Published: Monday, July 29 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
“…maneuvers worse than bombers that got wiped out over
Vietnam”That statement doesn’t suggest that a large
quantity of bombers got wiped out; it just means that the F-35 performs worse
than the bombers that DID get wiped out.The Defense
Department's annual weapons testing report reveals that the military
actually adjusted the performance specifications for the F-35 fighter jets. In
other words, they couldn't get the jets to do what they were supposed to
do, so they just changed what they were supposed to do."The
program announced an intention to change performance specifications for the
F-35A, reducing turn performance from 5.3 to 4.6 sustained g’s and
extending the time for acceleration from 0.8 Mach to 1.2 Mach by eight
seconds," reads the report drafted under J. Michael Gilmore, the
Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation. To put
it bluntly, the Pentagon's new trillion-dollar fighter jet doesn't go
a fast as it should, doesn't turn as sharp as it should and doesn't
handle as nimbly as it should.
Ok fine. Bombers in Vietnam weren't horribly performing. I still fail to
see how this justifies building such an expensive and defective product such as
the F-35. Anyone care to explain that? I grow so frustrated that
repubs in the Deep South are constantly complaining about making cuts. Yet when
it comes to their own states, they lobby to keep this wasteful defense spending!
Often, to increase it! There was a case just a few years ago where Boehner voted
to keep spending on an engine that even the army did not want. Why? Because
building that engine employed many in his state. So I just wonder,
how many repubs are receiving benefits for keeping this wasteful spending for
Hey Real Maverick - the real problem is that it's not just Republicans that
are receiving benefits (votes) for this wasteful spending, it is elected
representatives from both sides that are beholden to the military industrial
complex. Just try to find a state in the union that doesn't have an Air
Force Base. And for what?
Though Mr. Gallegos' comments seemed patently ridiculous on first reading,
I'm grateful to Jon for making the point even more obvious.One
of the problems of all zealots, like Gallegos and, I suspect, several of the
responders to this post, is that their grasp of reality, if not rationality, is
often tenuous, at best.To claim a fighter jet, however short of the
design specifications its ultimate performance might be, would be less or even
comparable to a bomber's maneuverability simply demonstrates an appalling
ignorance of aerodynamics and even basic physics. Such certainly seems to be
the case with Mr. Gallegos.I happen to agree with Mr. Gallegos that
the F35 project has been another example of mismanagement and probably
graft/greed/corruption/etc. that has become an all too familiar characteristic
of big government projects. For that reason alone I wish it had not been
started, much less survived to become the boondoggle it is. BUT, I won't
let that disdain drive me to the brink of sanity by making absurd statements
about an F35 being less maneuverable than a bomber.
I can’t imagine any thrill greater than flying a fighter plane. However I
cannot imagine any greater folly than building, flying and spending taxpayer
money just to give some guys a thrill. The notion that fighter
planes, bombers, aircraft carriers and billion dollar submarines will be
important factors in the next or current war is as silly as trying to fight WWII
with battleships. That I know of, war hasn’t be declared and
yet we are under constant and destructive attack. Not by those old weapons but
by the new bullets referred to as electrons. The way I hear it, we are having
thousands of casualties every day.
I think the military has gotten a bad rap from the Military Industrial Complex;
and they deserve every bit of it. Looking at the world today, it is hard to see
that our military has done anything to promote peace. They are more interested
in fleecing the taxpayer than defending and supporting America.
Let's make the F-35 profitable. Sell it to various Islamic countries which
are at war, for a nice profit, making sure it isn't ever all that good.
Then we can fund a plane that really does what we want it to.
Simple question...Why are we building this jet airplane? I dare anyone to defend this complete and utter waste of my tax money. This is
nothing more than class warfare. Steal from me to make rich(er) some fatcat
What kind of foolish people complain when the military has kept our country safe
from all attacks except for one? During the time that foolish people have been
complaining about the "expense of the military", Europe has fought two
world wars where their people have been slaughtered, their countries have been
destroyed and their economies ruined. Asia has endured the same. Only the
Americas have been spared.So what if a fighter plane doesn't
perform as expected. Obama doesn't perform as expected. Hatch
doesn't perform as expected. Social Security doesn't perform as
expected. ObamaCare doesn't perform as expected. The F35 is a
supurb fighter. Critics will always find something to criticise even as they
enjoy the "blessings" of being protected by a military that functions in
spite of the President.
"...but as a former B-52 pilot who served two combat tours in Vietnam I have
to disagree on two points. "========= But as a
former crew-chief in the USAF, The B-52 wasn't the only bomber used
in Vietnam.The fact, the B-52 is consider a "Strategic"
Heavy bomber, While the role of "Tactical" or "Light"
bombing was accomplished with Heavy "Fighter" aircraft, Such as
the FB-4G Phantom II, and FB-111A/F Aardvark.The 3 generation modern
Fighters such as the F-15, and F-16 are also used in "Tactical" bombing
runs.So, Comparing the F-35 with a B-52 is completely off the
mark and not a fair comparison at all.BTW - As a veteran myself, I see the F-35 is a HUGE waste of tax-payers money.
Read the criticisms of the FB-111. Read how many "know-it-alls" called
it a flying death trap because of its movable wings. It served its purpose.
It's easy to see that it had problems. What isn't so easy to
determine is what would have happened if that fighter-bomber had not existed.
How many more American lives would have been lost? How many vets
would like to march to war carrying a sword and protected by a few
"knights" on horse-back or by a few "chariots"? The F-35 is
much better than a sword in the hand or a knight on horse-back.The
Air Force has saved the lives of countless Americans. Precision bombing has
allowed thousands of soldiers to return home to those they love. The Air Force
handles its assignment with less loss of life than any of the other services.
The missions are different. Not every enemy can be fought from the air, but
planes like the FB-111 and the F-35 are part of the reason that our soldiers
return home safely
One political philosophy is opposed to ensuring healthcare to people who
can't afford it all the while they have no problem spending many billions
of dollars on new ways to kill people. Interesting that they also fancy
themselves as god-fearing and moralistic.
The F 35 is a rather awesome airplane. foreign countries who can afford it are
opting to buy it rather than competition such as the Eurofighter or the advanced
f 16. The question is not is it a good airplane, the question is should the
United States buy it given our national budget problems.I would make
the case that going forward we should become a less war like nation which
would negate the need to have such insanely expensive weapon systems such as the
F 35. We should take the money saved to pay down the national debt and rebuild
our own country for a change.
Mike - I have 40 years 1st handexperience in Aerospace, and only 200
words...The letter writer compared B-52s to bombers. I simple
stated Fighters in the USAF inventory are utlized as bombers all the time.The B-52 was developed in 1954, and is still in service 60 years
later.The B-1 was developed in 1979 to replace it and was cancelled by
Pres. Carter due to introduction of Cruise-Missiles.The USAF has
retired all B-1s decades ago because they were expensive, obsolete, and
Carter's CruiseMissiles has become America's 1st choice line of
offense/Defense ever since. Score 1 for Carter.All manned fighters
are limited to 9 G's maximum because over that it kills the human.I worked on some experimental unmanned drones back in 1990's. We pushed
the bounds for aerodynamics to exceed 24 G's. No manned aircraft could EVER
beat that, period.Drone aircraft are superior in performane, still
human piloted, only pennies on the dollar, and without the human cost!BTW - I still work for the USAF.The USAF doesn't want the F-35,
politicians do.And here I thought you were all about taxpayers
getting the best for the least $.
There are to find fault with an airplane, but I don't think that the
Pentagon is going to give credence to a mechanic over the engineers who designed
an aircraft. Today's aircraft are incredibly complex. Much of the
avionics have been designed specifically to compensate for the mechanical
inefficiencies of that aircraft. I've had the priviledge to have been
consulted back in the 1990's by a company that had a contract to design
electronics for an aircraft. Their mission was to make that aircraft
"flyable" when the avionics failed. I wasn't able to help them.
Their speciality was not my speciality. However, I did learn that a
mechanic's job was to quickly replace damaged parts and pieces, not to
design an aircraft. I have nothing but respect for the airmen who
work on military aircraft, but I would never expect the department of defense to
take the opinion of a mechanic over the opinions of those who designed that
aircraft and of those who certified that design. That would be kind of like
asking your neigborhood mechanic to redesign the engine in a Porshe. It's
possible, but not likely.
There are two big reasons why the F-35 is a bad idea:We're
quickly moving to a drone world in combat aviation. Very much like manned space
flight, the number of reasons to put a lift at risk is dwindling quickly,
especially when a drove can handle much higher G-forces and can be used more
aggressively, if need be.The second reason is the American taxpayer
can't afford the steep curve in fighter plane costs. The average American
household income is going *down*, not up, and certainly nothing commensurate as
the increase in costs for these fighter jets.I'm a pilot and
love aviation as much as anyone, but we need to face reality, and that reality
is simply that manned fighters are a solution to yesterday's challenges.
The future is unmanned combat aviation. Not as glamorous, not as inspiring as
watching a flyover of expensive and loud jets, but it's just a simple fact.
@Mike RichardsSouth Jordan, Utah...I don't think that the
Pentagon is going to give credence to a mechanic over the engineers who designed
an aircraft. Today's aircraft are incredibly complex.=========And I don't think a computer software expert sitting
in coach on a SouthWest airlines flight to California to visit grandkids, and
can buckle a seatbelt, and knows how to put on an oxygen mask when it drops down
has any credence to the complexities of Aircraft design.1. I was a
USAF mechanic for 8 years, while I was going to College. [it how I paid for it
myself]2. I am also a pilot.3. Upon graduation as a Mechanical
ENGINEER, I went to work for the world's largest Aerospace company -
Boeing.4. I have designed things from upgrades to the 737, 747, 75, 767 to
complete new designs like the 777 and 787.5. As for my Design experience
in modern USAF aircraft, the F-22 and B-2, the YF-23, and the F-18G Super Hornet
not to mention the AGM-86B cruise missile, the habitation nodes for the
International Space Station and the Atlas V.JUST a mechanic, indeed!
I think we are missing the point of the post here.... and it keeps on going.
False information, rhetorical comments, statements made for shock
value are all being taken as fact. No sane person would ever compare the
flight dynamics of modern fighter with that of a B-52. Any comparison between
the two are insane... or completely ill informed.Perhaps the f-35
has not met its design goals... not many things do, and it is no exception.
And it is fine to hold its developer responsible for not meeting objectives.
But the critique should be done on facts.... not sound bites. In
the end.... the F-35 may have missed its design goals, but that doesn't
mean it isn't a world class leading fighter. We can only keep the
existing fleet in the air so long. This scenario is exactly the situation that
Carter found the military in when he took over - a military patched together
with bailing wire.We need to continually modernize to stay ahead.
Perhaps the f-35 isn't the answer....but doing nothing isn't the
The future weapons platform is in drones not manned aircraft. Our current
fighter fleet of f-15, f-16, A-10's and F-22's are enough to fill the
gap for the next 30 years.I absolutely love airplanes but we
can't afford them just for their coolness factor.
It doesn't matter if the F-35 is the greatest aircraft on Earth, it's
too expensive.The mechanics of flight aren't going to change,
but the cost of making the next incremental changes to performance of a manned
aircraft are exponentially expensive at this point. To make meaningful changes
in the aircraft performance we need some unobtanium at bagizillons of dollars
per pound. That comes to hugeazillions of dollars per aircraft. Nope, can't
afford it.Just by taking the pilot put of the aircraft we get the
design boost we need to not need unobtanium. Good thing, since we don't
actually have any.A 5000 carat single crystal diamond tipped spear
with a carbon fiber shaft would be great too. Why aren't we churning those
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