Monday, September 24, 2012

200 Reasons to Say No to the F-35

There were at least 200-instances since 1988 when CF-18 pilots had to shut one engine down and return to base on the remaining engine.

Put another way, the Canadian Air Force had two hundred examples over the past 24-years when, had they been flying the F-35, their aircraft might have been lost.   When you're talking a total buy of 65 F-35's Canada proposes, that means running out of air force awfully quickly.   Bad for the airplanes, worse yet for the poor buggers flying them.

If we have to chip in to save Lockheed Martin from disaster, shouldn't we be telling Washington to get off its high horse and agree to sell us the plane that makes sense, the F-22 Raptor?

The F-22 does everything the F-35 doesn't.   It's twin-engine.  It has a larger payload.   It is very fast and capable of super-cruise.  It is far more agile.  It's a bona fide fighter, not a light bomber passing itself off as a fighter.  And, it's far more stealthy than the F-35 can ever hope to be.

Sure the F-22 would cost more than the F-35, at least if you believe Lockheed's latest figures, but you can do so much more with far fewer of them.   And, unlike the F-35, you won't be writing them off when they lose one engine.


lungta said...

but you can do so much more with far fewer of them

what is the more we need to do?
nato commitments seem like random bombing of countries back to the dark ages. Watch for over the arctic immigration?
Jet fighters are sexy...just being around them got airshow macay a trophy wife
but we need transport not racecars
If any of the big guys come in here (amerika,china,russia) 65 of anything won't last a week.
Our best strategy might be to become the new Switzerland
You know just give up the military and be neutral
When the fight begins you offer to hold both wallets
When it is over you give one wallet back

Mark said...


Switzerland has certainly not "given up the military," their neutrality is actually predicated on having a large army.

As for the F22, one of the reasons that production was halted well short of the original order was that the F22 has its own share of problems.

The Mound of Sound said...

Hi Mark. I know the 22 has an oxygen system problem but I'm not sure that's what led to its early termination. I read a report recently that one of the pilot troubles, a chronic cough, results from being given high concentration oxygen under positive pressure breathing that - surprise, surprise - causes nitrogen to be "scrubbed" out of the lung tissue in turn leading to collapse.

Every structure and system in the human body has evolved for one environment - that of a walking, upright animal in a positive 1-G environment. Flight, especially intense aerobatic flight with high acceleration forces and a range of fluctuating G-loadings, is totally alien to our bodies so we keep inventing workarounds that are never fully effective and often turn out to be fatal.

It looks like manned flight is reaching the end of the line.

Anonymous said...

The Americans are not going to sell the F-22 to foreign markets. We should drop the pretense of requiring stealth and purchase an economical, yet capable for our needs, aircraft such as the super hornet.

Even if we do buy the F-22 and/or F-35, we would last about 20 minutes in a real shooting war with China or Russia.

Now I've got 29 ways to make it to my baby's door, 50 ways to leave my lover and 200 reasons to say no to the F-35. Somebody should write a song.

Purple library guy said...

I'm with anonymous--go with proven, and much cheaper, planes and skip the stealth. We have no real use for stealth and in any case it's a technology with a very short shelf life.
And if we must be handmaids of imperialism, fine, let's just buy some real bombers with a decent payload.

Mark said...

The F-22's problems go beyond just the oxygen issue. There's also the stealth "skin," which tends to peel off, and is sensitive to the rain.

The F-22 also has an absurd flight time to maintenance time ratio. (The Americans can get away with it, since the don't fly the F-22 in combat - the F-22 wasn't used at all in Iraq or Afghanistan - but if you look at how many missions we flew in Libya, we'd never have pulled that off with the F-22.)

Building more F-22 would also mean redesigning the avionics, as Intel no longer makes the i960 processor.

The Mound of Sound said...

Hi Mark. Yes, I'd forgotten those points. I had read that the F-35 is also being speed limited because of blistering.

A huge problem with these supposedly "stealth" airframes is the inability to fix problems with strakes or vanes as was done over the fuselage on the F-18. That likewise freezes the lifetime growth potential of the aircraft.

The processor issue I'd not heard about. I assume another processor would mean rewriting a lot of code.

So, Mark, what would you choose if the choice was yours? The upgraded 15, SU-37, Super Hornet, Typhoon? None of the above?

kootcoot said...

Keep in mind also that if whatever plane the idiots called the HarperGovernment(tm) go with, unless the new plane is only used on NATO/American Empire clusterfucks, like Shock and Awe over Tehran, and actually you know patrol our coastlines, all three of them, that if the one engine goes and these pilots manage to eject, they may find themselves in at best remote regions of the BC Coast (which has just lost most of its Coast Guard capability) or perhaps somewhere in the dark in Nunavut in -60 degree, bracing to say the least, weather, maybe -100 with the wind chill.

I liked the line, maybe it was yours that the F-35 was actually a manned ICBM, oops, I mean BM, unless accompanied by a fuel tanker.

kootcoot said...

lungta, I enjoyed your comment re: the two wallets, I hope you don't require royalties if I might use it some time.

And Mark, as to your correction of lungta and the "large army," it is true. But the Swiss Army is designed to DEFEND Switzerland, and basically every able bodied male is in it, even after active training and service. Thus any potential invader knows out front that to take over Switzerland, and all dem Swiss bank accounts and ski slopes, they will have to conquer the joint house by house. The defense department of Switzerland has no use for something like the F-35, since they have no intention to bomb Bejing or Tehran, and merely expect the Iranians and Chinese to return the favor.