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The F-35

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2015 at 17:28
RifleDude View Drop Down
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I've always been fascinated with military aircraft in general, and fighter aircraft specifically. As such, I've been keeping up with all info I can find on the F-35, and try to read the various analyses with an eye toward bias, in an attempt to "separate the wheat from the chaff (pardon the pun)." Regardless of whether the F-35 will be a game-changing aircraft as Lockheed Martin officials claim (what else would they say?) or a total pig that will be severely under-classed by the Gen 4+ aircraft it may engage as the most pessimistic analysts claim, one thing's for sure: the enormous costs keep mounting, and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight to the delays, cost increases, design changes, and technical problems cited.

Most military analysts outside of LM and its test pilots seem to say the airplane sucks and fails to deliver on its hype, though few people outside of the program's inner circle really know anything beyond published specs and what the cheerleaders and pundits say since it's not in service yet. I realize that most new fighter designs had design problems and other issues that had to be overcome before they became operational. Modern jet fighters are very complex and the final design always involves balancing a whole host of design compromises. When the design is optimized for one performance trait, others are almost certainly compromised, as so many requirements of a world-class fighter are in direct conflict with each another; it just goes with the territory. However, I've never heard of so many serious problems cited in the development of any other aircraft before as I have for the F-35. Hell, I don't know what to believe, but I don't for the life of me understand why the F-22 program was canceled in lieu of the F-35 (even though they are designed for slightly different roles).

With that said, here's a very unflattering article about it:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/421473/f-35-defense-waste-danger
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2015 at 17:31
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She show is a sexy gal. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/23/2015 at 17:36
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'Course...I never saw the need to replace the veritable F-4 Phantom ll, but what do I know. Bucky
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/24/2015 at 13:17
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Hmm, I have to agree with the author. The F-35 should have been aborted at conception, the whole concept was retarded to begin with. You would have thought the Navy and Air Force would have remembered that from the F-111 when the 2 forces were forced to try and develop a multi-role fighter for both services. The result was a lot of money was spent on a plane that didn't meet mission reguirements for either service, Only one of them wound up using the F-111, but not as a fighter, but as a bomber. When the 2 services were allowed to develop their own fighters, they both developed game changing fighters that fit their needs.
This brings up the failed concept of how the F-35 is supposed to operate as a fighter. Even though the F-35 has yet to become operational, it's intended method of operation has already been proven not to work. After the Korean War as missile and radar technology advanced fighters were designed more to be guided missile launching platforms than dog fighters. In fact the F-4 Phantom II wasn't designed with a gun, it only carried missiles and an advanced radar to attack other aircraft with. The F-4 was the only successful fighter to ever be used by both the Navy and Air Force; but the F-4 wasn't a very good fighter. During the Vietnam war, Vietnam slapped the snot out of U.S. fighters with their Russian supplied fighters that were lighter, more maneuverable, climbed faster, and had guns; they were built to dog fight. U.S. pilots didn't even know how to dog fight. It wasn't until fighter schools like Top Gun and Red Flag, and the addition of a gun to the F-4 were put into place before U.S. fighters started making headway against those light weight low tech Russian fighters. When U.S. planners decided to build new fighters, they went to the fighter pilots that had seen combat and asked them what they wanted in a fighter, and then built them. They produced fighters that were fast, could out climb, out turn, had better radar, than anybody else and they had a GUN. They were built to dog fight first, and then be a missile launching platform second. Even the F-14 the first of the new fighters was built as a dog fighter with very good long range interception capabilities.
When the F-22 was designed and competed against the YF-23 as the new air superiority fighter, it won because it was the better dog fighter, yet not quite as stealthy or as fast as the YF-23. When I read the performance stats on the F-35 back in 2002 I was shocked. It wasn't a dog fighter but a missile launching platform that was stealthy, and really, REALLY expensive. The F-35 is supposed to be a low cost fighter, but low cost has nothing to do with the F-35. In my opinion except for the Marine VTOL version of the F-35 (and I'm not sure about that), the F-35 should be cancelled. Just think of the F-22s that could have been built with the money wasted on the F-35.
 Maybe we could hack the Russian and Chinese computers and copy their advances in aerodynamics and build a suitable fighter.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/24/2015 at 13:59
RifleDude View Drop Down
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Interestingly, if the STOVL "requirement" the Marines wanted (a capability that has rarely been used with the Harrier, and has pretty dubious actual benefit for a fighter) had been scrapped, it would've eliminated many of the F-35's issues.

The STOVL lift fan caused all of the following design problems for the jet:
1. Greatly increased mechanical complexity and higher maintenance requirements
2. Reduced fuel capacity and therefore range due to space requirement for lift fan and PTO shaft assembly
3. Reduced weapons carrying capacity due to the need for an unobstructed lift fan air flow tunnel through the center of the fuselage
4. No rear canopy visibility, since the lift fan is behind the pilot, and the resultant need for rear vision sensors to compensate, so the pilot can "check his six"
5. Center fuselage shape violates the "area rule" for best aerodynamics, increasing drag and reducing speed & acceleration
6. Forced to use single engine rather than 2 engines (less margin of safety in the event of flameouts, requires greater thrust and thus heat in the single engine used)
7. Reduced maneuverability due to smaller wings required for STOVL to work correctly = heavier wing loading
8. Weaker center fuselage due to the "hole through the middle" for the lift fan

Even the Air Force and Navy versions are compromised by the Marine STOVL version's design requirements (even the version without STOVL) because all versions share a common fuselage design for parts commonality reasons.

If they had just dropped the STOVL requirement, the F-35 would have had much better kinematic performance, maneuverability, and pilot situational awareness, and most of its design problems would've gone away. Almost all of its current issues cited would disappear without STOVL.

Basically, the design requirements for STOVL are incompatible with a truly capable supersonic fighter intended to also perform air-to-air combat and excel at dogfighting.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/24/2015 at 14:06
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...and significantly increased weight, which reduces performance and maneuverability and requires even greater engine thrust and fuel consumption to compensate, on a jet that already has short legs.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/24/2015 at 14:26
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Then you answered it Ted. Scrap the whole program and start over. Only this time, let the individual Services procure their own low cost fighter. Who knows, they may pick the same thing.

Just as a side note. The Air Force picked the F-4 because they needed an interceptor and the Navy had just what they wanted, and the Navy picked the F/A-18 which was an evolution of the Air Force's YF-17 which was a competitor for the Air Force's low cost fighter. Also, the Air Defense Command of the U.S. Air Force wanted the F-14 because it was such a good long range interceptor with it's long range radar, tracking system, and Phoenix missile, which gave it 2 to 3 times the range of the F-15 and it's Sparrow missile, and the F-14 could engage multiple targets at the same time. The Air Force said the F-15 was what they were getting.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/24/2015 at 15:09
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The Tomcat was an awesome fighter for its time, but technology left it behind. With the advent of cruise missiles and better avionics (eliminating the need for the RIO or "guy in the back seat"), the F-14 no longer had a viable role. The F-14 was a maintenance nightmare. Due to the swing wing concept and complexity, it required more maintenance hours to keep flying than any other tactical aircraft, reducing its sortie rate. On top of that, it was limited to 6 G's, 7 tops, to avoid stress fractures on the airframe, again due to the swing wing.

The F/A-18 Super Hornet is a superior fighter, even though it's slower than the F-14. It has much superior avionics and better maneuverability. It doesn't of course have the AIM54 Phoenix missile capability, but again, cruise missiles pretty much obsoleted the Phoenix, and AIM120 AMRAAM missiles can handle much of the BVR envelope of the Phoenix, albeit with shorter range.

Boeing has recently develop a new version of the Super Hornet called the "Advanced Hornet" with additional fuel capacity and semi-stealth capability. Adding fuel addresses one of the main complaints of the F/A-18 family. The Navy is very interested.

Speaking of which, the F/A-18 has had some of the same criticisms as the F-35 early on, but it has proven to be a very good airplane. The Super Hornet, with increased weapon load, increased thrust, and improved avionics with helmet display weapon system and high off boresight weapon system, is a VERY formidable bird!

Yes, the F/A-18A was a product of the Lightweight Fighter program. From that, the AF picked the slightly faster, tighter turning, and smaller F-16 (General Dynamics at the time), and the Navy picked the YF-17 / F/A-18 (Northrop at the time), mainly because it had 2 engines. The Navy doesn't like single engine jets, due to carrier requirements, another knock on the F-35.

On the F-15, the AF is much better off with it vs. the F-14. An F-15 is a much superior dogfighter vs the F-14. It's faster, has better climb rate, better sustained turn rate, and right now, it has the best A/A combat record of any fighter ever. Since the -15 also carries AMRAAMs, it doesn't have any practical BVR disadvantage to the F-14, when you consider AF fighter tactics vs. Navy fleet defense needs.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/24/2015 at 15:23
BeltFed View Drop Down
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

The Tomcat was an awesome fighter for its time, but technology left it behind. With the advent of cruise missiles and better avionics (eliminating the need for the RIO or "guy in the back seat"), the F-14 no longer had a viable role. The F-14 was a maintenance nightmare. Due to the swing wing concept and complexity, it required more maintenance hours to keep flying than any other tactical aircraft, reducing its sortie rate. On top of that, it was limited to 6 G's, 7 tops, to avoid stress fractures on the airframe, again due to the swing wing.

The F/A-18 Super Hornet is a superior fighter, even though it's slower than the F-14. It has much superior avionics and better maneuverability. It doesn't of course have the AIM54 Phoenix missile capability, but again, cruise missiles pretty much obsoleted the Phoenix, and AIM120 AMRAAM missiles can handle much of the BVR envelope of the Phoenix, albeit with shorter range.

Boeing has recently develop a new version of the Super Hornet called the "Advanced Hornet" with additional fuel capacity and semi-stealth capability. Adding fuel addresses one of the main complaints of the F/A-18 family. The Navy is very interested.

Speaking of which, the F/A-18 has had some of the same criticisms as the F-35 early on, but it has proven to be a very good airplane. The Super Hornet, with increased weapon load, increased thrust, and improved avionics with helmet display weapon system and high off boresight weapon system, is a VERY formidable bird!

Yes, the F/A-18A was a product of the Lightweight Fighter program. From that, the AF picked the slightly faster, tighter turning, and smaller F-16 (General Dynamics at the time), and the Navy picked the YF-17 / F/A-18 (Northrop at the time), mainly because it had 2 engines. The Navy doesn't like single engine jets, due to carrier requirements, another knock on the F-35.

On the F-15, the AF is much better off with it vs. the F-14. An F-15 is a much superior dogfighter vs the F-14. It's faster, has better climb rate, better sustained turn rate, and right now, it has the best A/A combat record of any fighter ever. Since the -15 also carries AMRAAMs, it doesn't have any practical BVR disadvantage to the F-14, when you consider AF fighter tactics vs. Navy fleet defense needs.

All true Ted. It was just the Air Defense Command that wanted the F-14. Tactical Air command would have never accepted the F-14 over the F-15 and they were calling the shots on the air superiority fighter for the Air Force. It did help with getting the AMRAAM though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/02/2015 at 15:50
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The days of manned fighter aircraft are almost over.

F35 is a decent enough aircraft for most things, but F22 cancelation was likely a mistake.

Beyond these two though, manned aircraft will be largely oriented toward operation above the atmosphere.

Ilya
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2015 at 10:39
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We may certainly go that way…. perhaps a better and more astute study of Isaac Asimov's writings would be in order and a rerun of Star Trek's "A Taste of Armageddon".  Perhaps mankind is too foolish to understand that when you take the danger, the terror, the humanity out of war, it does indeed become "too terrible".  Warfare, conducted through machines, without men putting their lives, their sacred honor, their fortunes on the "line", becomes just slaughter… when honor is gone, conscience is gone.  All manner of evil becomes "normal" when a person sitting in an office underground in Colorado "flies" the instrument that is killing hundreds/thousands of people with no potential observable consequence… it is why we find the thought of nuclear war so horrible, so repulsive, so unacceptable.  When war is placed in the "hands" of unattached individuals, safe from its repercussions, or AI machines, it will be a day to day, every day occurrence… it will never end… Perhaps that is our destiny… perhaps that is what "wars and rumors of wars" finally means.  

"It matters not what Man thinks of War", said the Judge. "As well ask what Man thinks of Stone.  Before Man was, War was… the perfect Occupation awaiting the perfect Executioner."

"They can be a great people; they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way…"

The F-35 is a mistake. It will have all the issues of all its predecessors… the F-111 Raven, the F-4 Phantom, etc.  Air Force and Navy have different roles that cross over… there are elments that can be cross populated, but they should never have to be subjected to the idiocy of having to push one aircraft into all the roles.  The Air Force does not land on carriers and to force AF aircraft to carry the same "penalties" Navy aircraft do is unreasonable in any characterization.  To implement the "same design" creates massive inefficiencies in operational capabilities, limiting both Navy and AF aircraft and overcoming ANY efficiencies realized by a "same design".  You essentially end up with different aircraft, requiring the same number of supply chains as "the old way", but costing more due to the concentration on "sameness".  AF can "live" with single-engine fighters… Navy NEEDS dual-engines… different missions, different logistics for those missions.  The AF version of the F-35 is not going to have the beefed up suspension/landing gear… guess why… THEY DON'T NEED IT.  Navy payload will suffer… guess why… They have the beefed up suspension, heavier, can't carry as much payload… because they are limited to a single engine.  
The whole concept is idiotic.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2015 at 17:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2015 at 09:41
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don't know anything about jet's and this is probably a different catagory but i like the a 10 warthog that jet alway's get's my attention mostly because it is basically built around the gun 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2015 at 10:00
cheaptrick View Drop Down
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Welcome to Optics Talk, Danny. What's the R3-8? 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/28/2015 at 18:00
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Don't know much about military planes but what if they were to make the B52 & 36 Stealth?????
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2015 at 08:35
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Originally posted by stickbow46 stickbow46 wrote:

Don't know much about military planes but what if they were to make the B52 & 36 Stealth?????

It's called the B-2.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2015 at 18:17
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Thanks Lynn,I knew someone was still here Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2015 at 18:33
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How about a biiiiig bomb.......

OK, I won't go there😎😎

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/29/2015 at 20:09
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r is 1st letter of last name 3-8 is from my days as nascar fan earnhardt sr and jr
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2015 at 08:58
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Stick, the last time I was at the Air Force Museum I checked the payload capacities of all the strategic bombers from the B-36 to the B-1 (they didn't have a B-2). The B-36 was the king of payload carriers, and everything after that got smaller. Of course bombs got more efficient and smaller as time went on, but just think how ISIS would feel if a dozen B-36s came to deliver a full load of JADAMs to them.
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