Thursday, March 07, 2013
About that Blind Spot. Don't Worry, Be Happy.
Lockheed's troubled F-35 is attracting criticism due to pilot complaints that they can't see what's behind them. They can't "check their six" man, bummer.
Who cares? If you're piloting an F-35 and there is something behind you that's a mortal threat, being able to see it isn't going to be much help. Chances are very good that by the time you see the threat your fate is already sealed. It's over.
The F-35 is not much of a dogfighter. It can't go as fast, it can't turn as fast, it can't climb as fast as its contemporaries be they Russian, British/German or French.
And there's another problem. That stealth thing that's supposed to make the F-35 invincible? Well it's "frontal aspect" stealth. The airplane isn't particularly stealthy at all when looked at from above or beneath or from the sides or from behind. Then it's "Hey, I'm Over Here".
Don't forget, the F-35 is purpose built to be a light attack bomber. Straight to the target, drop the bomb, straight out. In other words, it's intended to spend its combat life in the other guy's airspace but only for getting in and getting right back out again. With the advantage of surprise its chances of getting to the target are considerably better than its chances of getting back out again safely after that surprise is lost.
Blind spot? Doesn't matter.