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F-35 - An Eagle or a Turkey?


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#11 Ricky

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 02:19 PM

Not much more than I said - we ordered two aircraft carriers a few years back (it ties in neatly as we plan to fly the F-35 from them). Then we had an election and the new government tried to make defence cuts but discovered that cancelling the carriers would cost more than carrying on with the contract

#12 GregP

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:18 PM

I suppose SOMEONE didn't read the fine print very well, huh?



#13 Paolo Tagliaferri

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 09:24 PM

http://arstechnica.c...boot-in-flight/

Uhm yeah... What's next, the classic Microsoft Office help paperclip popping up in the HUD to provide hints to the pilot?

Interestingly, Italy has quite a stake in this project too, with almost a hundred planes ordered and hosting the only European final assembly plant for these planes.

I just hope it doesn't hard reboot during the airshow in Farnborough!

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#14 Heräkulman Ruhtinas

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 09:51 PM

F-35 ... it will be made to work. Too much invested in it. But probably it WOULD have been smarter and cheaper to make 3 different planes with some common parts than try to adapt same airframe for 3 different things. Same goes with AFV:s now, the buyers seem to think that a modular approach will add value.

 

Surprise surprise. The purpose-built thing always beats the multi-role thing. 


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#15 GregP

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 11:47 PM

I'm thinking that if you can't write and debug the code in 17 years, how robust will it be in combat that happens in harsh environments, especially one where EMPs might happen?

 

Even simple systems tend to malfunction in hot, humid, and salty environments. The electronics was growing fungus in Viet Nam! Something so complicated that it can't be developed in the length of time this thing has been gestating seems rather like something I'd hate to reply on.

 

The question I'd REALLY like answered, but one we'll probably never know is, "How much of the 17+ year development time was basic development and how much was caused by DOD-requested changes to the aircraft along the way? I wonder how much of the weight was added by DOD-requested changes, too. It is possible the basic F-35 is a good airplane that has been hit hard by "scope creep" where they keep on adding in neat-to-have-but-nonessential things. Some of them might be essential to one mission variant, but not to another ... and all 3 variants may have it. It all adds up, especially in weight.

 

It certainly wouldn't be the first one so affected.



#16 flying kiwi

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 12:44 AM

I suspect the program will continue irrespective of the cost, because the US government thinks that Lockheed Martin is the only viable company to make future fighters. Even though they demonstrably cannot make a fighter out of this turkey. It's a political decision, and Italy, Australia, and the UK are going along with it on equally political grounds. 


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#17 GregP

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 04:42 AM

I believe you have hit the nail on the head there, flying kiwi. We are continuing with the F-35 due to politics. It certainly has some very interesting systems / avionics, but the overall airframe performance is a winner in BVR combat only. Once it gets to be a close-in fight, the F-35 will lose and cannot run away from most upper-tier opponents. So, I ask myself, when is the last time the U.S.A. approved a BVR kill?

 

That's a tough one to answer because the military won't tell you and, if there are possible civilian planes in the area, the answer is a simple no ... close and identify before being authorized to attack. That has me worried for the F-35 drivers.

 

I have absolutely no idea why the Pentagon thinks there is only one good fighter manufacturer out there.

 

When we had the F22 / F-+23 competition, the F-23 met the spec and performed well. The F-22 didn't meet the spec, so they lowered the spec to allow the F-22 to compete. When they did that, I knew the F-22 would win due to politics. It's not that the F-22 is a bad plane, it isn't.

 

But it didn't meet the spec and the competition did. If the decision is already made, why in the world have a competition? The people who should be picking the fighter are actual service pilots. Train maybe 10 to fly both and have them cast a secret ballot. The winner is the winner, no appeal, no re-test. If the potential bidders don't sign up for that, they are out; plain and simple. Also, the competition would be for the airframe / engine combination only. The avionics can be made to work on either on any plane, so they should NOT be a part of the bidding. They would be a separate development. Naturally, a plane has to have some electronics, but you could require the cockpit avionics to be the same fit out for both. Not the same arrangement maybe, but the same GPS, same radar, same, etc.

 

That would not constrict the stick and throttle, for instance, just the electronics they connect with. If a new avionics development was required after the airframe is chosen, so be it.



#18 Armand

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 01:46 PM

The americans have forgotten how their force in the armour-battle against Nazi's was amount of sufficient tech against high-tech wich tended to stop working!
The succes of the Abrams-tank against Iraqui forces, where the picture from the early 40's actual was mirrored (compare the heavily armoured Tiger-tank and it's 88' gun wich outranged any opponent), might have caused the americans to spinn-off in high-tech development :-o
Actually i take (read: fear) Russian aircrafts to be the better choise, thus hard opponents in a given clash =:-o

#19 flying kiwi

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 10:02 PM

But it didn't meet the spec and the competition did. If the decision is already made, why in the world have a competition? The people who should be picking the fighter are actual service pilots. Train maybe 10 to fly both and have them cast a secret ballot. The winner is the winner, no appeal, no re-test.

I think it might be worthwhile giving the maintenance guys a vote as well. Politicians should be kept as far away as possible.


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#20 Heräkulman Ruhtinas

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 10:50 PM

Armand : Third Reich lost mainly because lack of numbers and lack of fuel. They did not have the manpower to sacrifice with mediocre weapons, hence they needed to have better ones. USA and Russia could spare to sacrifice men and equipment. Cynical view but true.

 

and back to topic, kind of:

 

There have been previous examples of plane spec being drawn around an existing plane and then choosing the one filling that best ... but this F-22 / -23 must be the only one that the spec was downgraded. I did not know or remember that. When that contest was on, I was wondering why they chose the 22 because for me it seemed that the 23 was much better (and looked way more cool).

 

As per F-35, was there even a contest?


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