F-35: What The Pilots Say

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post22 Mar 2019, 23:38

F-35: What The Pilots Say
Firsthand accounts of flying the world’s most advanced fighter.


Billie Flynn | Experimental test pilot, Lockheed Martin
For four years, all people could talk about was how we’d lost a dogfight against a 40-year-old F-16. Paris was the first time we showed what the airplane could do.

Lieutenant Colonel David “Chip” Berke | USMC (ret.)
If you were to write down all the ways in which you could measure an airplane—payload, fuel, ordnance, handling—and ask 100 pilots to rank which is the most important, I guarantee you that 100 out of 100 pilots would say “situational awareness.” By far. Not a single pilot in the world would say “turn radius.” Not one. Because the more you know, the more accurately you know it, the better able you are to make a decision.

Lieutenant JG Thorys Stensrud | U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 125
My first flight was July 2018. It was surreal. I don’t think it really hit me until after we landed—just how impressive the jet is and how big a step it is from a T-45 to the first gray, Navy jet.

Colonel Arthur “Turbo” Tomassetti | USMC (ret.)
And every time I took somebody out for a first flight, when we came back—I was usually at plane side when they were coming down the ladder—I was waiting for the minute when they lifted their visor to see the expression on their face. And in every case, that expression was a smile.

Major Valerie “Twitch” Wetzbarger | F-35 instructor pilot, USAF 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base
That mission {SEAD} is very similar to the F-15E, but the information fusion, pilot interface, and physical capabilities in the F-35 take our efficiency across the formation and among partner nations to a whole new level.

Jon Beesley | Lockheed F-35 Chief Test Pilot, 2002–2011
The F-35 is as maneuverable as any other airplane, except perhaps the F-22. Russian airplanes are also very maneuverable, but if you dig into [the Russian demonstrations of maneuverability], what you’re seeing is the capabilities of airplanes flown by exceptional pilots. What we were building with the F-35 is an airplane that everybody can fly. That’s the critical part of it.

Squadron Leader Andy Edgell | Royal Air Force, F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force
Lots of people want me to make the comparison between the Harrier and the F-35, but it is chalk and cheese.

Lieutenant Colonel Yosef Morris | USAF 4th Squadron Commander, 388th Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base
Reading the first sortie on the first day, I certainly felt overwhelmed with the amount of information. And the next sortie I flew, I could manage some of my sensors differently to give me just the information I needed for that particular mission. Figuring out how to declutter your display to match the scenario is one of the main skills we learn here that we can’t simulate in day-to-day training, because you don’t get to train with the rest of the Department of Defense on a daily basis.


Much, much more at the link
https://www.airspacemag.com/military-av ... 180971734/
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Unread post23 Mar 2019, 00:14

Get the PDF of the above article here (RED FLAG part): viewtopic.php?f=22&t=54962&p=414794&hilit=Shiner#p414794

Entire Article PDF: F-35 Pilots Say Air & Space Smithsonian Apr-May 2019 pp9.pdf (7.1Mb)

download/file.php?id=29889
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Unread post23 Mar 2019, 00:45

How bout this one
The F-35 absolutely is fun to fly! It’s exhilarating because there is so much power. I vividly remember a pull-out of a dive. It was about a 70-degree dive to get to the actual test point, at 5,000 feet. I recovered full backstick, a pull-out to 50-degree angle of attack, and I could not believe how quickly the aircraft turned the corner. I had probably been flying the aircraft for about three years at that point, but at that moment, it absolutely took my breath away.
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Unread post23 Mar 2019, 03:09

Chip Berke

Air-defense networks can also be limiting for stealth aircraft. The first thing you have to think about in the F-35 is managing your signature. In an F-18, you don’t even think about it because everybody sees you the minute you take off, so you don’t spend a lot of time trying to hide. Managing all the components of low observability is very challenging, and pilots have to think about it all the time. And they don’t do it well the first time. We all struggle with that initially. But you de-brief and analyze and start to build a database of the methods being used to detect you. You start to build a strategy that will keep others from finding you. Where do you want to put other people in the formation so you can maximize information sharing and sensor coverage and sensor footprints? It’s really no different, from a philosophical viewpoint, from what we’ve always done. We spend a lot of time trying to figure out what our weaknesses are: What do I need to fix as a pilot?

In an F-22 and F-35, one of the most enjoyable things is being virtually undetectable until it’s way, way, way too late for the threat. If you manage the signature really well, and you do it in a way that is integrated with the other platforms, most of the time the threat doesn’t know you’re there. And that’s why I have extreme faith that the machine is going to be the most dominant aircraft ever built.
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Unread post24 Mar 2019, 13:26

OP said: Much, much more at the link
https://www.airspacemag.com/military-av ... 180971734/

Folks, he isn't kidding. If you haven't read the full article, you're doing yourself (and the F-35!) a real dis-service. Thanks so much for posting this, it really speaks volumes..
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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 16:30

Call it nitpicking but I don't like it when F-35 pilots say "it flies like any 4th gen".
The 4th gen performance ball park is huge.

Lets use the best performing 3rd gen as a measuring stick. To me thats the GE-F110 powered F-14B (or A+)
(I know some of you consider the Tomcat a 4th gen, but I have read naval aviators call it a 3rd gen, so I'll go with that)
We got 4th gens that are actually kinematically less capable in most areas (i.e. Tornado ADV, Mirage 2000 maybe even the Gripen)

On the other hand we have 4th gens that approach Raptor levels of performance in some areas (i.e. Typhoon, Su-35)
The F-35 as we know is the best of the F-16C and F/A-18. So this puts it at the top tier 4th gen level in performance terms. in fact, if it was a 4th gen, it would be the top performing NATO 4th gen in most metrics, specially when combat configured.

Bottom line is, using simply the word "4th gen" as a measuring stick is too vague, in my opinion.
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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 16:38

'zero-one' said above: "...Bottom line is, using simply the word "4th gen" as a measuring stick is too vague, in my opinion." Until the NATOPS/ Dash One flight manuals become available with associated performance figures / graphs etc. (perhaps they now will only ever be in computer/PDF format?) then 'vague' is the word especially for a ONE LINER quote, especially for those not having flown any of the aircraft - 3rd/4th or 5th gen. 6th gen will be VAGUER still. :shock: Dis is de troof. :roll:
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ricnunes

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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 16:46

zero-one wrote:Lets use the best performing 3rd gen as a measuring stick. To me thats the GE-F110 powered F-14B (or A+)
(I know some of you consider the Tomcat a 4th gen, but I have read naval aviators call it a 3rd gen, so I'll go with that)
We got 4th gens that are actually kinematically less capable in most areas (i.e. Tornado ADV, Mirage 2000 maybe even the Gripen)


Actually this is the very first time that I read anywhere that the F-14 was/is considered a "3rd gen" fighter aircraft. Or putting into another perspective everything that I read so far points out the F-14 as being a 4th gen.

Could you share the some info/sources that state that the F-14 was/is a 3rd gen fighter aircraft?

IMO, the F-14 is clearly a 4th gen fighter aircraft and I would say that it was the very first 4th gen fighter aircraft (just like the F-22 is the very first 5th gen fighter aircraft). This for several reasons being one of them the fact ("fact" as IMO, that is) that if the F-14 was a 3rd gen fighter aircraft then the F-15 would also be a 3rd gen fighter aircraft as well and I guess that everyone would disagree (and rightfully so) with this.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 17:10

zero-one wrote:Call it nitpicking but I don't like it when F-35 pilots say "it flies like any 4th gen".
The 4th gen performance ball park is huge.

Lets use the best performing 3rd gen as a measuring stick. To me thats the GE-F110 powered F-14B (or A+)
(I know some of you consider the Tomcat a 4th gen, but I have read naval aviators call it a 3rd gen, so I'll go with that)
We got 4th gens that are actually kinematically less capable in most areas (i.e. Tornado ADV, Mirage 2000 maybe even the Gripen)

On the other hand we have 4th gens that approach Raptor levels of performance in some areas (i.e. Typhoon, Su-35)
The F-35 as we know is the best of the F-16C and F/A-18. So this puts it at the top tier 4th gen level in performance terms. in fact, if it was a 4th gen, it would be the top performing NATO 4th gen in most metrics, specially when combat configured.

Bottom line is, using simply the word "4th gen" as a measuring stick is too vague, in my opinion.


Why is it that, out of all the great information in the article, the least important part is what warrants mention? I'm pretty sure pilots will say it handles like 4th gens because it isn't a lot better and it isn't a lot worse. Somewhere in the same ballpark where pilot skill is the determining factor.
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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 17:31

ricnunes wrote:Actually this is the very first time that I read anywhere that the F-14 was/is considered a "3rd gen" fighter aircraft.


Never heard that before. I'd always heard it described as the 1st of the 4th gen. (The F-4 was 3rd gen and the F-14 is next gen by every metric.)
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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 21:40

For once David Majumar writes a good article giving a little more "color" to the signature management aspect that one of the pilots talked about:

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... soon-48932
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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 22:18

citanon wrote:For once David Majumar writes a good article giving a little more "color" to the signature management aspect that one of the pilots talked about:

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... soon-48932


Multiple Air Force and industry sources confirm that the Raptor has a lower radar cross section over a wider range of frequencies than the F-35 (as the Air Force maintained for nearly decade till 2014), but the newer aircraft is far better at managing its signature thanks to an incredibly advanced electronic warfare suite. That is likely why retired Air Combat Command commander Gen. Mike Hostage told Breaking Defense : “The F-35 doesn’t have the altitude, doesn’t have the speed [of the F-22], but it can beat the F-22 in stealth.” The operative word there is can. As current ACC commander Gen. Hawk Carlisle told National Defense Magazine : The F-35 has much better “passive capability to determine who’s out there [and] its ability to manage its own signature.”


This is indeed an interesting quote.
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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 22:28

F-35 pilots: masters in the new martial art of LO-fu :D
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Unread post25 Mar 2019, 23:03

citanon wrote:For once David Majumar writes a good article giving a little more "color" to the signature management aspect that one of the pilots talked about: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... soon-48932

AGAIN this quote from same 'rehashDave' article: "...(This first appeared several years ago.)…"
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Unread post26 Mar 2019, 00:05

"rehash {insert name of clickbait article here}" is what Nation Interest does.
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