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Zkpilot
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Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:03 am

Over the past few days there has been a lot of speculation that not just the F-35C but the entire F-35 project being scrapped. Apparently there are major design flaws meaning the C model can't do arrestor hook landings, the other models apparently lack the range, manoeuverability, speed, payload of their rivals, and the whole aircraft is not particularly stealthy especially to newly developed/deployed radar bands. Finally the biggest hurdle is the massive cost of each aircraft.

If the project is scrapped/changed here are some things I see happening:

1) F-22 production reinstated for at least another 100 birds (the F-22 is far more capable, is proven and costs about the same). Further development of the F-16 to make it last perhaps 10 years longer than planned in time for a new fighter.

2) USN to get more F/A-18 Super Hornets, as above a bit of ongoing development to stretch their life til the navy can get a dedicated aircraft.

3) A scaled back F-35B without all the fancy stuff shaving a lot of weight and cost off and improving several areas of performance in the process (obviously not some of the fancy tricks) for the USMC and RN. The RN would of course have to consider its options regarding its carriers, perhaps leasing some Rafales or Super Hornets in the mean time.


I do see an important need to have the best fighters and technology for the USA however it must be balanced with cost and overall capability in terms of numbers. UCAV etc are the future but for the next 30 years I still see the need for the first choice to be a manned fighter. I'm not so sure that the Super Hornet and F-16 aren't up to the task for at least another decade and of course the F-22 will still be the best for at least 10 years and able to foot it with the latest for another 10 years past that.
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BMI727
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:55 am

Quoting Zkpilot (Thread starter):
Over the past few days there has been a lot of speculation that not just the F-35C but the entire F-35 project being scrapped.

As critical as I have been of the fantasy that the JSF was, that would just be stupid. The money is all spent. Cancelling the program now means throwing all of that away and ending up with the same problems we had before but with less time to solve it. Any of the Navy brass that complain about the Super Hornet should be able to tell you that, because that is what they ended up with when they cancelled the A-12.

The USAF has some recourse in the form of a potential restart and future variants of the Raptor, but our allies would be hung out to dry.
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Revelation
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:45 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
As critical as I have been of the fantasy that the JSF was, that would just be stupid. The money is all spent.

We had the X-35 prototype flying ten years ago and the actual F-35 flying five years ago and that hasn't mattered much either.

I think you are missing the key points of the post, that the F-35 is not meeting its design goals, and the threat environment has changed to the point where its stealth features have been defeated. Add to that the massive cost, and it is hard to make a case for this airframe over its predecessors.

Wiki reports that in November 2011, a Pentagon study team identified the following 13 areas of concern that remained to be addressed in the F-35:

> The Helmet mounted display system does not work properly.
> The fuel dump subsystem poses a fire hazard.
> The Integrated Power Package is unreliable and difficult to service.
> The F-35C's arresting hook does not work.
> Classified "survivability issues", which have been speculated to be about stealth.[125]
> The wing buffet is worse than previously reported.
> The airframe is unlikely to last through the required lifespan.
> The flight test program has yet to explore the most challenging areas.
> The software development is behind schedule.
> The aircraft is in danger of going overweight or, for the F-35B, too heavy for VTOL operations.
> There are multiple thermal management problems. The air conditioner fails to keep the pilot and controls cool enough, the roll posts on the F-35B overheat, and using the afterburner damages the aircraft.
> The automated logistics information system is partially developed.
> The lightning protection on the F-35 is uncertified, with areas of concern.

Seems to be a very long road ahead for the F-35.

[Edited 2012-04-29 07:50:07]
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Zkpilot
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:47 pm

Development money has been spent. The problem is that each aircraft was supposed to have cost about half what they are now likely to cost. Canada apparently wants out. The UK only needs them for its carriers (Rafale/Super Hornet will work for at least a decade) the RAF has the Typhoon. Australia will happily take the F-22 (which is more suited to their needs anyway), Japan also. That just leaves Israel pretty much and they have options as do any other operators.

The USMC is the only one that REALLY needs it for its VTOL capabilities.

All that development money isn't entirely wasted, a lot of information/lessons gained could be used in a future aircraft. One that isn't 3 planes in 1.
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bikerthai
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:23 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 3):
"All that development money isn't entirely wasted, a lot of information/lessons gained could be used in a future aircraft. One that isn't 3 planes in 1."

LOL what we learned is LM makes expensive planes. Maybey they should stick with skunkworks where the expense is more worth while.

Guess we should stick with un-stealthy planes an leave stealth to UAV's. Kidding of course.

bt
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Powerslide
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:11 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 3):
Canada apparently wants out.

No, they don't.

I hope it does get scrapped so all these stupid F35 threads can stop cluttering this forum.
 
LMP737
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:29 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 3):
The USMC is the only one that REALLY needs it for its VTOL capabilities.

Or you could tell them Super Hornets or nothing.
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Zkpilot
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:38 pm

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 6):
Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 3):
The USMC is the only one that REALLY needs it for its VTOL capabilities.

Or you could tell them Super Hornets or nothing.

except you can't operate them off VTOL ships...
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ThePointblank
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:17 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 2):

We had the X-35 prototype flying ten years ago and the actual F-35 flying five years ago and that hasn't mattered much either.

I think you are missing the key points of the post, that the F-35 is not meeting its design goals, and the threat environment has changed to the point where its stealth features have been defeated. Add to that the massive cost, and it is hard to make a case for this airframe over its predecessors.

Wiki reports that in November 2011, a Pentagon study team identified the following 13 areas of concern that remained to be addressed in the F-35:

> The Helmet mounted display system does not work properly.
> The fuel dump subsystem poses a fire hazard.
> The Integrated Power Package is unreliable and difficult to service.
> The F-35C's arresting hook does not work.
> Classified "survivability issues", which have been speculated to be about stealth.[125]
> The wing buffet is worse than previously reported.
> The airframe is unlikely to last through the required lifespan.
> The flight test program has yet to explore the most challenging areas.
> The software development is behind schedule.
> The aircraft is in danger of going overweight or, for the F-35B, too heavy for VTOL operations.
> There are multiple thermal management problems. The air conditioner fails to keep the pilot and controls cool enough, the roll posts on the F-35B overheat, and using the afterburner damages the aircraft.
> The automated logistics information system is partially developed.
> The lightning protection on the F-35 is uncertified, with areas of concern.

Seems to be a very long road ahead for the F-35.

Most of these issues have either been resolved or the fixes are underway.

And by your metric, we should have canceled this aircraft as well, which according to the GAO, had major issues with engine stalls, could not restart its engine in mid-air, had an excessive taxi speed, was suffering delays, had limited internal space for upgrades, and was increasingly vulnerable and expensive:
http://www.gao.gov/products/PSAD-77-41
 
sphealey
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:04 pm

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...jet_that_ate_the_pentagon?page=0,1

Articles like that don't just appear in publications such as "Foreign Policy"; this is a shot across the bow to some power group from some other power group. Who is which, and what their motives are, is entirely obscure (at least to me). But that isn't just another 1200 word'er dashed off by a writer who needs to make a car payment this month.

sPh
 
Devilfish
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:06 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Thread starter):
I'm not so sure that the Super Hornet and F-16 aren't up to the task for at least another decade and of course the F-22 will still be the best for at least 10 years and able to foot it with the latest for another 10 years past that.
Quoting bikerthai (Reply 4):
Guess we should stick with un-stealthy planes an leave stealth to UAV's. Kidding of course.

No kidding.....maybe it's time serious attention is given to this.....   

http://www.flightglobal.com/Assets/GetAsset.aspx?ItemID=44298
http://www.flightglobal.com/Assets/GetAsset.aspx?ItemID=44298

What it couldn't handle, you let the F-22 take care of.
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kc135topboom
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:13 pm

Yes, a lot of money has been spent on the F-35 program. But a lot more money is needed just to fix it. I say we cancel it now, reopen the F-22 program with the US buying about 950 more of them (including a Navalized version), sell it to our allies, buy the F-15SE as an interium replacement, and the F/A-18E/F.

The USMC already bought the British Harriers, but the UK is now without an aircraft to replace it. Perhaps they can fit normal steam cats to the CVFs? The RN and RAF can always accept the F/A-18E/F or the Rafales
 
BMI727
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:47 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 2):
I think you are missing the key points of the post, that the F-35 is not meeting its design goals,

The design goals were a fantasy.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 3):
Canada apparently wants out. The UK only needs them for its carriers (Rafale/Super Hornet will work for at least a decade) the RAF has the Typhoon.

If the other countries want out that would change the calculus a bit. But still, we'd force the Navy to fly more Super Hornets, which I really don't have too much of a problem with. If they don't like it they can thank Dick Cheney for cancelling the A-12.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 3):
Australia will happily take the F-22 (which is more suited to their needs anyway), Japan also.

I'm sure they would, but we won't give them any.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
AWACSooner
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:13 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
The money is all spent.

No...it is not...it keeps being spent...and more and more military personnel are cut to fund this money pit!
 
BMI727
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:07 am

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 14):
No...it is not...it keeps being spent...and more and more military personnel are cut to fund this money pit!

Just think how much more will need to be spent in order to modernize the force the way the F-35 was supposed to. Cancel the program and you still have the same problem and less time to solve it.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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kanban
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:43 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
and less time to solve it.


this argument always puzzles me.. Is there some impending deadline we don't know about other than the synthetic retirement of easily extended current model a/c (other than the Harrier). Do the Marines really need a plane? Do we really need the Marines?.. forget tradition, what do they really provide that the Army, Navy and Air Force can't.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:13 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
Yes, a lot of money has been spent on the F-35 program. But a lot more money is needed just to fix it. I say we cancel it now, reopen the F-22 program with the US buying about 950 more of them (including a Navalized version), sell it to our allies, buy the F-15SE as an interium replacement, and the F/A-18E/F.

Even more money will have to be spent on F-22, which has major issues of its own. And it is an in service aircraft. The real issue is the avionics; it's still locked to i860 processors running ADA and its questionable whether there is sufficient cooling and processing capability to support the any future needed upgrades without costly upgrades.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
If the other countries want out that would change the calculus a bit. But still, we'd force the Navy to fly more Super Hornets, which I really don't have too much of a problem with. If they don't like it they can thank Dick Cheney for cancelling the A-12.

The Navy doesn't want to buy more Super Hornets; notice that the most recent acquisitions are for the Growler, not the regular Super Hornet? And also note that the Navy refuses to fund a number of upgrades, such as steathy weapons pods. They don't think Super Hornet will be survivable as a platform in the near future.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 13):
The design goals were a fantasy.

EVERY tactical fighter design has a ton of compromises in it. There is no "perfect" design. It depends on what compromises you are willing to accept that's the issue. Obviously, the Air Force, Navy, and Marines think the compromises are doable for the F-35.

Personally, what I DON'T see in this forum are arguments dominated by actual engineers, ground crew, and pilots, some of the latter of whom may wind up with their lives actually depending on the F-35 doing what it's supposed to. They seem not to be worried. The UK, having already been burned by the cancellation of the Rolls-Royce/GE alternative engine, found themselves unwilling to pay to convert their carriers to CATOBAR and discussed cancelling their F-35C purchase...but are discussing no replacement option other than the F-35B! They don't seem to be worried about the performance of even the shortest-ranged, lowest payload, lowest g-rated of the three variants. Japan, no slouch in high tech, have added themselves to the customer list. They don't seem to be worried about anything but the possibility of cost overruns. Israel, probably more dependent on their air forces for their very survival than any other nation on earth, doesn't seem worried.

Quoting kanban (Reply 16):
this argument always puzzles me.. Is there some impending deadline we don't know about other than the synthetic retirement of easily extended current model a/c (other than the Harrier). Do the Marines really need a plane? Do we really need the Marines?.. forget tradition, what do they really provide that the Army, Navy and Air Force can't.

The current fleet is getting worn out and increasingly obsolete. There are major structural issues affecting the entire F-15, F-16, and F/A-18 fleet that could lead to fleet-wide permanent groundings, and it is increasingly not cost effective to continue upgrading and refurbishing these aircraft.
 
BMI727
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:21 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 16):
Is there some impending deadline we don't know about other than the synthetic retirement of easily extended current model a/c (other than the Harrier).

That is the deadline. The current planes won't last forever and the capabilities of the 20th century will only go so far in the 21st.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):
The Navy doesn't want to buy more Super Hornets;

They didn't want the Super Hornet in the first place but they didn't stop Cheney from cancelling the A-12 so that's what they got. Frankly, I don't feel too sorry for them having blown their chance at a low observable strike capability.

I'm not okay with it because it's a good option. I'm okay with it because the Navy screwed up and should lie in the bed they've made. If they'd not cancelled the A-12, the F-35 may never have started.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):
EVERY tactical fighter design has a ton of compromises in it. There is no "perfect" design.

The JSF sure sounded like one. Strike, vertical takeoff, stealth, dogfighting with the best of them, and the latest electronics all in a package cheaper than the F-22? That's a fantasy cooked up by bureaucrats.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):
Japan, no slouch in high tech, have added themselves to the customer list. They don't seem to be worried about anything but the possibility of cost overruns. Israel, probably more dependent on their air forces for their very survival than any other nation on earth, doesn't seem worried.

What other options would either of those two have? Both are rather concerned about threats at the moment too.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
checksixx
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:54 am

Quoting Zkpilot (Thread starter):
Over the past few days there has been a lot of speculation that not just the F-35C but the entire F-35 project being scrapped. Apparently there are major design flaws meaning the C model can't do arrestor hook landings, the other models apparently lack the range, manoeuverability, speed, payload of their rivals, and the whole aircraft is not particularly stealthy especially to newly developed/deployed radar bands. Finally the biggest hurdle is the massive cost of each aircraft.

Quote a source for all this speculation that you talk about. Have not heard even a peep of that.

Thanks,

Check
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:37 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):
Perhaps they can fit normal steam cats to the CVFs? The RN and RAF can always accept the F/A-18E/F or the Rafales

They can't, since they aren't nuclear powered that don't have the ability to generate lots of steam. They need EMALS, it's the only option.

A couple of weeks ago the Norwegian press started running stories about the govt cutting the F-35 purchase by about 25%, the loss of frames will be made up by more time spent in advanced simulators.
 
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moo
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:44 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 20):

Our last large aircraft carriers weren't nuclear powered either, and they had steam catapults.

All you need is a boiler, and that can be electrically heated.
 
connies4ever
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:22 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):
Personally, what I DON'T see in this forum are arguments dominated by actual engineers, ground crew, and pilots, some of the latter of whom may wind up with their lives actually depending on the F-35 doing what it's supposed to. They seem not to be worried.
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):
Japan, no slouch in high tech, have added themselves to the customer list.

Who have cut their firm purchase from, I believe, 42 to 4. Italy has cut purchase back to about 90, UK to about 100. Israel wants financing assistance on their purchase (read: gift, since the Israelis never actually pay for anything). That's now, wait until the actual cost of this goat comes out. Canada likely to cut back to about 40 or so given the government's stated "official" cost, notwithstanding the Auditor-General or the Parliamentary Budget officer's reports. In fact, I think if the air force brass hats were given the choice of 40 F-35s or 75-80 Super Hornets, they'd likely choose the latter.

As for arguments "dominated by actual engineers yadda yadda", many of the people to whom you might want to refer are prohibited from commenting in a public forum on this topic and are anyway strongly biased in a particular direction.

Once again I try to make the point, as I have tried to do with my American colleagues, you can only have the military you can afford. We can't afford the total F-35 package price.
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Kiwirob
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:46 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 21):

Our last large aircraft carriers weren't nuclear powered either, and they had steam catapults.

All you need is a boiler, and that can be electrically heated.

Yes they were designed with boilers and the steam was a free side effect which allowed for steam catapults, the CV doesn't have a boiler room and according to what I have read fitting boilers for steam catapults isn't possible.
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:54 pm

56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
 
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moo
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:03 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 23):
Yes they were designed with boilers and the steam was a free side effect which allowed for steam catapults, the CV doesn't have a boiler room and according to what I have read fitting boilers for steam catapults isn't possible.

No, it doesn't have a boiler room, but I don't accept that space cannot be found for a modern linear boiler system dedicated to the catapult system - its nowhere near the capacities required for ship propulsion, so a dedicated boiler is nowhere near the same space hog as that of ages gone by.
 
GDB
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:05 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 9):
And by your metric, we should have canceled this aircraft as well, which according to the GAO, had major issues with engine stalls, could not restart its engine in mid-air, had an excessive taxi speed, was suffering delays, had limited internal space for upgrades, and was increasingly vulnerable and expensive:
http://www.gao.gov/products/PSAD-77-41

....Which goes to show there is nothing new under the sun.

F-22 IIRC had a long and often difficult gestation.

Never mind fast jets, so did the C-17!
Almost cancelled more than once.
 
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kanban
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:34 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):
The current fleet is getting worn out and increasingly obsolete. There are major structural issues affecting the entire F-15, F-16, and F/A-18 fleet that could lead to fleet-wide permanent groundings, and it is increasingly not cost effective to continue upgrading and refurbishing these aircraft.


conveniently missing is buying new updated versions of these a/c.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 17):
Personally, what I DON'T see in this forum are arguments dominated by actual engineers, ground crew, and pilots, some of the latter of whom may wind up with their lives actually depending on the F-35 doing what it's supposed to. They seem not to be worried.


a substantial percentage of these people are forbidden to comment either by company security or military security.
 
LMP737
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:46 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 7):
except you can't operate them off VTOL ships...

Yes I know you can't that is kind of my point.
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ThePointblank
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 2:01 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 26):
conveniently missing is buying new updated versions of these a/c.

Conveniently missing is the massive lead time and limited production capabilities of the current generation aircraft; you do realize it takes 3 years from when you order to get a F-15 right now, right? Ditto the F-16. At full rate production, there will be 1 F-35 rolling off the assembly line every day. Combined, the annual production capacity of the F-15, F-16, and F/A-18 is less than a quarter of that than what is planned for F-35. Only the F-16 has ever come close in the past, and that was with multiple assembly lines.

Quoting GDB (Reply 25):

....Which goes to show there is nothing new under the sun.

F-22 IIRC had a long and often difficult gestation.

Never mind fast jets, so did the C-17!
Almost cancelled more than once.

I can find more. For example. F/A-18 had more than its fair share of development issues (and some that cropped up after IOC!). The F-14 actually crashed during testing. The F-15 also had its fair share of development issues. Needless to say, every single fighter since WWII has had issues or a difficult gestation. This isn't new.
 
checksixx
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 3:00 am

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 23):
Quoting checksixx (Reply 19):

Quote a source for all this speculation that you talk about. Have not heard even a peep of that.

Thanks,

Check
http://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalk...call-in-us-foreign-policy-journal/
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition...fighter-jet-of-the-future-1.363626
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...ighter-japan-idUSTRE82001I20120301
http://www.defencetalk.com/will-the-...aft-that-can-replace-jsfail-41889/

Also here is a very detailed indepth paper taking a look at the F-35
http://www.scribd.com/doc/88946660/W...SN-and-USMC-Shouldn-t-Buy-the-F-35

[Edited 2012-04-30 08:08:16]

Just as I thought...nothing...except an article from a year ago. There is nothing there about actually cancelling the F-35. Just opinions. When you have something real, get back to me.
 
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kanban
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 3:32 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 28):
Conveniently missing is the massive lead time and limited production capabilities of the current generation aircraft; you do realize it takes 3 years from when you order to get a F-15 right now, right? Ditto the F-16.


still beats waiting 8 years for a maybe plane the maybe will live up to it's hype. production lines can be added if needed. it's all relative to the real need.
 
Ozair
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 3:54 am

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 3):
Australia will happily take the F-22 (which is more suited to their needs anyway)

I don't think you have thought that out correctly. If you gave the RAAF the option of any current fighter jet in the world the F-22 would be the last one on the list! The F-22 suffers from short range, a limited range of weapons, an incredibly high cost per hour, a limited future upgrade path and it has none of the air to ground capabilities the RAAF needs.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 4:44 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 31):
I don't think you have thought that out correctly. If you gave the RAAF the option of any current fighter jet in the world the F-22 would be the last one on the list! The F-22 suffers from short range, a limited range of weapons, an incredibly high cost per hour, a limited future upgrade path and it has none of the air to ground capabilities the RAAF needs.

Indeed, not to mention a complete maintenance headache. F-35 is designed to be way more user friendly in terms of maintenance. Take for example the stealth coating. They've done a lot of testing in regards to normal wear and tear on the skin of F-35 to ensure that the stealth features aren't compromised:
http://www.sldinfo.com/the-f-35-low-...-for-21st-century-combat-aviation/
Note the last bit where they actually have a slab of stealth coating on a doormat at Lockheed Martin to test durability. No degradation even after 25,000 steps all over the mat.

In addition, they've eliminated a lot of the gaps in the skin the F-35 compared to the F-22, due to the heavy usage of machined carbon fiber, which fits a lot tighter with tighter tolerances, meaning less gap filling epoxy's. The F-35 is about 42% composite by weight, compared to the F-22 at 22% and the F-16 at 2%.
http://www.compositesworld.com/artic.../composites-machining-for-the-f-35
http://www.compositesworld.com/articles/skinning-the-f-35-fighter

Very impressive technology involved here.
 
Max Q
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 5:26 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 32):

Indeed, not to mention a complete maintenance headache. F-35 is designed to be way more user friendly in terms of maintenance. Take for example the stealth coating. They've done a lot of testing in regards to normal wear and tear on the skin of F-35 to ensure that the stealth features aren't compromised:

Why not call it 'the F35' What is the point of abbreviating it so ?!
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rwessel
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 6:27 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 32):
Indeed, not to mention a complete maintenance headache. F-35 is designed to be way more user friendly in terms of maintenance. Take for example the stealth coating. They've done a lot of testing in regards to normal wear and tear on the skin of F-35 to ensure that the stealth features aren't compromised:

And the F-22 was promised to be more reliable and easier to maintain than an F-15.
 
fvtu134
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 11:26 am

Well I think the USN ought to look at a certain aircraft type that already operated from the Truman I think it was... The hook is at the right distance from the gear, and I think most of the problems have been ironed out... Kind of off-the shelf buying without all the headaches...

http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=59175

I'm sure Mr. Dassault will be happy to provide a discount for an aircraft order  

FVTu134
who decided that a Horizon should be HORIZONtal???
 
Flighty
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 1:11 pm

Quoting Zkpilot (Thread starter):
F-22 production reinstated for at least another 100 birds (the F-22 is far more capable, is proven and costs about the same).

Of course the F-35 should have been cancelled many years ago. It went way off goals years ago. It is very beneficial to cancel programs that are off goal.

Also, believe it or not, when people threaten my job, I perform a lot better. I wonder why that is?

We should _expect_ that without any threat of cancellation or any basic program stewardship, each F-35 will be made of Play-Doh and cost $35 billion. The program was designed to yield that result, so let's see if they can accomplish that.

[Edited 2012-05-01 06:24:09]
 
spudh
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 2:37 pm

Old Chinese saying:

No matter how far you've gone down the wrong path TURN BACK!



But I think with the F-35 the wrong path may have gone right round the globe and they might just get close to where they wanted to be despite themselves.

An awful lot of the F-35 issue is caused by the immediacy of modern media.

How long did it take for the hook skip issue on the C to get out? In previous programmes the solution would already have been found before the problem was announced which would have killed the media response.

The only talk would have been 'ok, ye got it working but how much did that cost' whereas now its 'it can't land on a carrier, kill the program'. One of the F-111B prototypes came out a whopping 70%+ overweight, now there's an overrun, but the programme was already dead before that got out to the general public.

I don't have timelines available to me but it would be interesting to compare the reporting of the crash of the F-14 prototype to the crash of the F-22 prototype (or was that a YF-22?).

Quoting Revelation (Reply 2):

Wiki reports that in November 2011, a Pentagon study team identified the following 13 areas of concern that remained to be addressed in the F-35:

> The Helmet mounted display system does not work properly.
> The fuel dump subsystem poses a fire hazard.
> The Integrated Power Package is unreliable and difficult to service.
> The F-35C's arresting hook does not work.
> Classified "survivability issues", which have been speculated to be about stealth.[125]
> The wing buffet is worse than previously reported.
> The airframe is unlikely to last through the required lifespan.
> The flight test program has yet to explore the most challenging areas.
> The software development is behind schedule.
> The aircraft is in danger of going overweight or, for the F-35B, too heavy for VTOL operations.
> There are multiple thermal management problems. The air conditioner fails to keep the pilot and controls cool enough, the roll posts on the F-35B overheat, and using the afterburner damages the aircraft.
> The automated logistics information system is partially developed.
> The lightning protection on the F-35 is uncertified, with areas of concern.

Outside of the Helmet display I don't think there is a single fault in the list above that has not been seen and dealt with before. The C-17 is now a paragon of virtue but was almost stillborn. The F-15 and F-18 had bad buffet problems (The F-15 originally had square wing tips, chopping off a corner was a partial cure). The F-18 E/F is in service with wing drop issues.
The F-18 has well documented fatigue issues. Every US fighter flying today went through a gestation period with growing pains. At one stage in 1979, 132 of the 400 odd then produced USN fleet of F-14s were parked on the ramp in Miramar broken down!!. How much of that was reported.

All the century series of fighters had problems. The inabiity of the F-102 to fulfill its specification as a supersonic interceptor role in any way must have been mildly disappointing yet a 1000 of them were procured!

Overweight, Over budget, Behind schedule and Under performing has been the fate of every fighter except the A-10. The only reason the A-10 was an exception is that no-one wanted it so it didn't get meddled with and performance acceptance was a contractual trade off for staying on budget.

The reason most of it went unnoticed was down to media technology.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 2:54 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
If they don't like it they can thank Dick Cheney for cancelling the A-12.

No, the A=12 program was canceled for costs overruns, just like the F-35 program is in now.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 16):
The Navy doesn't want to buy more Super Hornets; notice that the most recent acquisitions are for the Growler, not the regular Super Hornet? And also note that the Navy refuses to fund a number of upgrades, such as steathy weapons pods. They don't think Super Hornet will be survivable as a platform in the near future.

Then your RCAF is in real trouble today, as their CF-18s are no where near as capable as the Super Hornet is. But the USN and RAAF both disagree with you on the survival issue of the SH. But I guess you know more than they do......NOT.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 19):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 12):Perhaps they can fit normal steam cats to the CVFs? The RN and RAF can always accept the F/A-18E/F or the Rafales

They can't, since they aren't nuclear powered that don't have the ability to generate lots of steam. They need EMALS, it's the only option.
Quoting moo (Reply 20):
Our last large aircraft carriers weren't nuclear powered either, and they had steam catapults.

All you need is a boiler, and that can be electrically heated.

Correct.

Quoting GDB (Reply 25):
Never mind fast jets, so did the C-17!
Almost cancelled more than once.

Yes, it was threatened twice with cancelation, both times when MD was managing the program. After the merger of Boeing and MD, and the C-17 program placed under Boeing control, it has become a model DOD procurment program.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 28):
Quoting kanban (Reply 26):conveniently missing is buying new updated versions of these a/c.
Conveniently missing is the massive lead time and limited production capabilities of the current generation aircraft; you do realize it takes 3 years from when you order to get a F-15 right now, right? Ditto the F-16. At full rate production, there will be 1 F-35 rolling off the assembly line every day. Combined, the annual production capacity of the F-15, F-16, and F/A-18 is less than a quarter of that than what is planned for F-35. Only the F-16 has ever come close in the past, and that was with multiple assembly lines.

Yes, it may take 3 years time for long lead items, but how long is it going to take to get the first fully capable F-35? 2020 is what most are now thinking, the 2017 date is proven to be not acheivable. The F-15, F-16, and F/A-18E/F are all still in production, and Tiawan may finally be able to order their 66 F-16C/Ds. So that means the production line backlog keeps growing, as Saudi Arabia already has their order for 80 F-15s approved. The F-35 has never been planned for a production rate of 30 per month. You cannot spit out a stealth anything at that rate. The best rate is planned at 10 per month, about one every 3 days.

You really do not know what you are talking about. I live in Fort Worth, and am retired from the USAF where I flew the KC-135, and the LM plant that will build the F-35 is just down the street from my home (about 3 miles away) in west Fort Worth. I know a bit more about the program than most, and without going into details (I can't) I will say the program is in trouble, with all of the customers.

For military forces, quality is a good thing to have, but more important is quantity. Even the most advanced systems can be overwelmed by numbers. The F-35 is pushing the technological envelope. There are limits to technology, and the F-35 is promising to go beyond current technology limits, well before we have an understanding of it. So, its promises cannot be kept, at least not right now.

I will admit, that due to the costs overruns in the program, and parts that have to be redisigned, I am not a fan of the program. I see other fighters, just as capable, or more capable for lower overall costs. Some have at least partial (frontal) stealth, like the F-15SE.
 
Powerslide
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 4:16 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
Then your RCAF is in real trouble today, as their CF-18s are no where near as capable as the Super Hornet is.

I've seen the CF-18 run circles around a Super Hornet in A/A combat. It was a joke really. Along with that, we did just fine with our "less capable" hornet in Libya. The Super Hornet is a fat, slow and oversized bomb truck that will get sent to the desert when the F-35 gets into service.
 
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Revelation
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 4:58 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 8):
Most of these issues have either been resolved or the fixes are underway.

It'd be nice to see an independent source say that.

It'd be nice if all those fixes weren't driving up the cost.

And, as below, only 20% of the flight testing has been accomplished so far.

I don't know about you, but as an actual engineer, it's usually the last 20% where the cost comes in.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 8):
And by your metric, we should have canceled this aircraft as well, which according to the GAO, had major issues with engine stalls, could not restart its engine in mid-air, had an excessive taxi speed, was suffering delays, had limited internal space for upgrades, and was increasingly vulnerable and expensive:

Ah to be back in 1976 again!

The threats we face now are economic ones, not military ones, yet we're too busy fighting the last (cold) war to figure that out.

The US spends more on defense than the rest of the world combined, and our economy can't/won't keep supporting that.

Quoting sphealey (Reply 9):

Articles like that don't just appear in publications such as "Foreign Policy"; this is a shot across the bow to some power group from some other power group. Who is which, and what their motives are, is entirely obscure (at least to me). But that isn't just another 1200 word'er dashed off by a writer who needs to make a car payment this month.

Since it didn't draw any comment, I'll drop in a fair use quote:

Quote:

This grotesquely unpromising plan has already resulted in multitudes of problems -- and 80 percent of the flight testing remains. A virtual flying piano, the F-35 lacks the F-16's agility in the air-to-air mode and the F-15E's range and payload in the bombing mode, and it can't even begin to compare to the A-10 at low-altitude close air support for troops engaged in combat. Worse yet, it won't be able to get into the air as often to perform any mission -- or just as importantly, to train pilots -- because its complexity prolongs maintenance and limits availability. The aircraft most like the F-35, the F-22, was able to get into the air on average for only 15 hours per month in 2010 when it was fully operational. (In 2011, the F-22 was grounded for almost five months and flew even less.)

This mediocrity is not overcome by the F-35's "fifth-generation" characteristics, the most prominent of which is its "stealth." Despite what many believe, "stealth" is not invisibility to radar; it is limited-detection ranges against some radar types at some angles. Put another way, certain radars, some of them quite antiquated, can see "stealthy" aircraft at quite long ranges, and even the susceptible radars can see the F-35 at certain angles. The ultimate demonstration of this shortcoming occurred in the 1999 Kosovo war, when 1960s vintage Soviet radar and missile equipment shot down a "stealthy" F-117 bomber and severely damaged a second.

The bottom line: The F-35 is not the wonder its advocates claim. It is a gigantic performance disappointment, and in some respects a step backward. The problems, integral to the design, cannot be fixed without starting from a clean sheet of paper.

It also says that even if the price doesn't grow any more, F-35 will be consuming 38% of the DOD procurement budget, and that LM won't even venture a date as to when we can expect the F-35 to be in service, with most guesses being around 2019.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
The design goals were a fantasy.

One lustily fought over by the defense contractors.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
. If they don't like it they can thank Dick Cheney for cancelling the A-12.

Which he was right to do. The longer the program ran, the further it got from its goals, and the less sure the contractors were that they knew how to meet the goals.

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 13):
No...it is not...it keeps being spent...and more and more military personnel are cut to fund this money pit!

That's ok, LM will still get paid.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
Just think how much more will need to be spent in order to modernize the force the way the F-35 was supposed to.

The point is we can't afford to modernize the fleet the way the F-35 was supposed to.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 16):
The Navy doesn't want to buy more Super Hornets; notice that the most recent acquisitions are for the Growler, not the regular Super Hornet? And also note that the Navy refuses to fund a number of upgrades, such as steathy weapons pods. They don't think Super Hornet will be survivable as a platform in the near future.

Either that, or they are plowing so much money into F-35 they can't spend on the SH.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 16):
Personally, what I DON'T see in this forum are arguments dominated by actual engineers, ground crew, and pilots,

I'm an actual software engineer with 25+ years experience, as well as a concerned taxpayer.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 19):
A couple of weeks ago the Norwegian press started running stories about the govt cutting the F-35 purchase by about 25%, the loss of frames will be made up by more time spent in advanced simulators.

Yes, in the real world, there are consequences to overspending, and the US is on a collision cost with reality.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 21):

Once again I try to make the point, as I have tried to do with my American colleagues, you can only have the military you can afford. We can't afford the total F-35 package price.

  
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
spudh
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 5:08 pm

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 39):
I've seen the CF-18 run circles around a Super Hornet in A/A combat. It was a joke really. Along with that, we did just fine with our "less capable" hornet in Libya. The Super Hornet is a fat, slow and oversized bomb truck that will get sent to the desert when the F-35 gets into service.

A Hornet pilot who flew numerous side-by-side comparison flights with F/A-18E/F SuperHornets said: "We outran them, we out-flew them and we ran them out of gas. I was embarrassed for them"

Someone elses words, not mine.

I'd still take an AESA equipped SH over a Legacy H any day of the week just for the radar alone. No matter how much you love or admire the CF-18 its at the end of its growth potential whereas the SH still has room for expanded capabilities which will keep it competitive for another decade at least. Is that worth the money? Hardly, but the F-18 was an odd enough choice for Australia and Canada in the first place.
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 7:02 pm

Quoting Powerslide (Reply 39):
I've seen the CF-18 run circles around a Super Hornet in A/A combat.

LOL. Do you mean the the similar way an A-4 will run circles around an F-14? Queue Mr. Kenny Loggins.   



bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
BMI727
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 10:06 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
No, the A=12 program was canceled for costs overruns, just like the F-35 program is in now.

And there is a lesson to be learned: you have to work through the schedule and budget overruns to end up with the right capabilities. Running away and cancelling programs whenever anything doesn't go according to plan just leaves us with the same problem and likely a suboptimal, stopgap solution.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 40):
The point is we can't afford to modernize the fleet the way the F-35 was supposed to.

We'll have to. Because if we don't find the money you can bet China will. Might be time to stop giving away money to people for having kids.

Quoting spudh (Reply 41):
A Hornet pilot who flew numerous side-by-side comparison flights with F/A-18E/F SuperHornets said: "We outran them, we out-flew them and we ran them out of gas. I was embarrassed for them"

Not surprising. The Super Hornet is bigger and far less optimized for air-to-air combat. I'd expect a similar result in a fight between an F-15E and F-15C.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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bikerthai
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 10:43 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
Might be time to stop giving away money to people for having kids.

Why? We would run out of able bodies people to fight our wars for us.  

Moderator, you can delete my post as appropriate. I just could not resist a political reply to a political statement.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
sphealey
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 10:58 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
And there is a lesson to be learned: you have to work through the schedule and budget overruns to end up with the right capabilities.

"Work through" is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence.

I've done a lot of systems design, software, and implementation work/management over the years and I certainly understand that projects and products are often more difficult and cost more than originally expected. And that uncovering the problems through doing the work is the only way to get to the goal. But the overruns on the F-35 ("spirals", "rebaseline'ings", whatever the 5x cost increase is being called this turn of the merry-go-round) is more than a bit out of hand. Also that the possibility of getting caught in the sunk cost fallacy has to be evaluated at every milestone, which AFAIKS isn't happening with this program.

sPh
 
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kanban
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Tue May 01, 2012 11:39 pm

Well we'll see how much longer Canada will stick to this since they are going to reevaluate the program and their needs.

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/th...ew-secretariat-urges-a-comple.html
 
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Revelation
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Wed May 02, 2012 12:07 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
And there is a lesson to be learned: you have to work through the schedule and budget overruns to end up with the right capabilities.

I guess you are presuming all designs, including this "fantasy" (your words) will converge rather than diverge especially given infinite money.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
We'll have to. Because if we don't find the money you can bet China will.

I'll take that bet. It's clear their plan is to build their strength economically not militarily. We're still stuck in the cold war mentality, outspending the entire world combined (yes, that includes China) on defense while they've been busy buying out or undercutting our manufacturing sector and moving factories to China.

Meanwhile we're pouring out money down into a bottomless pit trying to build the weapons to fight the cold war all over again.
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
checksixx
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Wed May 02, 2012 4:40 am

Quoting FVTu134 (Reply 35):
Well I think the USN ought to look at a certain aircraft type that already operated from the Truman I think it was... The hook is at the right distance from the gear, and I think most of the problems have been ironed out... Kind of off-the shelf buying without all the headaches...

http://www.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=59175

I'm sure Mr. Dassault will be happy to provide a discount for an aircraft order

FVTu134

That would be a tremendous mistake...the goal is to move forward, not backward, with stealth and capabilities. I would call Dassault fighter aircraft gen 3+ at best.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Talk Of F-35 Project Being Scrapped!

Wed May 02, 2012 5:22 am

Quoting rwessel (Reply 34):
And the F-22 was promised to be more reliable and easier to maintain than an F-15.

When you are working with first generation stealth technology, things don't go as well as you expect. The B-2's skin is likewise difficult to maintain. The main issue with the F-22's skin is the heavy reliance on specialized stealth coatings that weren't very durable. F-35 avoids the need to use stealthy appliqués and coatings by curing the substance into the composite skin of the aircraft into what Lockheed Martin calls a fiber mat. In order to actually degrade the stealth signature of F-35, you will literally have to punch holes in the skin unlike F-22, where a simple scratch or misaligned panel will significantly harm the stealth signature of the F-22.

In earlier stealth aircraft, the stealth in effect is a parasitic application of a multiple stack-up of material systems done in final finish after the actual airframe is built and completed. In the case of the F-35, the major revolution is that they've incorporated much of the LO system directly into the air frame itself. The materials have been manufactured right into the structure, so they have the durability and lifetime qualities.

As F-35 is already 40% composite by weight, curing the stealth compounds into the skin panels greatly improves durability, a special requirement because the Navy and USMC will never accept an aircraft on their ships that could not handle conditions at sea. Remember, the F-35 project office at the DoD is dominated by NAVAIR personnel. F-35 is very much a Navy program verses an Air Force program. A lot of durability testing went into the skin of the F-35 to ensure that it was durable especially in a naval environment.

I will also note that the F-35 will be the first aircraft in service to make use of structural nanocomposites, more specifically, carbon nanotube reinforced polymer (CNRP), which is several times stronger than traditional CFRP. Lockheed Martin has developed a process to produce CNRP components much more economically than in the past specifically for F-35. For example, on LRIP 4 and further aircraft, there will be a new wingtip fairing being made out of CNRP. This component is being made for one-tenth of the cost of the equivalent CFRP component.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 38):
Then your RCAF is in real trouble today, as their CF-18s are no where near as capable as the Super Hornet is. But the USN and RAAF both disagree with you on the survival issue of the SH. But I guess you know more than they do......NOT.

The Navy plans on retiring Super Hornet by 2025, with very minimal upgrades. They don't want to invest in further upgrades. The RAAF only bought Super Hornet as an interim aircraft to replace their F-111 fleet.

Quoting spudh (Reply 41):
I'd still take an AESA equipped SH over a Legacy H any day of the week just for the radar alone. No matter how much you love or admire the CF-18 its at the end of its growth potential whereas the SH still has room for expanded capabilities which will keep it competitive for another decade at least. Is that worth the money? Hardly, but the F-18 was an odd enough choice for Australia and Canada in the first place.

The Super Hornet is reaching its limits in terms of upgrades. For example, the new IRST system is not installed on the aircraft directly; they are modifying the centerline fuselage drop tank to install the IRST, which will cut into external fuel capability. Basically, the more capability you want to add, the more you have to hang pods and equipment off the pylons on current generation aircraft, meaning there is 1 less pylon for weapons and fuel.



[Edited 2012-05-01 22:40:30]

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