fuel tank while still allowing the expansion of the airframe, so they let the expanding airframe do the sealing for them. It has nothing to do with boiling fuel. It's a solid state physics problem, not an ideal gas problem.
 
2012-05-03 11:35:45 AM  

intelligent comment below: Clemkadidlefark: flagrant bias

Sounds like the only flagrant bias is you, with no actual facts but walls of gibber jabber text ranting and raving like a Glen Beck lunatic.


Well. That was just mean.
 
2012-05-03 11:38:47 AM  

FarkLiberty: Clemkadidlefark: Thus, I call shenanigans.

You missed the most important part! You didn't answer! Quis Bono?


Well, hell. I don't know. What I do know is "pay to play" journalism, having had to fend it off for a lot of years, and this article reeked of it. Disjointed, unfocused, making myriad improbable comparisons and with no clear cut conclusion other than We Don't Like The F35.

It had all the hallmarks of a Budget Hopeful trying to put the whack on a Budget Item.

Follow the Money.
 
2012-05-03 11:55:40 AM  

rocketpants: Riothamus: rocketpants: Riothamus: rocketpants: Riothamus: Happy Hours: spcMike: Oznog: The SR71 Blackbird would be easy to criticize too. I mean, such a piece of junk, it leaks fuel all over the runway because it can't seal its own airframe when cold. It lacks the technology of a $10 jerry can. So a person could readily conclude it's an ill-designed piece of junk that was never designed to actually be USED.

The leaks are actually meant to be in there as the heat generated by the aircraft in flight causes the fuel tank to expand. Without the holes in the tank it would've over pressurized and burst.

But lets not bring engineering into this.

sounds like they didn't. I would think engineering would overcome such a problem without having it leak fuel.

PV=nRT

kthxbai

I hope you're not referencing the ideal gas law to describe the behavior of a liquid.

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 400x259]

Have you ever boiled a covered pot of water before? The gas (OMG CONVERTED FROM A LIQUID) will find a way out.


And this relates to the SR-71 fuel leakage how...?

Anyway, the gas law doesn't apply to the water until AFTER it's boiled.

Are you serious?

You know what will boil things really goddamned fast? Accelerating it to 2000+ mph!


Yes, I'm serious.

The SR-71 fuel wasn't being boiled. The reason they left gaps in the fuel tank was because the metal airframe expanded during flight as it heated. They didn't have a way to seal the fuel tank while still allowing the expansion of the airframe, so they let the expanding airframe do the sealing for them. It has nothing to do with boiling fuel. It's a solid state physics problem, not an ideal gas problem.


The problem they had was they didn't have the materials technology necessary for an effective sealant. They all either deformed, melted, caught fire, etc. They came up with the idea to just let the expanding airframe seal itself due to heat from atmospheric friction instead because they needed a RIGHT NOW solution. I think its genius honestly.
 
2012-05-03 12:10:52 PM  

MythDragon: Never bring a gun to a clank fight.


Girl Genius always gets a vote.
 
2012-05-03 03:09:47 PM  

Riothamus: chuckufarlie: there their theyre: The F-35 is the jack of all trades and a master of none. That is what happens when you try to build a plane to do everything, it ends up being mediocre. It is supposed to be a purpose built air force plane that can land on a ship and provide close in air support. Why does the air force want a plane that has had to make sacrifices to land on a boat. Why not build a plane that the air force actually needs and then another plane that can land on the boat, say like the F-16 and F-18.

FYI - There are THREE variants of the F-35 - The Air Force is not making any sacrifices because their variant does not have the capability to land on a carrier, not does it utilize VTOL.

Before you start crying about something, try learning the facts. It can save you some time.

The AF is sacrificing, all right. They're lowering their combat effectiveness for the sake of some part compatibility with the other branches of the military.

It's like arming yourself with a Swiss Army knife instead of a machete because you might need that corkscrew at some point.


what part of - "not sacrificing anything" do you not understand?
 
2012-05-03 05:45:26 PM  

dbrunker: MythDragon: Never bring a gun to a clank fight.

Girl Genius always gets a vote.


QFT.

Wicked Chinchilla: You want to biatch about a useless program that isn't going anywhere biatch about LCS. DD-1000


FTFY.

The Little Crappy Ship is a mediocre small combatant but it's better than no small escort ships, which is the alternative.

The Zumwalt class are going to be white elephant test beds at best.

"OK, let's build a ship with an unstable hull design that sacrifices survivability for a small increase in stealth, and pack it with entirely new, unproven systems. What could possibly go wrong?"


/spent a career in the Navy
//couldn't pay me enough to go into battle with either ship
 
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