Why the F-35 is a lemon - Pierre Sprey

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munny

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Unread post04 Jul 2013, 15:06

See if you can count the number of outright BS comments in this interview. I wonder if he truly believes a word he says.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxDSiwqM2nw
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lookieloo

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Unread post04 Jul 2013, 15:31

Not too long ago (can't remember where), I was reading an article where this guy basically took credit for designing the F-16, which is a bit odd since it eventually became everything he hates. Why this guy is still taken seriously after being debunked by decades-worth of history is beyond me. Does he have a friend named Boudreaux?
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count_to_10

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Unread post04 Jul 2013, 18:06

Seriously, wow. It's like a catalog of already debunked myths.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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luke_sandoz

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Unread post04 Jul 2013, 18:54

Have to feel sorry for him.

Age has debilitated him.
Hubris has shackled him.
Desperate needs to feel important have scarred him.

Old, obsolete ideas from an old, obsolete desperate man.

Very sad indeed.
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cantaz

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Unread post04 Jul 2013, 20:24

I'm confused, just what is Sprey's *actual* contribution to US fighter development and doctrine? I've seen significant contributors even on F-16.net attribute a lot of the credit for the F-16 to him. But then there's at least a book and a research paper pointing otherwise, not to mention his disturbing notions about what makes a good fighter circa 1970s-to-present.

Can anyone provide an example to something Sprey has achieved that is not better credited to Boyd & Christie? Because it seems to me that he more or less functioned as a lobbyist that happened to have partially championed for the winning side. I say partially because, unless his position during the 70-80s is different from it is now, he is clearly anti-technology. It's one thing to stress E-M theory, but I don't get the sense that there's any compromising (or understanding) on his part about the role technology plays in fighter aircraft design and doctrine.

I'm having a great deal of trouble understanding how the F-16 could be credited to someone who is so heavily cherry-picking and obfuscating data to suit his argument, especially when is own argument is inherently anti-F-16. It makes me wonder if the portion of his argument that ever carried any weight (E-M theory) was accidental, and therefore his his entire position is akin to someone typing random words and constructing a coherent sentence by chance (or championing someone else's position without ever really grasping the basis of that position). And if the merit of one half of his position is counterbalanced by the harm of the other half, shouldn't the credit of the F-16 go to whoever recognized the useful half of the position, separated it from the harmful half and took it to its logical conclusion? I.e. the people that decided that E-M theory and technology weren't antithetical?
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Unread post04 Jul 2013, 20:25

thanks for the tip. Getting to the thread early enough to leave a few choice references before the anti-bandwagon went critical mass was a nice change. :D
--The ultimate weapon is the mind of man.
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Unread post04 Jul 2013, 20:41

luke_sandoz wrote:Have to feel sorry for him.

Age has debilitated him.
Hubris has shackled him.
Desperate needs to feel important have scarred him.

Old, obsolete ideas from an old, obsolete desperate man.

Very sad indeed.

His comments about the F-117 are basically bogas. How many MiG-29s were shot down, compared to safely returning to base, during the Bosnian conflict? Considering the MiG-29s shot down vs one confirmed F-117 down, one F-117 unconfirmed damage, and one unconfirmed B-2 damaged. The F-117 was downed by a SAM, not a MiG-29. There is a report that a F-117 and/or a B-2 flew straight past a MiG-29 undetected during an engagement with a F-15C, and a AIM-7 or AIM-120 going straight past and downing the MiG-29. Who said stealth was obsolete?

It's known that out to ~50 miles, OLS/EOTS/IRST can locate a F-22, within the sensor cone. The difference is that the F-22 (& F-35) will be able to engage and disengage at will, whereas a Su-30 series, won't have that advantage. This freedom of engagement is the key part the anti-JSF, anti-Stealth proponents such as Peirre Spey forget. The F-35 EODAS will expand the sensor cone to a sphere, even against a VLO adversary.

I'll paraphrase and twist the quote from old Peirre "If the Pentagon built my idea of a fighter... instead of the F-35.... they'd be lucky to sell 500 jets for $200m plus each." IMO they'll sell 2500+ F-35s in this development program.
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luke_sandoz

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Unread post04 Jul 2013, 21:02

Pierre is a legend in his own mind.
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Unread post04 Jul 2013, 21:09

smsgtmac wrote:thanks for the tip. Getting to the thread early enough to leave a few choice references before the anti-bandwagon went critical mass was a nice change. :D

I just looked up Pierre's "Quarter review", and found a power point presentation of it. Did he seriously try to argue that the F-86 was as good an air craft as the teen series? That 50 caliber machine guns were more effective than 20 mm Vulcan cannons?
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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smsgtmac

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Unread post04 Jul 2013, 21:59

count_to_10:
just looked up Pierre's "Quarter review", and found a power point presentation of it. Did he seriously try to argue that the F-86 was as good an air craft as the teen series? That 50 caliber machine guns were more effective than 20 mm Vulcan cannons?


Oh it's worse than that. Serious Airpower professionals like to point out that in its day, the F-86 WAS the 'complex' aircraft that Sprey et al complain about. It was complex especially in comparison to the MIGs it was up against. The F-86's hydraulic control system was one system the MIGs did not have that gave the F-86 an edge.
Interestingly, Sprey's disparagement of the P-38 vis a vis the P-51 tends to overlook that the P-38L (and some late Es) equipped with hydraulically-boosted flight controls and 'speed board' made the P-38L (in P-38 driver's eyes) THE superior dogfighter of WW2. There's an old Carlo Kopp paper, written years before Kopp was overcome by big opinions from little knowledge, that quotes several P-38 operators. One in particular was adamant:
"P-38 units from the moment of going on initial operational status were committed to MAX EFFORT. No two ways about it. No time to shake things out, to discover your problems. You got there and zap, you were in up to your eyeballs. This meant that everything flyable went and everything that still had wings would be made flyable. No matter what. This in effect was the same as demanding, by direct order, that everyone and everything must have, immediately if not sooner, 100 percent combat capabilities. Like Casey Jones, the pressure was all the way up without any margins whatsoever."

"Despite these revolting developments, the pilots of the 8th knew that the P-38 could outturn, outclimb, outrun and outfight anybody's airplane in the air so they set about rectifying their problems."

"Every one of these problems was solved with the introduction of the P-38L."

"Let me repeat this again and again. It can never be emphasized too strongly. It makes up the Gospel Word. The P-38L. Now there was the airplane."

"Nothing, to these pilots, after the hard winter of 1943-44 could be more beautiful than a P-38L outrolling and tailgating a German fighter straight down, following a spin or split-S or whatever gyration a startled, panicked and doomed German might attempt to initiate. You just couldn't get away from the P-38L. Whatever the German could do, the American in the P-38L could do better."

Kopp's piece (and you'll only hear me say it about this particular effort) is a fairly good rundown of the real P-38 'story': http://www.ausairpower.net/P-38-Analysis.html

Sprey's arguments collapse under their own weight.
--The ultimate weapon is the mind of man.
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Unread post04 Jul 2013, 23:41

That's a really interesting about the P-38. I knew it could pretty much out-climb anything, that very few aircraft were faster, and that the placement of its guns gave it more accuracy than fighters with wing guns, but I had the impression that the pilots generally preferred the P-51.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

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Unread post05 Jul 2013, 02:50

Kopp's piece (and you'll only hear me say it about this particular effort) is a fairly good rundown of the real P-38 'story': http://www.ausairpower.net/P-38-Analysis.html

Just finished reading it. I hadn't known a lot of t hat. Was the P-38 the first fighter to (eventually) be fitted with hydraulic assisted aileron controls? Seems like the P-38 / P-51 combination was an early example of the high/low concept.
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

Uncertainty: Learn it, love it, live it.
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disconnectedradical

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Unread post05 Jul 2013, 04:50

I remember how NASA uses the film Armageddon as training material for its managers by making candidates point out all the errors in the film. Maybe USAF can do the same with this clip.
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Unread post05 Jul 2013, 05:49

disconnectedradical wrote:I remember how NASA uses the film Armageddon as training material for its managers by making candidates point out all the errors in the film. Maybe USAF can do the same with this clip.

You mean the part where the space station spins to create gravity "so they can work faster"?

One of my favorite laughs was when people watched "Top Gun" and let them pick the scenes that were semi-plausible, as opposed to completely stupid. e.g Most Carrier Air Wings, have several TOPGUN/NSAWC graduates, they wouldn't need to fly fresh graduates out.
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Unread post05 Jul 2013, 07:11

cantaz wrote:I'm confused, just what is Sprey's *actual* contribution to US fighter development and doctrine? I've seen significant contributors even on F-16.net attribute a lot of the credit for the F-16 to him. But then there's at least a book and a research paper pointing otherwise, not to mention his disturbing notions about what makes a good fighter circa 1970s-to-present.

Can anyone provide an example to something Sprey has achieved that is not better credited to Boyd & Christie? Because it seems to me that he more or less functioned as a lobbyist that happened to have partially championed for the winning side. I say partially because, unless his position during the 70-80s is different from it is now, he is clearly anti-technology. It's one thing to stress E-M theory, but I don't get the sense that there's any compromising (or understanding) on his part about the role technology plays in fighter aircraft design and doctrine.

I'm having a great deal of trouble understanding how the F-16 could be credited to someone who is so heavily cherry-picking and obfuscating data to suit his argument, especially when is own argument is inherently anti-F-16. It makes me wonder if the portion of his argument that ever carried any weight (E-M theory) was accidental, and therefore his his entire position is akin to someone typing random words and constructing a coherent sentence by chance (or championing someone else's position without ever really grasping the basis of that position). And if the merit of one half of his position is counterbalanced by the harm of the other half, shouldn't the credit of the F-16 go to whoever recognized the useful half of the position, separated it from the harmful half and took it to its logical conclusion? I.e. the people that decided that E-M theory and technology weren't antithetical?


Highly recommended reading. Boyd, Sprey and Company are discussed and dissected but they're just a small part of the overall story behind the USAF as it is today.
etd.auburn.edu/etd/bitstream/handle/10415/595/MICHEL_III_55.pdf
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