How does a twenty thousand dollar sedan have a more robust readiness-detection system than a hundred million dollar airplane?
It didn't take a trillion dollar to develop. The trillion dollar figure includes acquisition costs (going to 2070) as well as operations and maintenance over the same period.
By the way, the F-35 isn't any more expensive than other aircraft. For example for the latest budget proposal (2022), the DoD plans to acquire 85 F-35s  for a total price of $85 BN, or about $150 MM per plane. At the same time, it plans to acquire 14 tanker aircraft KC-46 for a unit price of about $180 MM, and 9 cargo helicopters CH-53K for a unit price of $190 MM. Yes, you read that right, those are helicopters, they are not attack, but cargo helicopters, and cost almost $200 MM apiece.
It's also worth noting that these other aircraft are widely criticized as being excessively expensive as well, mostly because of the exact same issues with the acquisition process. For example the CH-53K is supposed to cost half of that, but because only 9 are being purchased this year the fixed costs aren't as amortized as predicted. And that's really the crux of it: the F35 acquisition was always going to be an 11 figure program, but the leading digit could have been a 1 instead of a 4, the price tag is the right order of magnitude, but there were still hundreds of billions of dollars wasted due to mismanagement.
It should be impressive that such a thing is possible at all.
And, to be honest, it’s partially a jobs program to keep engineers employed and experienced in case there is a real need for immediate defense work.
The claim that something is a jobs program is often used to justify not caring about waste, but that doesn't really make any sense. If your goal is to maintain a large pool of skilled individuals, it makes sense to do lots of highly efficient projects. When you do things efficiently, you can provide jobs to more engineers, and support a wider range of projects to maintain a more diverse skillset, plus you get more useful products out of the program.
Most people who do complex, difficult jobs estimate for the complexity and difficulty. This project is both years behind schedule and at roughly twice its initial budget. There are also regularly reports of serious flaws in its day-to-day operation.
I believe it's fair to say both that the project is difficult and that this particular effort appears to have delivered a lower-quality product at higher costs and timelines than most of its peers.
> it’s partially a jobs program to keep engineers employed and experienced in case there is a real need for immediate defense work.
This is always true and they usually have better results.
What are the peers of the F-35?
That car has no peer.
A more relevant question to ask is... in head on air to air combat, is there a plane that can match it or beat it?
Air to ground benefits from the extra carrying capacity but if you have air superiority then drones etc are again vastly more effective for the price. Sure, it’s got nice avionics right now, but that stuff gets replaced long before the aircraft gets retired.
That said we didn’t actually built that many F-22’s so we really needed something to pick up the slack.
More on a serious note, for the cost of one of these aircrafts, you can get more than 1/10th of their weight in gold. Either gold or the aircrafts are way too expensive, I think it is the latter. I wonder, what the Chengdu J-20 costs...
Only a small proportion of the program involves software, and at that they were, for example, designing VR/AR helmets as a feature. What people are talking about being an entire industry was tacked on as a minor feature.
Imagine designing hardware where your single product is developed as computer tech advanced from 1993 to 2006 (program inception to first production flight, more or less)
There was an estimate that the program employed a quarter of a million people, because of how spread out contracts like this are it's hard to really come up with a comparison.
JSF is on a similar level of complexity of the entirety of Google, and has been in development about five years longer.
Which back then was seriously on the ropes, with SJ coming back to turn it around. Nobody would have listed Apple as an industry leading company. How times change.
Sure, people "depend" on FB for comms etc blah blah, but the world functioned fine before them if not maybe slightly less convenient. Netflix, come on. It's just entertainment. Nothing more. Google? Maybe search could be built to work again. Amazon? Maybe people actually buy local again. Apple? So we don't have luxury devices that cost more than some people make in a year.
*Obviously excluding the sudden loss of jobs. It's just a thought exercise.
Even just a single component, like the engine, is a massive engineering undertaking. If the company developing the powerplant under-delivers the entire program can be a bust.
Given the relative effectiveness of US healthcare and education, vs the US military, I’d sooner call US social spending a racket.
I suggest you re-think your definition of victory.
Wildly successful at giving away other people's money, but not wildly successful at sustaining itself without congress intervention every few years, to the point where the fund would collapse and cease to exist without intervention (ie. capital injection, ie. printing money).
I don't count that as "wildly successful" by any means.
I thought the issue of potential congress intervention was future funding, for full benefits, not current and past funding.
1937 to 2009 historical receipts/expenditures/balance: https://www.ssa.gov/history/tftable.html
1957 to 2020 reserves/income/costs: https://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/table4a3.html
Seems overall to have funded itself well?
Personally, I don't think the government should be involved in your financial life at all, especially retirement. IRA's should be available to anyone, and maybe even required. The difference is you are in charge of your retirement, not politicians and their political objectives at the moment you just so happen to retire. Why would you want to trust the government with your financial future?
But, that's not to say some system run by the government can't work... it just says social security as was implemented doesn't work. We know it doesn't work because it requires printing money or raising the burden on today's youth unfairly. It doesn't work because the amount of money you put into the system doesn't equal what you will get out, and it doesn't grow with the markets or inflation. Few people can actually retire on social security because it pays so very little.
Any way you slice it... it's really, really tough to objectively call social security "wildly successful", which was the original contested assertion.
With the state of wealth inequality in the states, the number of people living paycheck-to-paycheck, ever increasing attacks against the finances of the elderly in the form of scams and schemes, and our culture's dislike of multigenerational housing it seems like a choice between a government wellfare system like social security or tens of thousands to millions of impoverished, homeless elderly folks.
Libertarian ideals like "the government shouldn't be involved in your finances" seem fine in a perfect world, but reality is certainly not ideal.
Counterpoints? I'd also like to hear your thoughts on an alternative that takes care of those less fortunate? Thanks for your time! :)
Debt financing is how we got out of the great depression and just about every major economic crisis since. Where would the markets be without government intervention in 2008? Where would the markets be now without QE? If "printing money" and "raising the burden on today's youth unfairly" are systematic failures, then it seems that American capitalism has been a sham for a long time.
Let's also see the real consequences of the rapidly increasing inflation too in the coming years from the last couple stimulus bills. I wouldn't be too quick to look at QE as a panacea.
Seems like we've been treating symptoms instead of addressing various root causes for a long long time.
How has the latter happened for Social Security? It's pretty much delivered as advertised. Would you trust everyone's fate to Wall Street?
Not everyone is equipped to handle investment, especially elderly people who are easily confused. And it creates reinforcing problems: If the economy is bad and Wall Street has a bad year, people need the money more but have less of it.
> it requires printing money or raising the burden on today's youth unfairly
How has Social Security required that? Why should today's youth have less burden their their predecessors, who paid for a many long-term investments that other generations benefited from?
I'm 100% for clean energy though. But probably not going to happen; Manchin said specifically he doesn't want to subsidize 'what the companies are already doing.' Yet he's good with a bunch of coal and coal employee subsidies...
In a lot of circumstances I'd probably agree with his position but this is a crisis. It's like saying we shouldn't have invested in helping develop Covid vaccines because PHARMA is already doing it on their own.
There is a greater survival and health risk to think of. If money can help we should spend it.
- How many hours of flight can the F-35 do before it needs to be hangered?
- How long does it take in the hanger?
- Can the F-35 even go supersonic without ripping off its anti-radar coat (thus becoming more visible as soon as it decelerates?)
- given the cramped space, how capable are aircraft carriers at F-35 repair? How many can they do at a time? What is the duty cycle of the F-35 on a carrier?
- Is the plane even finished the design phase?
The US should have bought 500 F-22 and given the Navy its own carte blanc design skipping the F-35 altogether.
Yes. One of the major improvements over the F-22 is the way the stealth coating works. Its baked in to the skin of the aircraft. It does not flake off, it does not need to be constantly reapplied. The F-22 and all other prior stealth aircraft, F-117 and B-2 are hangar queens because of their fragile stealth
coatings. This is not the case for F-35. Not only is a game changer but it was also a requirement to make a carrier based stealth fighter actually practical.
"- given the cramped space, how capable are aircraft carriers at F-35 repair? How many can they do at a time? What is the duty cycle of the F-35 on a carrier?"
Just as capable at servicing any other carrier based aircraft. The F-35 its actually smaller than the super hornet in every dimension so space shouldn't be a problem. Its much smaller than the F-14 was. And its biggest servicing issue wasn't its size but the complexity of its swing wing.
"- Is the plane even finished the design phase?"
Ok, now I'm starting to wonder if you actually have informed criticisms or if you are just an F-35 hater and only want to spread FUD.
Maintainers on a carrier can do fairly complex repairs, including engine replacement. If they need more working space in the hangar then other aircraft can be parked temporarily on the flight deck.
The F-35 is primarily a strike fighter so supersonic speed isn't that useful. The biggest problem with flying at supersonic speeds is it drastically increases fuel consumption, and the F-35B has a very limited fuel capacity. British carriers have no tankers.
As long as an aircraft is still in active production the design phase is never "finished". Updates will continue for decades. The F-15 design is about 50 years old and it's still not finished.
The F-22 production program was cancelled in 2011 because there was just no funding available. It wasn't possible to fight the wars in the Middle East, and procure more F-22s. Something had to give.
Why? The F-22 is an air superiority fighter. The F-35 is a multi-role fighter. They're built for different purposes. It's crucial to understand the difference.
For example it was never meant to be an air superiority fighter. While it does have a great radar, missiles and even a gun on the air force version it was never meant to fill the role of an F-15 or F-22. The air force wants to replace the F-16 with the F-35.
The new Digital Century program shows the AF hasn't forgotten about the importance of dedicated platforms. However given the cost and development times of modern aircraft it takes a new approach to make them practical.
The navy has also been clear about the role of the F-35. It wont ever be used as an F-14 replacement. They are actually working on that separately.
As for other customers, different militaries have different missions and needs. It is true the F-35 is capable of filling most roles if needed. Some nations may rely on it as their air defense backbone. That's a secondary capability but when you only have the budget for one fighter and this is the only 5th gen on the open market then its defacto the best option.
Shame that in exercises the F-35 loses visual-range fights with the F-16 even when the F-16 is carrying external fuel tanks.
The issue is that it's almost universally worse than all the specialty aircraft it replaces at that specialty job. It's worse at fighting insurgents than the A-10. It's worse at dogfighting than the F-16. It's worse at air superiority than the F-18.
Yes it was... and Congress decided to tell the military what it needed instead of the other way around - hence the "jack of all trades, master of none" that is the F-35.
The F-16 is considered an air superiority fighter, although it is used in multi-role missions as well.
It's fly-away cost in 1998 was around $18.8MM, which is about $31.9MM today... or less than half the cost of each F-35.
Congress forced the idea of the F-35 onto the military as a low cost modern do-it-all aircraft. Then the Marines drove a huge part of the F-35 development, which ended up requiring VTOL/STOL capabilities etc, things no other branch wanted or needed and where subsequently ripped out of their variants anyway.
The final result are three different airframes that look similar, but don't share many parts, and don't outmatch the incumbent plane in each category (A-10 for CAS, AV-8B for VTOL/CAS, F-16/F-15/F-18/F-22 for AS and multirole, and probably a few others I'm leaving out).
So... why continue with the F-35? Sunk cost fallacy, mostly. It would be far better to take the lessons learned from this bleeding-edge program and apply them to new, purpose-built aircraft that each branch actually wants and needs.
As Germany, you face threats from Britain (ships, fighters and bombers), France (mostly land forces) and Russia.
What do you build?
Air superiority fighters win dogfights (F22 today) but are only useful vs Britain.
Close Air Support (A10 today) beat tanks, but lose in the air.
Multirole fighters (F35 today) work in all three theaters, but not as well as the specialists.
Given that the next war might be vs Russia (Crimea situation), Taiwan / China (Naval), or maybe even terrorists in Africa or Middle East, multirole is the obvious airplane to build today.
So Air Force wants a multirole fighter that can take off from airstrips / airports.
Marines want a multirole fighter that can take off of Wasp Amphibious Assault Ships (ramp launch)
Navy wants a multirole fighter that can take off of their Aircraft Carriers (catapult launch).
This gives F35A, F35B, and F35C variants. But since they all wanted a multirole fighter, it makes sense to try to make the three variants as similar as possible. You want to standardize the gun, standardize the bullets, standardize the fuel, standardize the software.
Really, you can thank the the F-4 Phantom II, F-16 and both versions of the F-18 (the A and C, which is a much larger aircraft) for this. All of these planes excelled as both fighter and attack aircraft, and showed it was possible to do both missions well enough.
The multirole fighter is not a new concept.
But isn't that in all probability the same kind of thing as large American IT companies do with their international subsidiaries, i.e. moving money around on paper to where it looks the best?
That is, Dell and Facebook and Apple and so on have their European headquarters in Ireland (where corporate taxes are the lowest, and on top of that they negotiate sweet deals to make it even lower), and pay the mother company "royalties" for "use of intellectual property" to siphon profits away to where they're hardly taxed at all. In a similar way, defense contractors make the sale price look like what they think gives the best chance to get the sale (including what the great unwashed public will "buy", so they don't put pressure on their politicians, and those in turn on the military, to reject it) -- but then add that money on to maintenance contracts or future development where it's less visible here and now.
Looking at just the stated "sale price" and thinking that that actually represents the "true cost" of a machine seems rather naïve to me.
Only because every time the development costs go up they agree to buy more planes so that they can keep the per-plane costs the same. The development costs are wildly disproportionate to other weapons programmes if you properly separate them.
It is more expensive. And the fact that all "modern" militaro-industriel projects goes over budget is just not an excuse to that.
The F-16 program (which the F-35 is supposed to replace) was around 10x less. Even inflation considered, this does not justify this fiasco.
Same goes for the F/A-18, the Su-35 or the Dassault rafale.
Even the damn entire Apollo program (inflation considered) was currently cheaper with an impact for the society of a complete different scale.
Maybe the question should be: Was the utility of this plane worth the cost ? And I can barely find any positive arguments to that. Specially when considering the conflicts USA has been in the last 20 years.
If your single engine jet fails on a catapult launch, you've lost that plane, and the pilot has just a few seconds to punch out and save their own lives.
I believe the real argument is something along the lines off "yeah, those planes are BIG compared to the F-35", plus something that accounts for the helicopter. Maybe its unit price doesn't benefit from a split-off development process before? Or its expected sales volume is even lower?
I thought aviation is THE industry that runs on procedures and checklists you need to tick before and after each flight to make sure the even if you're a complete klutz, nothing like this can ever happen. Did that go out the window?
>It means the flight computer for a plane that took twenty years and a trillion dollars to develop can't detect that there's a fucking cover blocking the engine.
This is pure gold. Even my robovac can detect when something is chocking the suction intake and shut down and send me a notification on my phone. The fact that a trillion dollar weapon missed this feature is hilarious.
But two things can be true:
- Procedures/checklists should have stopped this (and should be the primary way).
- The flight computer should know that air flowing into the engine is unusual when a cover is blocking it.
Also keep in mind that if both are fixed, this would be fixes from two different organizations (the British Navy and Lockheed Martin/F-35B's manufacturing chain).
This happened at peace time. I can imagine during a stressful wartime situation human error is more likely to occur, which is even more reason why computer sanity checks can be advantageous.
There is a whole science behind checklists like this. Surgeons have been learning this lesson for over a decade now: https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/2015/08/04/checklist...
Also it is possible that the cover did not restrict air flow until the aircraft entered a cruise flight regime or a certain altitude. Often aircraft will have different intake bypasses for different flight regimes. However, a cover like this SHOULD have a pin and momentary switch similar to lockouts for flight controls. But if the cover was an afterthought, implemented by crews and not the engineers, that may not have been accounted for.
Article states that the pilot attempted to abort takeoff, but ran out of runway on the ship. So, apparently the pilot knew something was wrong pretty soon after initiating takeoff.
Anything that has a list of lists, and if-else-branches can be really hard to get right. You walk into one wrong branch due to human error, mistakes just multiply from there.
Also the worse thing is- you are confident that you are doing the right thing, while just making more mistakes.
Anyone in charge of this sort of mission critical stuff has to be willing to take it on the chin to ensure safety. If top brass isn't willing to take "safety" as an excuse for a delay or cancellation it's just going to propagate down and cause an accident.
As it should be. If you're just ticking boxes on a checklist of a weapons system responsible for life and death situations, without actually performing said checks, you shouldn't be entrusted with this job. This is beyond incompetence.
“Check for rain cover” isn’t as clear as “Remove rain cover from engine and stow in compartment labeled ‘Rain Cover’.”
One possible engineering solution would be to make the cover out of a material strong enough to keep out the weather, but flimsy enough that if the engine was running it would suck it in and harmlessly shred/burn it.
It is bloody red cover, sorry for the British f word. Just look ! It is strange to have that red thing.
Head rolling needed. Life and death in fighting situation.
Having said all that may be we should have that to baby sit these pilot. And ground crew.
It boggles my mind they wouldn't have put some kind of NFC chips in it at least to chime an alert "check intake cover".
It also is truly strange it couldn't detect the airflow anomaly on spool up, and at least alert the pilot / launch officers.
Could have a pattern embedded for super easy image recognition and a simple computer running continuous recognition of aircraft taking off (I'm sure there's cctv)... There's just so many ways to help prevent such a mistake!
I don't envy the crew explaining this.
It is, but people sometimes get complacent and/or cocky and "dog" a checklist (run through each item without actually doing it). Incredibly dangerous, inexcusable behavior. I can think of two recent fatal accidents just off the top of my head that were missed takeoff items. I've personally seen pilots say flaps twenty out loud and then go right to the next item without even looking up. Meanwhile I'm looking right at the flap lever and it's set to zero. Don't get me wrong, I get it - when something goes right 1,000 times in a row, it can be hard to get your brain to really, truly understand that the success of this takeoff has absolutely no connection to any of the previous takeoffs. But overcoming that is part of the job.
Just a day back they dropped a $10 billion(20 years in development) origami transformer-like robot telescope(jwst) on the floor because some one forgot to secure a clamp well enough to hold the piece in place.
So I'm guessing regardless of whatever people say about six sigmas, checklists and procedures, human errors just continue to happen regardless.
I'm not sure I want my plane to just shut down if it ingests something.
If you are on a takeoff roll with a heavily fueled and armed aircraft and it detects an ingestion it has no idea if running until it blows up will save lives or not. The pilot needs to make that call.
There are significant failures here, but without being on the scene or seeing the write up I can’t say what they are beyond the failure of both the ground crew and the pilot.
This is speaking as a 21 year Naval Aviation Senior Enlisted who has spent plenty of time on the flight deck.
Yea, I think the hard stop of my vacuum is fitting for its purpose: at worst my floor wont get vacuumed if its false error. But the aircraft lacking elevated and more concretely descriptive warnings about such crucial part of its powerplant is just wrong.
Also aviation is not special in any way when it comes to human error. I know details never published about aircraft accidents in my country (pilots talk on the airfield, it helps us knowing what happened and what to avoid) and most were incredibly stupid human errors. I know people who crashed more than once with planes and kept doing stupid things, I personally know 4 people that crashed planes, one of them 3 times, and keep doing it. Pilots are not special, not even above average, and they keep doing things that are not expected. Being tired, bored or distracted makes it worse.
Specifically, according to the press release, the pilot tried to abort takeoff while still on the deck but ran out of runway, meaning the plane was moving for at most a few seconds before the issue was noticed.
Of course instead of relying upon the pilot seeing that error message you could instead disable the plane so it can't even start trying to take off. But then you run the risk that your $200 Million dollar plane will be rendered inoperable by the failure of a $20 sensor which is obviously undesirable in a war environment.
YM "within seconds" of after he started rolling? That's obviously too late. Why shouldn't it say that as soon as the pilot "switches on the ignition" (i.e, tries to start the engine) or thereabouts?
Of course the computer "could" do it. And maybe it did. That doesn't mean that precautions were followed, or that some sort of lock out feature for this would even be desirable design feature for a war machine to begin with.
That's over a quarter billion pounds.
To put that in perspective: the pre-primary and primary education budget for the entire country, in 2016, was 800 million pounds.
Do you think MPs will hand-wring about this plane being flushed down the drain as much as they do about fiscal prudence in early education expenses?
I wonder if UK teachers spend their personal funds on school supplies like teachers in the US do.
That doesn't sound right. This page says the UK spent 31 billion on pre-primary and primary education in 2020
(If that has a paywall, try googling for the info, which is how I was able to view the page.)
Please help me understand the discrepancy or edit your comment.
Source : https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/...
The UK did not spend 173 pounds per student for a year of education -- the 30B cost leads to per student spending of about $6500, which is starting to approach a reasonable figure.
That number has kept me employed for 7 years so far and will continue paying my rent cheques long after its necessarily.
Long live the global murder complex.
It may be, eg, that it had been taken off properly but got (or was left) loose on the flight deck and blew up into the intake of the jet as it was taking off.
Something for the ground crew to fix, for sure, but not necessarily a catastrophic failure of standard checking procedures.
So the engine a joint effort between Lockheed (designer) and Rolls Royce (builder), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-35_Lightning...
makes me wonder if Rolls Royce used their turbine blades on this aircrafts engine?
You see the US Lockheed C-130 Hercules has a different flight computer compared to the British version namely because of the use of different engines, the US engines are not as powerful and the USAF fly within the parameters of the flight computer, but the British Lockheed C-130 has a cut down flight computer which allows more risky manoeuvres because the Rolls Royce engines are more powerful, so they can land and take off on shorter jungle runways, stepper climbs things like that, ideal for security services operations. The Apache Helicopter is the same, the US engine is not as powerful as the Rolls Royce engine so you can do more in the UK version of the Apache.
So I wonder with this one if it really is a crap coverup or not? There's a lot of technology built into these things and as we become more reliant on technology to help fly these things instead of the more natural mechanical elements of control from years gone by, there's more vulnerability being introduced alongside the de rigueur complexity.
I know some of the things these aircraft fitters have to put up with when "upgrades" come through for things that break, the CAD designers are a world apart from reality on the ground and hasn't that always been the case?
However health and safety alongside better record making & taking is constantly improving things... slowly.
Its not British propaganda. I could go into how easily fabricated mill certificates are to keep engineering firms happy whilst maximising profits for metal stockholders. Its hard to trace engineered metals.
The weakness with goods and services is the end user is usually not in a position to test independently due to lack of finance and/or knowledge, so trust is still inherently exploitable.
It was the same for the UK's F-4s, which had a Rolls Royce Spey that put out significantly more thrust than the GE J79s in US F-4s.
1. the expectations the manufacturer places on the operators are wildly different (eg: car drivers won't deal with checklists, type ratings, etc.)
2. the expectations the operators have from the manufacturers are wildly different (eg: car drivers care about their UX and the perceived value, whereas pilots mostly care about their job security)
 In German: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PALxDIxRrns
They are an optimization problem. Anything you can get done on the ground is a gold mine if that means you do not have to cart more sensors and wiring and computation and potential information and procedures that the pilot has to deal with in the cockpit.
The issue is the fact that whereas in 1945 fighters cost about as much as a few 'fancy cars', fighters are now 200 homes. Of course, they should be thought of as 'flying weapons platforms' ... but still.
$16M F16 would be one thing, but a $120M piece of kit ... that hurts.
I'm wondering how well the 'downgraded' variations of F18++ or 'some new fighter' will fill the gap or if Boeing can make a 'cheap F35'.
Not that an F-35 could ever cost $600,000 like a P-51 but it is worth noting I think.
Isn't that one of those "circular economy" things? As in "Here, we're giving you X amount in defense aid, and you're buying from us Y things with it."
because the car industry is driven by market forces, not government corruption driven monopolies. I'm not sure why anybody thinks the US military is anything more than a paper tiger after the last few decades of failure, highlighted by the failed withdrawal from Afghanistan. I feel bad for the countries that got pressured into buying the F-35
I dunno about that, but the military industrial complex made absolute bank though, for which the taxpayers generously picked up the tab.
Those covers are red for a reason, so that they're easy to spot and remove. Furthermore, the ladder to climb into the cockpit is right next to the intake, and if you see one, you have to check the other side. How was it possibly missed?
Since you asked, here’s one idea:
- Did you notice the rain covers are present in the second photo in the article? I had to do a double-take because they’re very dark. I suspect they’re less obvious compared to other aircraft.
- Was the launch at night? If so, is the deck of this carrier appropriately lit wherever this plane was parked for inspection?
This is pure speculation. My point is you can have all the checklists in the world but bad design could contribute significantly to a process failure.
It sounds like this was a test flight of new equipment on a new carrier. I’d expect some design issues to be uncovered at this stage.
It just that one would expect this to not be one of them.
To be sure, military aviation doesn't give a flying fuck about virtue signaling. The name of the game is checklist and enumerated procedure compliance or GTFO the flightline/deck; it doesn't matter if you're a fighter pilot or maintenance ground crew.
For normal operations the pilot doing their own check isn’t a lack of confidence in the ground crew, it’s the prudent, smart, and responsible thing to do when playing with people’s lives and very expensive aircraft. I’ve never known ground crew to get upset over it.
(Which means I’m only partially right, but I admit mostly wrong. I’ve also seen strong evidence that the Blue Angels do something similar, but can’t quickly find a reference.)
The people who go tend to be the ones everyone hates at the front line squadrons because they are the sticklers for doing things right and putting in the work to do it right AND fast. Most others will cut corners on one or the other without oversight.
I don’t really understand why they do it, to be honest. Most other military display teams, including the famous Red Arrows and Frecce Tricolori, just do regular startups with all the usual preflight checks.
These are mostly war machines that have to be scrambled asap, meaning the pilot is expected to jump in and fly. To alter that during peacetime would be silly, as you want to establish habits.
But don’t take my word for it, here’s a video I found as literally the first result when googling for it, showing a USAF F-22 pilot conducting a full pre-flight walk around inspection: https://www.dvidshub.net/video/149526/f-22-walk-around
Before saying something is the ‘stupidest thing’ you’ve ever heard, it might be worth first making sure you actually know what you’re talking about.
There are no shortage of horror stories about what is found when USAF pilots get deployed to train pilots in other Air Forces.
The USAF is also not any more professional than other developed world and NATO air forces, who all have similar procedures in any case.
If that's true, that sounds kinda weird. Military aviation should run on procedures and checklists with redundancies.
When someone hands you an unloaded gun, you don't just trust that it's unloaded even if it's their job, but you check yourself there's no round in the chamber first before handling it.
Same with fighter jets, checks should be made by crew and pilot to ensure nothing escapes.
In this case, though, it is the pilot's responsibility to do a visual inspection before take off, which he clearly failed to do.
"Dealing with what caused the F-35B crash, the British media outlet The Sun reports that it may have been a “cheap plastic cover” that was left on during take-off."
Of course, this may be a simple strategy, red herring, to fool unfriendly nations, but...
Also, makes me think about the MiG-29 which has special opening on the top of the engines so it can tak-off/land on unpaved runways: https://www.quora.com/How-is-the-Mikoyan-MiG-29-able-to-take...
1) Provide a sky patrol, but on only on office hours (9 - 17).
2) Buy for 1B CHF worth of radar, that would unfortunately lock on cows pasturing.
3) Buy for 0.5B CHF worth of software, then discard it because it's incompatible.
4) etc, etc, etc ....
Liechtenstein, on the other hand...
This is where people would go "ah but [shelters, etc.]", but there would be nothing to leave the shelters to return to. The kind of opponent they would actually face in a conventional conflict is likely not a just one.
Germany have a few working planes i think.
> Germany have a few working planes i think.
Not another Versaille hanging over them to humiliate and keep the nation poor to piss off somebody down the line.
> Germans basically keep EU going not only financially
I love the EU nations online =)
"Apparently it works in the plains but in the mountains, when for example a cow moves on the slopes, the radar identifies the animal as an enemy object", explained the Minister of Defense, Ueli Maurer.
to my knowledge, no cows have been hit by missiles so far.
How can a cheap plastic cover block the engines of a fighter aircraft? Even if they forget to take it off, shouldn't it be destroyed by the jets?
There are a lot of covers on ports and weapons on a combat aircraft sitting on the flight deck, the implication is that it was the inlet covers, which is impossible, the engine wouldn't have operated with those on and they are kind of obvious. It's much more likely this was a cover on something like a pitot tube or AoA sensor.
It's also possible that something just blew off the deck and it had nothing at all to do with crash, The Sun is reporting on some hot tip from the shipboard rumor mill, not the Ministry of Defense.
I'm more surprised that they didn't notice it in firing up the engines - don't they run it briefly to full throttle as part of their checks? Seems it would at least sound badly off-tune, but what do I know...
Major fck-up all around...
And this was a carrier takeoff, so the engines would have been held at maximum thrust prior to launching off a catapult and possibly would have been run at afterburner as well. The inlet flow for that would develop far more than 14psi as the volume of air ingested is enormous. The mass of air ingested is measure in tons per second.
I think this is just incompetent journalists. Not that I've ever done pre-flight on an F-35 but there are probably MANY protective covers that have to be removed during preflight.
It most likely was another cover left on which did not impede takeoff but threw the systems for a loop after takeoff and the pilot wasn't well trained enough to figure out an emergency procedure on such short notice.
The max difference is 14 psi because that's atmospheric pressure.
If it is actually a full inlet cover, there will be _zero_ airflow, so just < 14psi pressure on the cover. (I was just answering how it could avoid being ingested if it was a full cover.)
If it is some other smaller cover on some auxiliary inlet, it might make more sense, as it could definitely screw up the sensors, airflow, whatever, and not get ingested.
I'm sure we'll all be really interested to see what really happened, 'tho I'm not sure we ever will.
This plane uses vertical take-off.
I agree this whole story is conjecture.. And a cover floating in the sea doesn't mean it would have had anything to do with this plane.
somehow doubt that an entire engine air intake cover was left on... they're huge and the engine wouldn't have spun up correctly, or would have sucked it in.
> Mr Wallace added that operational and training flights onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth are continuing despite the incident.
and presumed the root cause was well-known.
Since they used the Sun, maybe take it with a grain silo of salt.
In a real war, we'll be using tactical (not strategic) nukes to take out carriers and bases and supply lines, not toys that avoid collateral damage.
If shit hits the fan, the strategic nukes come out and we all die.
To borrow from the Bronze Age conflicts between the Egyptians, Hittites, et al, you don't want to annihilate your adversary because you still have to trade with them. Wars are just a strategy to establish a more favorable trading position.
Afghanistan is highly mountainous. Carpet bombing doesn't work very well for caves.
Commanders on the ground were asking for air-dropped landmines to cover the areas that Bin Laden could have been using as an escape in Tora Bora in December 2001. Air-dropped land-mines would have made navigating those mountains much more difficult for Bin Laden, and may have killed him on his escape.
They may use IADs, but we have far better equipment for that strategy. We can deploy our mines from airplanes and just blanket an area if we so choose. But of course: this strategy means killing innocent civilians who accidentally walk on the mines.
Difficult Terrain works for both sides. Sure, its difficult for us to move in, but that also makes it difficult for the enemy to move around. Doubly so if landmines are secretly littering areas.
Estimates sit at around 240,000 deaths, great job.
Still better then the Iraqi genocide mind....
You're of course referring to total estimated deaths over 20 years from all supposedly war-related causes (which includes poverty), not civilian deaths directly attributable to the US. The Taliban - as the blood-thirsty conquering force attempting to enslave the population of Afghanistan for the past several decades - is responsible for most of those deaths.
It's funny how many people try to pretend the Taliban don't exist, their murders don't exist, the consequences of their conquering don't exist, and their aims don't exist, when it's convenient.
The actual civilian deaths in Afghanistan by the US is a very small fraction of the number you're quoting, which is the point of the parent comment. The vast majority of violent civilian deaths were from the Taliban and associated groups, via suicide bombings and other intentional mass murder events.
And the vast majority of all deaths during the Iraq civil war, were Iraqi on Iraqi murders. The US stepped in-between the warring factions and tried to stop it, which cost a lot of US blood and treasure.
This isn't hidden magic information. It's right there in the estimates along with the number you quoted out of context. They break out how they arrive at the death totals.
"We destabilised a region and are responsible for the MASSIVE number of civilian deaths as a result."
> Civilians: 562,000–2,000,000 killed
Most civilian deaths during the US war in Afghanistan appear to be from the Taliban themselves.
> According to the United Nations, the Taliban and their allies were responsible for 76% of Afghan civilian casualties in 2010, and 80% in 2011 and 2012.
Everyone works hard to un-learn the most important lesson of war: In war, more of something beats less of something.
And it isn't simply a "morer is betterer" argument, even strategically if you can place assets in multiple concurrent locations even if those assets are "dumber" then you're forcing the enemy to split their force into multiple beachheads.
Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano ($18M~) Vs. F-35A ($79M~). One F-35A obviously beats one Super Tucano but does it even have enough weapons onboard to beat 4.3? What if you split your Super Tucanos between two locations, which one is the F-35A going to defend?
And the Super Tucano is even the endgame here, the endgame is drone swarms. $1M~/ea and you have a 79-1 ratio, and it is indefensible and laughably so.
> And the Super Tucano is even the endgame here, the endgame is drone swarms. $1M~/ea and you have a 79-1 ratio, and it is indefensible and laughably so.
"Drone Swarms" You either are just describing guided missiles which already exist or an actual drone aircraft capable of threatening an F-35 which would require similarly capable sensors and engines. It's not going to cost $1M.
Take this as a grain of salt because it's a player in a sim fighting AI. But I love it as an example of what a lone fighter can do against less capable aircraft. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5FrxsBG_H8
"The F-35 can carry up to two AIM-9X missiles on its wings and four AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles internally."
Also- in the future:
"Lockheed Martin is developing a weapon rack called Sidekick that would enable the internal outboard station to carry two AIM-120s, thus increasing the internal air-to-air payload to six missiles"
Before stealth small nimble aircraft avoided anti-aircraft fire by flying low where the horizon and or terrain would keep them shielded or provide physical barriers against missile intercept. That of course requires good low altitude, long duration flying which is also something the Super Tucano happens to excel at.
I'd argue that the SAMs is an argument for "morer is betterer" since you're essentially pretending that the F-35 has perfect stealth instead of limited stealth, and relying on it being never shot down as your win condition (as opposed to building in losses and utilizing strategies not dependent on a technological advantage).
The days of building mass quantities of cheap, expendable tactical aircraft are simply over. Even if we were willing to tolerate higher aircrew casualty rates that approach is no longer cost effective. It's just too expensive to train more pilots and maintain larger numbers of aircraft in peacetime even if the initial procurement cost is lower. You have to look at the full lifecycle cost to achieve the target level of capability.
For naval aviation the constraints are even stricter. A carrier can only fit a fairly small air wing, so it's essential that every aircraft be highly capable. Even if that means the aircraft are extremely expensive, it's still more cost effective than building another carrier.
Yeah, and then they started to be shot down and had to be ordered to stop flying low while the stealth aircraft kept flying right over the capital, like in the case of the A-10 and F-117 over Iraq in 91.
This is assuming it doesn't suffocate its pilot to death, because Lockheed still can't get the oxygen system to work properly.
The finest plane $350M (and climbing) can buy (for the F35-B variant. The A variant is down to "just" $100M or so.)