I bring to you the F-35 Flying Turd

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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F16guy

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Unread post09 Aug 2008, 23:23

Lets see....

I've got my choice of newspapers at the checkout...So the headlines and stories read F-35 Flight test progresses normally, designs that we thought would work have to be tweaked but overall no complaints, flight test progresses... Or Doom and Gloom-The F-35 is costing way more than we thought and it won't even fly... I'd pick up the second copy and read it because it was intended to grab my attention.

No offense to reporters out there, but I have met very very few without some sort of agenda. Heck I've got my own agenda (the F16 is great, the Raptor and I believe F-35 are revolutionary, No UAV's--well at least not an end to manned flight in fighters, Conservatism, Small Government), so it will be very difficult for me to write a story with out that being present. Now imagine I go over and try to report on a field I'm not necessarily an expert in. What kind of story would I be able to write? Sounds like most reporters I've worked with, they glom on to certain facts, disregard others and don't often fully understand what they are writing about. (How is that for a generalization?)

Why listen to LMAggie or others actually involved in design on a major Aviation project? Why listen to pilots on why we need new airplanes? Why the heck would we want to distort our opinions with facts from professionals and experts attempting to advance technology, flight and overall defense. I'll tell you right now Stealth technology, advanced avionics, new aircraft and engines are the right way to go. We need a replacement for the F-16 cause it is a design from 30 years ago (a very good design that is just now being tested by newly developed fighters from other countries).
Yep, creating a new fifth generation fighter is going to cost money and set backs are going to happen because revolutionary developments require risk.

Damn good thing the Wright brothers and other Aviation pioneers kept on believing in their projects and dreams instead of listening to the doom and gloomers. We'd still be driving everywhere, let alone have broken the sound barrier, or walked on the moon.
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Raptor_claw

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Unread post10 Aug 2008, 00:48

Obamanite wrote:... about the inflight emergency the F-35 had last year. .... They, and LM, called it a "minor" issue. Well, only later did we learn, after the aircraft had been grounded for several months,
First, only a part of that time was due to the electrical issue. That timeframe incorporated a pre-scheduled three month downtime for installation of new (and removal and inspection of other) hardware and a software upgrade. Secondly, since the electrical component in question was changed, the new design had to go through an extensive review, test and qualification process - that stuff takes time.
.. that not only did LM almost lose the plane that day and was saved only because of the great flying done by Beasely,
What? Where do you get this stuff? The airplane was not 'almost lost', it was never in any serious danger. And while 'Slim' (no, Jon Beesley was not flying, in fact he wasn't even in town), is indeed a highly-skilled pilot, the systems reconfigured as designed, and the aircraft flew quite nicely, with no 'great flying' required.
but that the entire electrical system needed to be redesigned.
Again, no. One component out of hundreds in an incredibly complex system had to be redesigned. Yes, the entire system was reviewed in light of the information gained from the incident. As I recall a couple other minor adjustments were made in other areas, but those were strictly out of conservatism - there was never a clearly identified need for those changes.

But once again, why should facts get in the way of a good argument?
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sferrin

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Unread post10 Aug 2008, 02:14

F16guy wrote:Lets see....

I've got my choice of newspapers at the checkout...So the headlines and stories read F-35 Flight test progresses normally, designs that we thought would work have to be tweaked but overall no complaints, flight test progresses... Or Doom and Gloom-The F-35 is costing way more than we thought and it won't even fly... I'd pick up the second copy and read it because it was intended to grab my attention.

No offense to reporters out there, but I have met very very few without some sort of agenda. Heck I've got my own agenda (the F16 is great, the Raptor and I believe F-35 are revolutionary, No UAV's--well at least not an end to manned flight in fighters, Conservatism, Small Government), so it will be very difficult for me to write a story with out that being present. Now imagine I go over and try to report on a field I'm not necessarily an expert in. What kind of story would I be able to write? Sounds like most reporters I've worked with, they glom on to certain facts, disregard others and don't often fully understand what they are writing about. (How is that for a generalization?)

Why listen to LMAggie or others actually involved in design on a major Aviation project? Why listen to pilots on why we need new airplanes? Why the heck would we want to distort our opinions with facts from professionals and experts attempting to advance technology, flight and overall defense. I'll tell you right now Stealth technology, advanced avionics, new aircraft and engines are the right way to go. We need a replacement for the F-16 cause it is a design from 30 years ago (a very good design that is just now being tested by newly developed fighters from other countries).
Yep, creating a new fifth generation fighter is going to cost money and set backs are going to happen because revolutionary developments require risk.

Damn good thing the Wright brothers and other Aviation pioneers kept on believing in their projects and dreams instead of listening to the doom and gloomers. We'd still be driving everywhere, let alone have broken the sound barrier, or walked on the moon.


Anybody else remember the flammable armor on the Bradleys because, you know, aluminum is used in rocket propellant. :wink:
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StratoJet

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Unread post10 Aug 2008, 05:19

That is a post just begging for a fisking (via Al Reuters, no less. Who're we gonna quote next, AP?):

already the most expensive military program ever at $299 billion


If I build ten airplanes for $1 billion, that's $100 million each. If I build 20 for $1.6 billion, that's $80 million each. The more I build the more the total cost, yet the cheaper each plane becomes. It's the most expensive fighter plane program because: 1) It's priced in year 2005 dollars (or pick a baseline year) not 1980 dollars or 1960 dollars or 1942 dollars, and 2) The projected build is thousands. If someone has priced out the total build of F-16's - had anyone known - what would have been the total projected cost? Is it supposed to be derogatory? Sounds to me as if lots of people plan to buy lots of 'em. That's bad?

Gostic said Pratt had spent tens of millions of dollars to avert air flow issues that caused two blades in the F135 engine to break during ground tests in August and February.


Rocketdyne had terrible problems with instabilities in the combustion chamber of the F1 engine for the Saturn V. They worked through them and the F1 went on to become legendary for it's performance and reliability. Anytime you push technology you have teething problems. It's hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it all the time. P&W have some sharp folks, they'll work this out. No one is saying this is a show stopper.

Pratt & Whitney is building the engine under a cost-plus contract with the Pentagon, which means the extra costs must be covered by the government, not the company itself.


When a customer, in this case the DoD, comes to you, a private company, and say they want you to design an engine/lift-fan system of a type never before attempted, your first job (under the law) is to see that the interests of the stockholders is protected. This system is not a known commodity, similar to something that already exists or already in production. How do you price its development? You can't. You give your best estimate but tell the customer they will have to pay for development. If they don't want to pay you, you tell them to get someone else to do it. They go to someone else and get the same answer. Now what? If you want that system, you pay them - but you watch very closely how the money (your money) is being spent. That's what DoD auditors do for a living.

"It's a carbon copy of what's happened to the F-22," he said. The Air Force once planned to buy 750 F-22 fighters, but the program was scaled back repeatedly and now the service is buying just over 180 fighters, at a far higher per-unit cost.


Yes, at a far higher cost PER UNIT because they chose to build 1/3 of the original planned buy! Sheesh! They didn't cut back the planned buy because the price went up through some fault of LM, the price went up because the US Congess, that bastion of fiscal wisdom, continually delayed the program (driving the price up, as was predicted when they did it) then cut back the planned buy, driving the price up even higher. Congress is to blame for that, not LM.

The cost of each F-35 has already nearly doubled to about $70 million from early projections of $35 million, he said.


Last prices I heard were in $48-$53 million per plane, depending on how much was invested by the customer and how many they plan to buy. Normal pricing scheme. I also believe the price is very close to the originally quoted price when adjusted for inflation (then-year to this-year dollar conversion).

I could go on and on. This isn't information. It's not even a valid critique. It's an uninformed, sensationalist rant from a "news" source known for producing exactly that.

Is this the best you can do? Color me unimpressed.
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PeanutMike

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Unread post10 Aug 2008, 05:58

StratoJet wrote:That is a post just begging for a fisking (via Al Reuters, no less. Who're we gonna quote next, AP?):


Nice post... Where did you hear the 53 million dollar figure from? Just trying to learn. ;)

Thanks,
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Obamanite

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Unread post10 Aug 2008, 07:21

Raptor_claw wrote:What? Where do you get this stuff? The airplane was not 'almost lost', it was never in any serious danger. And while 'Slim' (no, Jon Beesley was not flying, in fact he wasn't even in town), is indeed a highly-skilled pilot, the systems reconfigured as designed, and the aircraft flew quite nicely, with no 'great flying' required.


I will go ahead and rebut everything in your post but, permit me to open up a can of whoop-a$$ on this particular, bold-face error or lie, take your pick which you committed or made. As per Defense Industry Daily, one of the most respected and read sources in the industry:

On May 3, 2007 with the second test pilot Jeff Knowles at the stick, a serious malfunction hits the JSF. At 38,000 feet (12 km) level flight and at a speed of some 800 km/hour, the plane executed a planned, 360-degree roll but experienced power loss in the electrical system about halfway through the manoeuvre.

In an emergency procedure, power is restored and Jeff Knowles regains control of the plane. The pilot cuts short this 19th test flight and makes an emergency landing in Fort Worth, TX. Due to control problems with right wing flaperons, the JSF has to make that landing at an exceptional high speed of 220 knots (350 km/hr). The plane’s undercarriage, brakes and tires are damaged. The plane is stopped, surrounded by emergency vehicles, and towed away, but several eyewitnesses take pictures of the emergency landing.


Oh, yes, "flew quite nicely" indeed. DID goes on to refer to that test flight as "almost fatal." As mechanical engineer Matthew Saroff, whose has an extensive background in the defense industry, noted:

This is not a glitch that does not affect flying characteristics. This a dangerous landing and the risk of loss of airframe and pilot.

Additionally, the power supply for the aircraft is about only 65% of necessary power, which, given that the F-35 has a power by wire setup on its control surface actuators means much more than just the radar or displays dropping out, it means potential loss of control.


In response to the rest of your post and others' defense of this Flying Turd, a few more highlights from DID, all of which points to gross arrogrance, if not gross negligence, on the part of LM and its PR apparatchik:

On May 3, 2007, during the 19th test flight of the prototype of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), a serious electrical malfunction occurred in the control of the plane. After an emergency landing the malfunction could be identified as a crucial problem, and it became clear that redesign of critical electronic components was necessary. Producer Lockheed Martin and program officials first announced there was a minor problem, and later on they avoided any further publicity about the problems.

Lockheed Martin technicians identify a component in the 270-power supply as the culprit in the near-accident. The JSF’s new technology includes new electro-hydrostatic actuators (EHAs) for the flight control system, replacing more conventional hydraulic systems. In April 2007, chief test pilot Jon Beesley told Code One Magazine that the EHAs were production versions, and that testing could be restricted to the AA-1:

“The electro-hydrostatic actuators, or EHAs, are another excellent example of risk reduction we’re accomplishing on AA-1. This is the first real electric jet. The flight control actuators, while they have internal closed-loop hydraulic systems, are controlled and driven by electricity—not hydraulics. The F-35 is the only military aircraft flying with such a system. We proved that the approach works on six flights of the AFTI F-16 during the concept demonstration phase of the JSF program. We already have many more flights on EHAs on this test program. Because we are flying production versions of the EHAs on AA-1, we won’t have to prove the EHA design on subsequent F-35s.”

After several weeks of evaluations, the engineers learn that there are serious design problems in this new electrical system. Expensive redesign will be necessary.

Normally whenever the JSF takes an itty-bitty baby step, the manufacturer reports it to the media for PR purposes. First engine run? Reported. Roll-out? Reported. First flight? Reported. First Wheel-up flight? Reported. But “first emergency landing”? Not reported. Fully two weeks later, on May 17, 2007, chief test pilot Beesley comments in a short press bulletin: “It was not a serious problem and the pilot never lost control of the airplane”. Company officials say they don’t expect any delays in the flight-test program as a result of the incident, and repairs will be combined with some regular, planned maintenance. Plans call for the fighter to return to flight status in June 2007.

However, on July 10, 2007 Flight International announces disturbing news. Lockheed Martin official Bobby Williams now explains that there is a serious design problem in the aircraft’s electrical system. The fault was caused by a shortcoming in the 270 volt system, when a lead inside a box touched the lid. A complete review of close-tolerance spacing and all electrical boxes is necessary. He adds that: “We will be back into flight in August.”

Another fact was discovered via a military employee of one of the European air forces, who works within the JSF project team, and is a liaison person for several air forces. He says that flying in 2012 with the JSF may be safe and the JSF can be used as a plane to fly around. But, the several software modules for weapons system integration will not be ready. Ground attack capability is the priority, so early-build F-35s will primarily be “bomb trucks” until the additional software modules can be tested and loaded. Air superiority capabilities will be restricted, and completed only after 2015. This means that full multi-role capability is possible by 2016 at the earliest, if and only if no major problems occur in development and testing of the weapon systems software.

So, will there be JSFs on European airbases without complete air superiority capability in 2016? A sobering thought in the light of the intensifying scrambling from UK and Norway since Russian TU-95 Bears have began entering air space near Norway again in 2006.

Nor are these the only challenging problems facing the F-35 program. The F-35C naval variant’s Hamilton Sundstrand power generator was mistakenly designed to only 65% of the required electric output. To accommodate the required increase, it will also be necessary to redesign the gearbox for the standard Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, which will be fitted into the conventional F-35A version as well as the naval F-35C. The contract announced by the US Department of Defense in August 2007 says that this engine update won’t be ready for use until the end of 2009, which is almost the beginning of low-rate initial production.

Lockheed Martin can issue a subcontract to Hamilton Sundstrand to fix the F135’s power generator without any publicity, and they have done so. As of December 1, 2007, neither Lockheed Martin’s nor Hamilton Sundstrand’s 2007 news archives show any trace of this award. Pratt & Whitney has a separate government contract for the F135 engine, however, and the award’s size forces the Pentagon to announce the award under its rules for publicizing contracts.

Although it seemed probable that last October the JSF would fly again, a new problem arose. During a test run of the F135 engine, part of the engine was blown up by overheating. On November 14, 2007, an eyewitness took pictures of the transportation of a new F135 engine. The date for test flight number 20 (of the scheduled 5,000 test flights) is still unknown.

In an article that Bloomberg News publishes on August 31, 2007, it is announced that Lockheed Martin is exceeding the budget on the first phase of the Joint Strike Fighter program. The manufacturer warns that the reserves will be spent by the end of 2008, unless cuts are made. Lockheed Martin is seeking US Defense Department approval to lessen the number of test aircraft and personal plus hundreds of test flights to save money, and replenish a reserve fund.

It wants to build 2 fewer prototypes, and skip 800 of the 5,000 planned test flights. This after only 18 successful and 1 almost fatal testflight in half a year’s time.

Officialy, Lockheed Martin says the reason for the rising deficit is: “the costs spent on redesigning a critical electronic part that failed during a May test flight.” Redesign of something as crucial as control systems in this stage of such a complex project has to alert all involved partners and governments.


So, the logic at LM is the following: we have depleted our reserves because we had to engage in a major redesign during testing. Therefore, we would like to replenish our reserves by (drum roll please) reducing testing. That's just so effing brilliant! Who do they have working management at LM, Mr. Bean, or the boss from Dilbert? It absolutely boggles the mind, and I look forward to this program being canceled by either Obama and McCain, as they would both have plenty of reasons for doing so. McCain, in particular, I imagine would seethe at this kind of contractor arrogance and incompetence.

Sources:

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/f-3 ... ems-04311/

http://40yrs.blogspot.com/2007/12/f-35- ... orted.html
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Unread post10 Aug 2008, 10:09

I don't have nearly enough time to address all these 'claims' tonight, but I will hit the first group tonight.
Obamanite wrote: I will go ahead and rebut everything in your post but, permit me to open up a can of whoop-a$$ on this particular, bold-face error or lie, take your pick which you committed or made.
I made neither. Hate to burst your little bubble o' hate, but your 'source' is at best inaccurate, and at worst wrong.
As per Defense Industry Daily, one of the most respected and read sources in the industry:
On May 3, 2007 with the second test pilot Jeff Knowles at the stick, a serious malfunction hits the JSF. At 38,000 feet (12 km) level flight and at a speed of some 800 km/hour, the plane executed a planned, 360-degree roll but experienced power loss in the electrical system about halfway through the manoeuvre.
In an emergency procedure, power is restored and Jeff Knowles regains control of the plane.
Misleading at best. There was no 'emergency procedure', the critical flight control reconfiguration was completely automatic and over before Slim even knew it. The power interuption lasted for milli-seconds. Slim has good reflexes, but he isn't that fast. Yes, he performed a couple clean-up steps during the RTB, to 'reset' the system more-fully, but those were not required for aircraft control. Even the statement that he 'regained control' is clearly misleading and sensationalistic. The fact is that he never lost control - how can you regain something you never lost?
The pilot cuts short this 19th test flight and makes an emergency landing in Fort Worth, TX.
Yes, he cut short the flight, big surprise. I can't remember if he ever actually declared an emergency or not - but that's a pointless point anyway. A brand new aircraft with a malfunction - declaring a emergency would be pretty much automatic, regardless of how it was flying, or if there was any real danger.
Due to control problems with right wing flaperons, the JSF has to make that landing at an exceptional high speed of 220 knots (350 km/hr).
So wrong it's comical. First of all, there is only one right wing flaperon. The simple fact that the author used the plural is a pretty big clue that he/she is not completely familiar with the topic. But anyway, both flaperons (left and right) were operating, but in a reconfigured, slightly degraded state. In that state they have full functionality, as far as rate and deflection. What they have lost is maximum hinge moment capability, which they don't even use in the envelope the a/c is cleared to. So, yeah, if he had been flying at Mach 1.2 on the deck, he would have seen reduced roll rates due to the flaperon actuators not being as 'strong'. Big whoop.
... the JSF has to make that landing at an exceptional high speed of 220 knots (350 km/hr).
Again, your 'source' failed to fully investigate the issue before making this flat out misrepresentation. As has been publicly stated by Bobby Williams, the aircraft was fully capable of landing at a normal landing speed. Yes, it landed fast, but it did not have to. Why did it land fast? Not gonna discuss it. (The gov't did perform an official investigation, and anyone familiar with these investigation/review boards (AIB/SRB, etc) should understand why (why I'm not gonna discuss it)). Back to the point, every pilot that flies the F-35 has flown dozens of landings in the sim with this exact failure and they invariably comment that they can barely distinquish this failure from a perfectly functioning aircraft. And yes, that includes crosswinds, turbulence - everything.

The plane’s undercarriage, brakes and tires are damaged.

Finally, a true statement. An unfortunate consequence of the high speed landing. You'll note that they didn't list all the parts of the airplane that were not damaged.

Oh, yes, "flew quite nicely" indeed.
Yes indeed it did.
DID goes on to refer to that test flight as "almost fatal."
'Almost fatal', are you kidding me? And that doesn't strike you as the least bit inflammatory? If I drive past a concrete bridge column on the freeway you could just as easily say "he was only 10 feet away from a fatal accident, that drive was almost fatal".


As mechanical engineer Matthew Saroff, whose has an extensive background in the defense industry, noted:
This is not a glitch that does not affect flying characteristics. This a dangerous landing .... power by wire setup on its control surface actuators means much more than just the radar or displays dropping out, it means potential loss of control.
With no disrepect to Mr. Saroff, there are thousands of individuals with "extensive background in the defense industry" that are completely unfamiliar with the relevent particulars of the F-35 electrical system design. Having said that, I never said that there was no effect to flying characteristics - just that it was small. And no, this was not a 'dangerous landing' in any way. And as far as 'potential loss of control', sure, if enough surfaces are failed that will happen - just as it will happen with hydraulic failures on 'conventional' aircraft. The system is designed to the same level of statistical probability of loss of control as hydraulic-driven aircraft.
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Unread post10 Aug 2008, 16:12

Nice post... Where did you hear the 53 million dollar figure from? Just trying to learn. Wink


Memory error. I tracked it back down to Bill Sweetman in Aviation Week. The actual numbers are $58-$63 million each. That's what I get for depending on my recollection.

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Unread post11 Aug 2008, 00:26

LmRaptor wrote:LMAggie - come to http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=5 you would be appreciated.



Really..........hmmmmmmm let's see? A European based Military Forum with alot of 20 somethings that know little about anything and hate anything American.
:?


Good Luck! :wink:
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Unread post11 Aug 2008, 01:36

Gosh, I've had lots of emergency landings, LEF failures, FLCS failures, Flaperon failures (requiring high speed landings), brake failures, abnormally running engine, emergency jettisoned ordinance, HUD failures, partial electrical loss (in the electric jet), EPU activation...

Guess I should have notified DID to get an "almost fatal" landing reported, not to mention this is mature technology I'm flying in.

I'm all for them figuring this stuff out before it goes into LRIP. Does that mean they will not have issues later...no, everything is still designed and made by humans , so its still going to have some problems.

Wish I could buy a stock in the stock market, or go to Vegas and always pick a sure thing. Wait, I can...I don't have to play in either. (Don't worry I know play is a subjective word)
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Unread post11 Aug 2008, 17:15

From our friend Bill over at AvWeek:

JSF Delays Pile Up
Posted by Bill Sweetman at 8/11/2008 6:59 AM CDT

Graham Warwick's report on the latest delays to hit the JSF flight-test program undercuts most of the optimistic predictions made by industry and government leaders earlier in the summer. It's now clear that problems with the F135 engine and other issues have forced another delay in the start of the "build-down" flight tests that precede the demonstration of the F-35B's short take off, vertical landing (STOVL) capability.

This sequence of 20 flights, reaching progressively lower speeds, was planned for the first quarter of 2009, and as recently as mid-July (at the Farnborough air show) Lockheed Martin program vice-president Tom Burbage said in an interview that these tests and the first vertical landing would be carried out in the first quarter. (So did JSF program office director Gen. Charles Davis in a June interview.)

Now, the build-down tests won't start until the second quarter and the location for the first vertical landing - which had been planned to follow a move from Fort Worth to Patuxent River - is once again open. DTI's prediction in our last issue that a vertical landing would not happen until well into the second quarter now looks optimistic.

The first F-35B, BF-1, will complete a few more sorties and then remain grounded until it is ready to start build-down tests, alongside the next test aircraft, BF-2. Meanwhile, AA-1 - the first F-35A, but reflecting the pre-2005 design - is grounded by cooling problems, but will go to Edwards later this year to perform noise tests - because some export customers are worried that the JSF's noise level will force them to relocate their fighter bases.

But what apparently won't happen is what Burbage predicted in July: that the program's flight rate would reach 12 sorties a month "early next year". Indeed, it looks like the program will have logged fewer than 100 flights in total by the end of the first quarter of 2009. (The log stands at 56 flights, with 15 more due on BF-1 before it goes down for upgrades.)

To put it another way, the program will have 98 per cent of its test sorties remaining by the end of March 2009, with just over three years to the scheduled initial operational capability (IOC) date with the Marines.

Export customers, apart from the Royal Navy, are not directly affected by delays to the STOVL program. However, because the Marine IOC date has always been the first of the three versions, the flight-test program has been arranged in that sequence. Unless that gets changed, delays in STOVL testing are likely to affect progress with subsequent stages, including the testing of mission equipment on F-35A and F-35B prototypes.

The current problems also invalidate Lockheed Martin CEO Bob Stevens' comments to an investor group at the end of May. Among other things, Stevens told the Wall Street audience that "we are committed to flying the STOVL mission by the end of this year and we will be scored as to whether we do or don't do it."

The abruptness of the slippage means one of several things. It could be that bad news is not making its way freely up the management chain - one of the problems that ultimately doomed the A-12 Avenger II, Fort Worth's last major all-new program. Alternatively, the challenges causing the latest slippage were not predicted, or a mix of both factors could be in play. Either way, it's not good news.


I think that the logical thing for LM to do is ask the government to cut another two aircraft from flight test and slash flight test hours another 25% to get back on schedule...
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Unread post11 Aug 2008, 17:22

Corsair1963 wrote:
LmRaptor wrote:LMAggie - come to http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=5 you would be appreciated.



Really..........hmmmmmmm let's see? A European based Military Forum with alot of 20 somethings that know little about anything and hate anything American.
:?


Good Luck! :wink:


Agreed. That board is a complete waste of time. Virtually no real pilots, aviation professionals or even people with an engineering background on that board. Most are simply posers with large libraries of defence related books or even worse, pimply-faced Russian kids who have been brainwashed by Putin's Nazi Youth Movement. On a positive note, there are a few Navy/ex-Navy guys from US/Britain who are quite knowledgeable.
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Obamanite

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Unread post11 Aug 2008, 17:40

biffbutkus wrote:pimply-faced Russian kids who have been brainwashed by Putin's Nazi Youth Movement.


That line would be hillarious if it weren't so disturbingly true. The irony, horrible irony also being that it was the Nazis who were responsible for some 20 million Russian dead during WW II, and now a substantial portion of Russian youth are bona-fide neo-Nazis. Not to mention Stalinists, who are alive and well in Russia today, and who himself was responsible for another 20 million Russian dead...
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Unread post11 Aug 2008, 20:08

I've never been on a flight test program. But I have watched a lot of them, and this kind of slippage is not encouraging. Like any schedule-driven venture, the later you get, the faster you have to go in order to catch up.

Can the problems be solved given time and money? Probably yes, although I don't think the -35B is ever going to be an easy airplane to support. Will the solutions affect the cost and performance of the ultimate aircraft? Quite likely not the performance, if only because the JSF goals are firmly inside the F-22 envelope. But development cost will be up, production ramp-up may be disrupted and (consenquently) cost targets will not be met.
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Unread post11 Aug 2008, 21:07

Hi,
a, probably, naive question: given the current problems with some part of the hardware: is it not possible to continue with system integration tests which I thought to be more cumbersome than the current mechanical problems in order to minimize further delays?

How far has the F-136 program come in its development? Let's say the F-135 problems are not that easy to resolve when would the F-136 (for the VSTOVL variant) be operable?
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