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Pentagon Issues Affirmative Action… for jets

Home - by - February 23, 2013 - 13:30 America/New_York - 11 Comments

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.

Motherboard

The Pentagon’s pursuit of the Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jet has been a heartbreaking one. If you’re a tax payer, the program’s estimated $1 trillion price tag probably breaks your heart a little bit. If you’re an aviation enthusiast, the constant whittling away of the do-it-all aircraft’s features, which in many cases actually amounts to adding weight and taking away maneuverability, must hurt a little bit, too.

If you’re just an everyday American, though, you should be downright shattered that after a decade and a fortune spent, the F-35 will actually be more vulnerable than the aircraft it’s replacing. At this point, the Pentagon is literally rewriting its rulebook so that the dumbed-down super jet will pass muster.

» 11 Comments

  1. thirdtwin

    February 23rd, 2013

    <—-See that plane over there to the left? That is the best multipurpose plane Lockheed ever built, Do we not know how to do this right anymore?

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  2. Ricky

    February 23rd, 2013

    Even the P-38 lightning had problems..
    High-speed compressibility – the fighter would enter a high-speed compressibility stall and the controls would lock up, leaving the pilot no option but to bail out (if possible) or remain with the aircraft until it got down to denser air, where he might have a chance to pull out.

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  3. Major Mal function

    February 23rd, 2013

    I call bullshit. Faster than any other other operational aircraft out there. How fast is a combat loaded F-16 or F-18? How tight do they turn with 20,000 pounds of fuel and weapons?

    $1 trillion over 50 years is downright cheap considering it is replacing the F-16, F-18, A-10, AV-8 and a whole host of support aircraft like SEAD, tankers, recon. Care to price all those aircraft, fuel, maintenance, labor out to 50 years w/ inflation?

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  4. thirdtwin

    February 23rd, 2013

    Ricky, it was worse than that. Faulty superchargers,hence poor high altitude performance, deadly cockpit oxygen systems and poor cockpit heating were but a few. And most of these problems occurred because the government insisted on rushing an untested aircraft into production, taking an aircraft built as a low level interceptor to defend US airspace and tasking it with high-altitude long-range bomber escort and low-level tactical bombing. Eventually, Lockheed got all the bugs worked out through aggressive field testing and modifications, and the P-38 became the best fighter America took to war, in term of service length and effectiveness in combat.

    Sure, the P51 gets all the glory, but it was a late-comer to the war and it sucked too, until it got rid of the Allison engine and got the Rolls Royce Merlin engine. And the Mustang did not have that hornet’s nest of cannon & 50 cal pouring a stream of death which had no need for convergence like wing-mounted gunfire. Plus, the P38 could carry a massive payload of bombs a long way to target, then mix it up with the best fighters Japan and Germany threw at them. And it did it with two of the same Allison engines that weren’t good enough for the P51.

    Lockheed once knew how to take a problem child and make it a star. The question is, can they do it now?

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  5. eternal cracker p

    February 23rd, 2013

    In my simple mind, all we need is the F-22 raptor and the A-10 in service and get rid of the F-35. I’m not entirely sure where the F-18 fits in, but I didn’t think the F-35 was going to replace the super hornet variant.

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  6. Tim

    February 23rd, 2013

    We could give em to Morsi or Assad …

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  7. Chieftain

    February 23rd, 2013

    yep. Any time you try and introduce any new technology there are always problems which arise that you simply could not anticipate.

    When steam power first rose it worked well until pressures rose above the tensile strength of the riveted wrought iron boilers, which tended to explode spectacularly, and let the way for improved steel, welding and other technology that is still in use today in some places. But it was a bloody path getting there as any steamboat or railroad accident survivor of the day could tell you.

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  8. thirdtwin

    February 23rd, 2013

    Tim, that is an excellent idea: Take an Affirmative Action fighter and use it in a Black Ops attempt to sabotage Islamist air forces.

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  9. Four .45's

    February 23rd, 2013

    F 35= Jack of all trades, master of none.

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  10. Bad Brad

    February 23rd, 2013

    Four .45′s. Exactly, that why all the top brass wanted the F-22. Of course then there is this. (Keep in mind what’s happening March 1)

    http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2013/02/defense-lockheed-f22-contract-modernization-022113/
    /

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  11. Plain Jane

    February 23rd, 2013

    Isn’t this the aircraft that beat out the Boeing craft in the gov competition? Maybe the Boeing should have won. But then again I’m a Boeing groupie.

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