Concurrency QLR

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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maus92

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Unread post13 Dec 2011, 18:08

Lots of news this morning about the Kendall 29NOV Concurrency Quick Look Review that seems to be the basis for the recent Bloomberg article. DEW Line blog links to three other articles, and a copy of the report. The ARES post has a better link.

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-d ... 5-con.html

"Internal Pentagon report finds major problems with F-35 performance and components"

Technical and performance problems with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter appear to be more numerous and more serious than anyone in the Department of Defense has been willing to concede publicly."

Read more: http://blogs.star-telegram.com/sky_talk ... z1gR3WPG00

"JSF - What's Really Happening"

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... d=blogDest

"Special DoD review recommends curtailing early F-35 production"

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... on-365933/
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spazsinbad

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Unread post13 Dec 2011, 18:55

The Flight Global link to small PDF is to a poor quality 'text only' example. The subsequent links above eventually point to the POGO PDF which can be downloaded from here as described below.

Best to download the larger PDF with graphics (but smaller than original 19Mb POGO PDF) here:
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... t-105.html (scroll down)

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter | Concurrency Quick Look Review | 29 November 2011

Specifically: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_download-id-15184.html (5Mb)
RAN FAA A4G: http://tinyurl.com/ctfwb3t http://tinyurl.com/ccmlenr http://www.youtube.com/user/bengello/videos
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handyman

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Unread post13 Dec 2011, 20:56

As a result, the Department of Defense should scrap the current acquisition plan based on automatic, yearly production increases, and allow the rate to increase as tests develop.

Its so obvious, I can't believe we're even having a debate about this.
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stereospace

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Unread post13 Dec 2011, 23:04

From the Executive Summary
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Summary1.jpg
Summary2.jpg
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stereospace

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Unread post14 Dec 2011, 00:42

Testing
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Testing Progress.jpg
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popcorn

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Unread post14 Dec 2011, 03:21

stereospace wrote:Testing

Great graphic.. thanks.
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cxxtxx

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Unread post14 Dec 2011, 07:00

I’m over on Aviationintel.com quite a bit where I read a post about the F-35 Concurrency QLR. After downloading and reading the QLR twice, and picking myself off the floor twice, I thought I would join this list for some additional perspective.

Summing up the QLR, there are fundamental concerns about the F-35 performing every possible conceivable mission, including sitting parked on an open tarmac, (because until 2014-2016, the 25 nautical mile lightning restriction will remain in place.) There are serious concerns with the F-35 performing: (1) level flight (at modest angles of attack,) (2) air to surface attack, (3) close air support, (4) air warfare, (5) electronic attack, (6) combat search and rescue, and (7) deployability, among other things. Specifically, the HMDS, fuel dump subsystem, IPP, arresting hook and another classified issue are causes of very serious concern, while buffeting, structural fatigue, software, weight management, thermal issues and the ALIS are just causes of serious concern.

Talk about a world-class FUBAR situation. My God.

(1) If Lockheed Martin cannot properly design the placement of tail hook arresting gear, or more specifically, cannot design an aircraft where tail hook arresting gear can be properly placed, IT’S A WRAP PEOPLE.

(2) When the pilot forgets and carries loose change in his pockets and that makes the aircraft grossly over-weight, IT’s TIME TO PULL THE PLUG.

(3) When Lockheed Martin trumpets Mach 1.6 and 9.9 G’s, but forgets to mention that the entire fleet is now red-lined at Mach 1 because Mach 1.6 causes pretty serious damage, THAT’S called FRAUD.

(4) And for an airplane that’s supposed to be, “more maneuverable that a F-16” buffeting at modest angles of attack serious enough to cause “serious structural fatigue” sounds pretty alarming.

If I was a policy maker in this matter, I would cancel the F-35 tomorrow. Then I would recommend the immediate arrest, trial and summary execution of about 1000 top civilian Pentagon employees (past and present) / Lockheed Martin executives / engineers / contractors. This cluster f%*k has serious long-term national security implications, and fifty years hence, we should still be searching for and executing the idiots who got us into this mess.

Summarily execute 1000-executives for “defense procurement and contracting incompetence” and lets see if that makes an impression with the defense industry. Maybe 5,000 is a better number, though I’m open to additional perspectives...

Chad
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Unread post14 Dec 2011, 08:48

Well, I wouldn't take it that far. Maybe identifying and resolving the major structural issues before we build any more LRIP airframes might be prudent at this point.
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Unread post14 Dec 2011, 11:10

cxxtxx wrote:I’m over on Aviationintel.com quite a bit where I read a post about the F-35 Concurrency QLR. After downloading and reading the QLR twice, and picking myself off the floor twice, I thought I would join this list for some additional perspective.

Summing up the QLR, there are fundamental concerns about the F-35 performing every possible conceivable mission, including sitting parked on an open tarmac, (because until 2014-2016, the 25 nautical mile lightning restriction will remain in place.) There are serious concerns with the F-35 performing: (1) level flight (at modest angles of attack,) (2) air to surface attack, (3) close air support, (4) air warfare, (5) electronic attack, (6) combat search and rescue, and (7) deployability, among other things. Specifically, the HMDS, fuel dump subsystem, IPP, arresting hook and another classified issue are causes of very serious concern, while buffeting, structural fatigue, software, weight management, thermal issues and the ALIS are just causes of serious concern.

Talk about a world-class FUBAR situation. My God.



And yet after all of the supposed disasters, the QLR suggests they continue development and even continue purchasing LRIP Lots. I guess they don't see it the same way as you.

Maybe you don't realize the point of the QLR. This report does not examine the 2016 capabilities fielded by the JSF. Rather its an examination of whether concurrency buys should continue right now. For most of these issues, fixes are already ordered on later planes, or development continues to find a solution.

If you want to make broad inferences about what might occur five years from now on one of the most complex aerospace projects in the world, you're within your right to do so. However its somewhat foolish given that the reports' authors suggest they should continue development and limited LRIP buys.


cxxtxx wrote:(1) If Lockheed Martin cannot properly design the placement of tail hook arresting gear, or more specifically, cannot design an aircraft where tail hook arresting gear can be properly placed, IT’S A WRAP PEOPLE.


So they are struggling with an engineering issue. I'd urge you to find me a single military project that didn't face such a thing. Trust me, you wont.

They are trying to equip a stealthy plane with a tailhook. It is probably the most intractable issue facing the project according to this report.


cxxtxx wrote:2) When the pilot forgets and carries loose change in his pockets and that makes the aircraft grossly over-weight, IT’s TIME TO PULL THE PLUG.


According to Annex 28 (as well as 26 and 29), all versions are actually progressing according to or below the weight plan. LM has been concerned about the weight issue for some time and has continued to keep it under a lid. Are they concerned, yes... but they have been for the past 4 years



cxxtxx wrote:(4) And for an airplane that’s supposed to be, “more maneuverable that a F-16” buffeting at modest angles of attack serious enough to cause “serious structural fatigue” sounds pretty alarming.


Except when you read that the F-14 had the same problem at similar places in the envelope, as did the F-15, F/A-18 and the F-22. I haven't heard anybody complain about their dogfighting capability or their tails structural issues. There are several possible fixes, from reinforcement to small actuators on rudder and vertical tail surface.

Then again (and as the QLR suggests)they may follow the Grumman approach with the F-14: do nothing.


cxxtxx wrote:If I was a policy maker in this matter, I would cancel the F-35 tomorrow. Then I would recommend the immediate arrest, trial and summary execution of about 1000 top civilian Pentagon employees (past and present) / Lockheed Martin executives / engineers / contractors. This cluster f%*k has serious long-term national security implications, and fifty years hence, we should still be searching for and executing the idiots who got us into this mess.


Summarily execute 1000-executives for “defense procurement and contracting incompetence” and lets see if that makes an impression with the defense industry. Maybe 5,000 is a better number, though I’m open to additional perspectives...

Chad


Thankfully you're not a policy maker. Comments riddled with ridiculous hyperbole like this make me shake my head. IS this the first development program you've followed? Because I've seen alot worse (like the F-22's ridiculously low MTBF issues with its avionics.)
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Unread post14 Dec 2011, 14:28

cxxtxx wrote:
. . .
If I was a policy maker in this matter, I would cancel the F-35 tomorrow. Then I would recommend the immediate arrest, trial and summary execution of about 1000 top civilian Pentagon employees (past and present) / Lockheed Martin executives / engineers / contractors. This cluster f%*k has serious long-term national security implications, and fifty years hence, we should still be searching for and executing the idiots who got us into this mess.

Summarily execute 1000-executives for “defense procurement and contracting incompetence” and lets see if that makes an impression with the defense industry. Maybe 5,000 is a better number, though I’m open to additional perspectives...

Chad

cxxtxx (AKA Chad),

Of the groups you targeted, the engineers are the least worthy of such a judgement. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to design something this complex and then have the world breathing down your neck waiting to pounce if you make a single mistake. I have designed much less complex thing in school with only grades as pressure and it is difficult, I can only image the pressure on the LM/NGC/BAE engineering team.

In my opinion the biggest "flaw" of the F-35 program is the media openness that it is being developed under. Between the size of the program and the information age it is being developed in it has more scrutiny than any other program in history. I think history will tell that it follows the similar path of many other programs.

One last point. C-17. The wings basically fell off the plane during testing and people around the world called for "summary execution," and where is it now? Oh yeah, it is a very useful and capable aircraft used by many nations around the world.

Sufa Viper
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Unread post14 Dec 2011, 16:03

cxxtxx wrote:(1) If Lockheed Martin cannot properly design the placement of tail hook arresting gear, or more specifically, cannot design an aircraft where tail hook arresting gear can be properly placed, IT’S A WRAP PEOPLE.


Run into a problem, throw in the towel. There's a plan. I wonder if Glenn L Martin and Bill Boeing and the Lougheed brothers would agree with that approach?

cxxtxx wrote:(2) When the pilot forgets and carries loose change in his pockets and that makes the aircraft grossly over-weight, IT’s TIME TO PULL THE PLUG.


When you're designing a three variant airframe loaded out with all the avionics anyone can think of, it's weapons are carried internally, and you're doing all this on one engine, you're going to be tracking pretty close to weight limits. Why are you surprised by that?

cxxtxx wrote:(3) When Lockheed Martin trumpets Mach 1.6 and 9.9 G’s, but forgets to mention that the entire fleet is now red-lined at Mach 1 because Mach 1.6 causes pretty serious damage, THAT’S called FRAUD.


Really? I thought fraud was more like what ACORN does with mail-in votes for leftists from dead people, or funneling half a billion USD of tax money to a company who disappears all that money in one year with nothing to show for it and then conveniently closes up shop.

I believe the report said that several minutes of sustained AB caused some skin blistering on a tail surface. A problem, yes. Fraud? No.

cxxtxx wrote:(4) And for an airplane that’s supposed to be, “more maneuverable that a F-16” buffeting at modest angles of attack serious enough to cause “serious structural fatigue” sounds pretty alarming.

If I was a policy maker in this matter, I would cancel the F-35 tomorrow. Then I would recommend the immediate arrest, trial and summary execution of about 1000 top civilian Pentagon employees (past and present) / Lockheed Martin executives / engineers / contractors. This cluster f%*k has serious long-term national security implications, and fifty years hence, we should still be searching for and executing the idiots who got us into this mess.

Summarily execute 1000-executives for “defense procurement and contracting incompetence” and lets see if that makes an impression with the defense industry. Maybe 5,000 is a better number, though I’m open to additional perspectives...

Chad


Dude you should've lived in the Russia in the teens and twenties and thirties. You'd have gone far in Stalin's communist party. He had everyone who ran into a problem shot too. You sound like a pathological, murderous nut case and I hope you never get within 1,000 miles of power over anyone or anything.
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Unread post14 Dec 2011, 16:10

The big problem with weight is that the F-35B's center of gravity shifted too far forwards when they added the optical sensor near the nose.

The solution (as always) is to get Japanese teenagers to pilot it. (American teenagers eat too many hamburgers.)
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Unread post14 Dec 2011, 17:42

How do all the problems noted compare with those in other development programs such as the F-22, F-18A and F-16 at this point (percentage) in testing? The F-15 had buffet problems until the wing tips were raked. The F-22 had software and thermal problems. These issues may be typical of modern aircraft development.
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Unread post14 Dec 2011, 18:09

I find the rather blithe acceptance of this latest report to be, shall we put it, rather revealing. This report is utterly damning in a wide variety of areas. Taken as a whole it means:
1) New advances in computer aided design have not lead to significant reductions in problems found, etc.
1a) Software upgrades are not proceeding smoothly. Turns out that planning for several block upgrades simultaneously only leads to software delays. (There goes the easy block upgrade plans)
2) The issues with weight and thermal management could be insoluble, barring a massive cost increase. Weight is a more fundamental problem and has to be addressed from the bottom up. And the previous weight reduction regime may have lead to the large number of stress spots located on the airframe. Also, the report mentions that weight management will be a significant drag on the fighter program. Notice, weight management isn't giving the F-35 any new capabilities, it is just preserving the plane barely above the key performance parameters. (And Lockheed left out the EOTS in their weight calculations? That's mighty odd)
3) Concurrency is as good as dead, particularly in the F-35C
4) 2016 IOC looks mighty threatened.
5) I wonder if this will affect foreign buyers? Or, have they been informed of these problems.

Couple of points:

First of all, about the tail-hook issue. The key problem here is moving the tail-hook may not be possible. The report specifically says that a fix to the tail-hook problem has not been identified. A simple fix, improving the hook dampening mechanism and hook geometry, could solve the problem. However, if that doesn't work, there may not be enough space on the F-35C chassis to properly locate the hook --> F-35C is as good as dead. This is key, the F-35C may have to be entirely redesigned for the tail-hook problem, entirely redesigned! That is a crazy possibility, but the report mentions it as one of the two solutions. I seriously doubt that the Navy will accept the cost of having to completely redesign the F-35C to make the tail-hook work. Remember, the Navy has been the service least wedded to the F-35 program and they are the best positioned to withdraw. Perhaps they saw this coming?

Second, about the DAS. The issues with buffeting and latency may require that the entire data bus in the fighter be replaced. That is no minor change, it will require a redesign of the entire data structure within the aircraft. Improving data buses, communication feeds, etc.

Third, the issues reported in this document turn the F-35, as it currently stands, into a level daytime bomber. (I for one find it incredible that the NVGs are inferior to current 4th gen NVGs) Add to the fact that there are significant flight envelop problems, which explains why the flight envelop testing has been going so slowly. This plane cannot turn, it cannot use its DAS, and it cannot fly fast.

Fourth, classified survivability issues. Any guesses? This could be biggie, if it requires a stealth structural modification to fix, that could be crazy expensive. Note that it keeps on recurring when the F-35's combat performance is mentioned.

Conclusion: F-35 program is, in my opinion, looking into the abyss. This report puts the F-35C in dire trouble, and the F-35A & B are not much better. Some of the dates, high AoA regime tests in 2014, mean that if there are any problems the F-35 will get pushed back to 2017+. The statement that the plane's airframe is sound is weak praise given the sheer storm of negativity that follows. I know you rather despise Bill Sweetman but you have to acknowledge this fact of his: fixing problems on stealth aircraft will be harder than on a non-stealth fighter. Finally, and critically I think, the board said that each variant should be assessed independently. This means the JSF is beginning to slide from a single program to three interconnected but not totally interdependent programs.
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Unread post14 Dec 2011, 18:17

I apologize. As a first post that was somewhat hyperbolic. (Every word 100% true, but somewhat hyperbolic.)

After reading it for a third time, the F-35 QLR essentially says, "Because the airplane has so many inherent defects we can't fly it enough to discover the really serious problems."

That's what the QLR says in one sentence. And folks, that's not a good thing.

At some point in time, everyone riding on the F-35 bandwagon will have to choose between the long-term security of their nation and the F-35. Because as it stands now, the two concepts are mutually exclusive and are departing each other in opposite directions at light speed.

Kill it. Kill this mutant baby now. Then lets go back to the drawing board and do this thing right.

Chad
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