Eglin F-35’s first flight cut short

Eglin F-35’s first flight cut short

The Air Force’s F-35s at Eglin AFB were cleared to fly just as the brass said they’d be at the winter AFA meeting, but when it actually happened there was a little hitch.

The debut flight was supposed to last 90 minutes, but the pilot turned back after only 15 when the aircraft showed what appeared to be a fuel leak. According to the Air Force’s statement, it was a successful failure:

“Our first sortie is truly a milestone for the program,” said Col. Andrew Toth, 33rd Fighter Wing commander. “Unfortunately things happen. We didn’t want it to happen today but we were prepared. Our pilot did the exact right thing in returning the jet back to Eglin. Although there were issues we are doing whatever we can to move the program forward safely and effectively.”


Pilots and maintainers will meet later today to discuss the potential fuel leak finding that caused the precautionary end of the sortie at 15 minutes versus the 90 minutes scheduled to be airborne to complete the operational check flight.

“We met both objectives today; get the aircraft airborne and start local area operations,” said Lt. Col. Eric Smith, the Air Force’s first F-35 pilot who tested the aircraft at Edwards AFB, Calif. “Our team did the most conservative thing by deciding to bring the plane back. We trained for this many times in the simulator for this exact reason.”

The crowd on the flight line present for take-off kept the cheers for their integrated team’s first aircraft launch and feel the day was still a success.

“It’s a wonderful experience to know I made history launching the first F-35,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Houser, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, who saluted Smith in the cockpit before the jet taxied down the ramp.

Maintainers have been preparing for today’s launch with engine runs and taxi operations for approximately eight months since the aircraft began arriving here last summer. Utilizing virtual trainers, developing pilot curriculum and hosting small group tryouts has been the focus of personnel to ready themselves for flight operations to come.

“This is our execution year,” said Toth, who is proud of his team for laying the foundation to get the nation’s training program ready to go. “The cohesion we developed between the services make this not just about the Air Force, but about the wing’s program to launch the F-35A as a baseline for the JSF program’s future. It’s taken the entire team, all services and contractors to build this up. Had the partnership not been there, I don’t think we’d be here today.”

Since 2009, Air Force, Navy and Marines sent their best aviators and aircraft mechanics to develop the next generation warriors of the joint strike fighter program here.

“I can’t wait until we fly more and show our stuff to the world,” said Senior Airman Arthur Verchot, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief launch assistant.

More pilot students will flow into the program at the right time so the wing has the correct number of people in each phase of the program. With people as the main training product, the 33rd FW focuses on preparing for an anticipated 2,200 students a year and 900 “on campus” at any given time at full capacity.

It was, at very least, forward progress, although the truncated flight perfectly encapsulated the story of the F-35 program so far. And it also brought a reminder that even with this milestone, the way ahead still isn’t very clear.

The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, Washington’s Rep. Adam Smith, told reporters last week “we do not yet have a firm idea of when the planes are going to be ready,” and how “concerned” he was about that. But he wound up with the same old refrain: There’s nothing for it. We’re too far along.

“We can’t cancel the program now,” he said. “We have to make it work.”

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I pray to God this is the last time we will tolerate defense leaders that do not appreciate the concept of developing a Plan “B”. For heaven’s sake, we are talking about warfare.

This is more of “don’t go into production before testing is done”. LM wanted to build these planes as fast as possible to maximize profit. It wasn’t in the best interests of the US to do so but they went ahead anyways.

Doesn’t change the fact that the program has been operating without a valid baseline for way too long now. That’s not something to be proud of. By its example, the F-35 is causing immeasurable damage to DoD and the taxpayer.

It has been confirmed that it was residual water from rain/washing. Not fuel.

Big deal. An F-14 crashed once.

15 minutes flight time is to be expected it’s the average time to major system failure on the JSF.

As Pcfem would point out — the F-35 was widely expected to under-perform even the meager metrics set for it so just being as terrible as expected means it is PERFORMING BETTER THAN EXPECTED.

Lockheed gets another multi-million dollar contract to fix whatever design flaw lead to the fuel leak and everyone takes a break for another 6 months. EVERYONE IS A WINNER WITH THE F-35

Perhaps if it had been as grounded as the F-35 has been it would have avoided crashing.

No program should ever be made so that it can’t be cancelled. This failure of an aircraft is not worth its price and it’s still possible that it could go through the Death Spiral process and end up dead. It’s not the only option we have since the Super Hornet International Road Map can perform just as good as the F-35 with a slight reduction in stealth: http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​H​b​m​v​F​A​B​N​RDA

On top of that the Super Hornets are extremely cheap to make and are in too many ways better than the F-35. It’s also cheaper to operate, maintain, is far more reliable, and is ready right now at time when our economy is not at its best: http://​www​.informationdissemination​.net/​2​0​1​0​/​0​9/h

Fav quote: “You don’t want to pick up Stephen’s math and run with it, because if you do, you’ll realize the Navy could replace every Hornet in inventory with a Block II, add an extra squadron of Block IIs to all 11 carrier air wings, add an 11th Carrier Air Wing, and still save money by sticking with Super Hornets and choosing not to buy the Joint Strike Fighter.”

I think it’s possible to get the F-35A to work and we should focus on the A-model, but the B and C should be cancelled.

No program should ever be made so that it can’t be cancelled. This failure of an aircraft is not worth its price and it’s still possible that it could go through the Death Spiral process and end up dead. It’s not the only option we have since the Super Hornet International Road Map can perform just as good as the F-35 with a slight reduction in stealth: http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​H​b​m​v​F​A​B​N​RDA

On top of that the Super Hornets are extremely cheap to make and are in too many ways better than the F-35. It’s also cheaper to operate, maintain, is far more reliable, and is ready right now at time when our economy is not at its best: http://​www​.informationdissemination​.net/​2​0​1​0​/​0​9/h

Fav quote: “You don’t want to pick up Stephen’s math and run with it, because if you do, you’ll realize the Navy could replace every Hornet in inventory with a Block II, add an extra squadron of Block IIs to all 11 carrier air wings, add an 11th Carrier Air Wing, and still save money by sticking with Super Hornets and choosing not to buy the Joint Strike Fighter.”

I think it’s possible to get the F-35A to work and we should focus on the A-model, but the B and C should be cancelled.

No program should ever be made so that it can’t be cancelled. This failure of an aircraft is not worth its price and it’s still possible that it could go through the Death Spiral process and end up dead. It’s not the only option we have since the Super Hornet International Road Map can perform just as good as the F-35 with a slight reduction in stealth: http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​H​b​m​v​F​A​B​N​RDA

On top of that the Super Hornets are extremely cheap to make and are in too many ways better than the F-35. It’s also cheaper to operate, maintain, is far more reliable, and is ready right now at time when our economy is not at its best: http://​www​.informationdissemination​.net/​2​0​1​0​/​0​9/h

Fav quote: “You don’t want to pick up Stephen’s math and run with it, because if you do, you’ll realize the Navy could replace every Hornet in inventory with a Block II, add an extra squadron of Block IIs to all 11 carrier air wings, add an 11th Carrier Air Wing, and still save money by sticking with Super Hornets and choosing not to buy the Joint Strike Fighter.”

I think it’s possible to get the F-35A to work and we should focus on the A-model, but the B and C should be cancelled.

No program should ever be made so that it can’t be cancelled. This failure of an aircraft is not worth its price and it’s still possible that it could go through the Death Spiral process and end up dead. It’s not the only option we have since the Super Hornet International Road Map can perform just as good as the F-35 with a slight reduction in stealth: http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​H​b​m​v​F​A​B​N​RDA

On top of that the Super Hornets are extremely cheap to make and are in too many ways better than the F-35. It’s also cheaper to operate, maintain, is far more reliable, and is ready right now at time when our economy is not at its best: http://​www​.informationdissemination​.net/​2​0​1​0​/​0​9/h

Fav quote: “You don’t want to pick up Stephen’s math and run with it, because if you do, you’ll realize the Navy could replace every Hornet in inventory with a Block II, add an extra squadron of Block IIs to all 11 carrier air wings, add an 11th Carrier Air Wing, and still save money by sticking with Super Hornets and choosing not to buy the Joint Strike Fighter.”

I think it’s possible to get the F-35A to work and we should focus on the A-model, but the B and C should be cancelled.

No program should ever be made so that it can’t be cancelled. This failure of an aircraft is not worth its price and it’s still possible that it could go through the Death Spiral process and end up dead. It’s not the only option we have since the Super Hornet International Road Map can perform just as good as the F-35 with a slight reduction in stealth: http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​H​b​m​v​F​A​B​N​RDA

On top of that the Super Hornets are extremely cheap to make and are in too many ways better than the F-35. It’s also cheaper to operate, maintain, is far more reliable, and is ready right now at time when our economy is not at its best: http://​www​.informationdissemination​.net/​2​0​1​0​/​0​9/h

Fav quote: “You don’t want to pick up Stephen’s math and run with it, because if you do, you’ll realize the Navy could replace every Hornet in inventory with a Block II, add an extra squadron of Block IIs to all 11 carrier air wings, add an 11th Carrier Air Wing, and still save money by sticking with Super Hornets and choosing not to buy the Joint Strike Fighter.”

I think it’s possible to get the F-35A to work and we should focus on the A-model, but the B and C should be cancelled.

No program should ever be made so that it can’t be cancelled. This failure of an aircraft is not worth its price and it’s still possible that it could go through the Death Spiral process and end up dead. It’s not the only option we have since the Super Hornet International Road Map can perform just as good as the F-35 with a slight reduction in stealth: http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​H​b​m​v​F​A​B​N​RDA

On top of that the Super Hornets are extremely cheap to make and are in too many ways better than the F-35. It’s also cheaper to operate, maintain, is far more reliable, and is ready right now at time when our economy is not at its best: http://​www​.informationdissemination​.net/​2​0​1​0​/​0​9/h

Fav quote: “You don’t want to pick up Stephen’s math and run with it, because if you do, you’ll realize the Navy could replace every Hornet in inventory with a Block II, add an extra squadron of Block IIs to all 11 carrier air wings, add an 11th Carrier Air Wing, and still save money by sticking with Super Hornets and choosing not to buy the Joint Strike Fighter.”

I think it’s possible to get the F-35A to work and we should focus on the A-model, but the B and C should be cancelled.

No program should ever be made so that it can’t be cancelled. This failure of an aircraft is not worth its price and it’s still possible that it could go through the Death Spiral process and end up dead. It’s not the only option we have since the Super Hornet International Road Map can perform just as good as the F-35 with a slight reduction in stealth: http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​H​b​m​v​F​A​B​N​RDA

On top of that the Super Hornets are extremely cheap to make and are in too many ways better than the F-35. It’s also cheaper to operate, maintain, is far more reliable, and is ready right now at time when our economy is not at its best: http://​www​.informationdissemination​.net/​2​0​1​0​/​0​9/h

Fav quote: “You don’t want to pick up Stephen’s math and run with it, because if you do, you’ll realize the Navy could replace every Hornet in inventory with a Block II, add an extra squadron of Block IIs to all 11 carrier air wings, add an 11th Carrier Air Wing, and still save money by sticking with Super Hornets and choosing not to buy the Joint Strike Fighter.”

I think it’s possible to get the F-35A to work and we should focus on the A-model, but the B and C should be cancelled.

No program should ever be made so that it can’t be cancelled. This failure of an aircraft is not worth its price and it’s still possible that it could go through the Death Spiral process and end up dead. It’s not the only option we have since the Super Hornet International Road Map can perform just as good as the F-35 with a slight reduction in stealth: http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​H​b​m​v​F​A​B​N​R​D​ANo program should ever be made so that it can’t be cancelled. This failure of an aircraft is not worth its price and it’s still possible that it could go through the Death Spiral process and end up dead. It’s not the only option we have since the Super Hornet International Road Map can perform just as good as the F-35 with a slight reduction in stealth: http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​H​b​m​v​F​A​B​N​RDA

On top of that the Super Hornets are extremely cheap to make and are in too many ways better than the F-35. It’s also cheaper to operate, maintain, is far more reliable, and is ready right now at time when our economy is not at its best: http://​www​.informationdissemination​.net/​2​0​1​0​/​0​9/h

Fav quote: “You don’t want to pick up Stephen’s math and run with it, because if you do, you’ll realize the Navy could replace every Hornet in inventory with a Block II, add an extra squadron of Block IIs to all 11 carrier air wings, add an 11th Carrier Air Wing, and still save money by sticking with Super Hornets and choosing not to buy the Joint Strike Fighter.”

I think it’s possible to get the F-35A to work and we should focus on the A-model, but the B and C should be cancelled.

No program should ever be made so that it can’t be cancelled. This failure of an aircraft is not worth its price and it’s still possible that it could go through the Death Spiral process and end up dead. It’s not the only option we have since the Super Hornet International Road Map can perform just as good as the F-35 with a slight reduction in stealth: http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​H​b​m​v​F​A​B​N​RDA
http://​www​.informationdissemination​.net/​2​0​1​0​/​0​9/h

Fav quote: “You don’t want to pick up Stephen’s math and run with it, because if you do, you’ll realize the Navy could replace every Hornet in inventory with a Block II, add an extra squadron of Block IIs to all 11 carrier air wings, add an 11th Carrier Air Wing, and still save money by sticking with Super Hornets and choosing not to buy the Joint Strike Fighter.”

I think it’s possible to get the F-35A to work and we should focus on the A-model, but the B and C should be cancelled.

And perhaps a pigeon could do algebra if it had a human brain. No life was lost. These things happen.

“We can’t cancel the program now,” he said. “We have to make it work.”
didn’t work for Lee at Gettsburg nor Burnside at Fredericksburg. God we need people who can actually think straight in leadership positions in this country.

I await your solution that will provide new 5th generation fighters for the USAF, USN, and USMC. There’s no guarantee Congress would authorize the development of multiple fighters if the JSF was cancelled anyway. They would still think “why can’t you make one aircraft do it all”.

If we could get a process that worked right, that could deliver two or three new fighters before the end of the decade, then why on earth couldn’t we fix the F-35 quickly?

I await your solution that will provide new 5th generation fighters for the USAF, USN, and USMC. There’s no guarantee Congress would authorize the development of multiple fighters if the JSF was cancelled anyway. They would still think “why can’t you make one aircraft do it all”.

If we could get a process that worked right, that could deliver two or three new fighters before the end of the decade, then why on earth couldn’t we fix the F-35 quickly?

Jebus will be rolling in his grave. “pray to god” “for heavens sake” “we are talking about warfare.“
I hope that was supposed to be ironic.

I’m sure you’ve got Jebus figured out pretty well. Thanks for lowering the bar of discussion in here.

More problems for a plan with so much problem pleaging its development.

Since I haven’t ever heard of a deity named “Jebus”, I’ll pretend I didn’t read that.…..

No program should ever be made so that it can’t be cancelled. This failure of an aircraft is not worth its price and it’s still possible that it could go through the Death Spiral process and end up gone. It’s not the only option we have since the Super Hornet International Road Map can perform just as good as the F-35 with a slight reduction in stealth.

On top of that the Super Hornets are extremely cheap to make and are in too many ways better than the F-35. It’s also cheaper to operate, maintain, is far more reliable, and is ready right now at time when our economy is not at its best.

There was an article with a quote: “You don’t want to pick up Stephen’s math and run with it, because if you do, you’ll realize the Navy could replace every Hornet in inventory with a Block II, add an extra squadron of Block IIs to all 11 carrier air wings, add an 11th Carrier Air Wing, and still save money by sticking with Super Hornets and choosing not to buy the Joint Strike Fighter.”

I think it’s possible to get the F-35A to work and we should focus on the A-model, but the B and C should be cancelled.

If you keep them on the ground they wont break. Once upon a time America “could” make aircraft that worked and did the job. Not anymore, just high priced junk.….….

This is ridiculous. The prototype flew over 10 years ago coast to coast and still it’s yet to be fielded. This is what happens when design requirements are constantly meddled with and you expect a plane to be a aviation equivalent of a Swiss army knife. Go back to no nonsense affordable task specific aircraft designs. At this rate it’ll cost more than the F-22 and not do any task better than the legacy aircraft it is meant to replace.

3 trillion and it wont fly, but lets cut medical, pay, and retirement. at least we went where told and did our jobs and it didnt cost 3 trillion. just .50 cents for some c rations. add that up Mr. congressman?

Let’s stop wasting time and just distribute food already. Make it impossible for terrorist groups to flourish by removing their members peacefully with non-stop planeloads, truckloads, and boatloads of free bread, butter and apple pie. Amber waves of grain, people. Amber waves of frikin grain.

First Flight at Kitty Hawk was Less than a Minute, nearly crashed.

But not nearly as much as the congress.

How’s this for straight thinking: No chairman can cancel a program that was passed by the full House, and there is no way the full Republican House would agree to cancel the program, so nothing quoted that he said meant anything.

Correction: He’s not even a chairman, just a ranking Demorat, which means his opinion means less than nothing.

Okay all the generals have spoken their piece? The Soviets tried to fly their new fighter and did not even make the run way, We got the bird up and found trouble, got it down in ONE piece. When they flew the wing it cost Andrews his life because it was new and Yoder told him not to stall it? he stalled he is dead. Our flight is successful when it gets back to learn short comings before they are Dead comings. The craft will be battle ready by 2013 and kicking the chinese back to their dawn side of the Pacific

amen to that! Living wages for working Americans with immediate results at a fracrion of the wartime cost.

ya know after reading some of these post a lot of peapole have no idea about test flying aircraft or us defense yure the type that would wate till thay were invaded and through rocks and sticks

Only the government would consider a failure that caused the plane to return to base even though only completing 20% of its missions successful. Hope all our dogfights and bombing runs are short term if they consider this the jewel of our fleet. They are pushing this one to operations quickly because they can’t figure out why the F-22 is suffocating our pilots and need something up there. But of course that is the pilots fault that the F-22 does not produce oxygen for the pilot to breathe based on the accident report.

Good thing we deploy to areas that have limited rain then so it should not be a problem :)

Obviously, many of the commentors have little or no familiarity with the past history of testing combat aircraft. “Possible fuel leakage“is an extremely minor glitch that will undoubtedly be worked out and corrected. It may just be an instrumentation problem or could be real fuel tank leaks like many aircraft have had in the past, (F-111e.g.) These are extremely complex aircraft and get more so every day. Most test pilots are delighted if they do not have a “pitch-up” flight control problem or some similar life threatening incident on their early test flights. Wait until we start testing the F-35 in the transonic and supersonic regions. This is an expensive, time-consuming process and most flights are considered a success if the number of takeoffs equals the number of landings. God bless our test pilots. Jack Schira

True, but I’d still rather take Lee’s leadership anyday.

too much for too little so far.

As a DoD testing it really bothers me to hear people make negative comments about an aircraft with this many new revolutionary systems all integrated together and the only thing that went wrong was a suspected fuel leak. Amazing and a true testament to Model-Test-Model. The concept of testing is not what it used to be. We test to learn and “Verify” the design assumption and “Validate” the performance requirements. Flight testing is done to anchor the models and the data collected during that 15 minutes of flight will equate to 100 of hours of past testing. Great job JSF and we look forward to other success in American design and engineering. What ever happen if you don’t have something good to say then say nothing at all. Complain about the education system and send your children to engineering school we will need them in the future as our system become more complex. You go JSF keep pushing the bounds of technology and shift the paradigm of testing and evaluation.

Pretty much what I figured from the first news article I read. Better safe that sorry; especially with the vultures circling over head! ;)

There have been MANY “plan Bs” considered MANY times .

It is the US Government’s fault that the program has been operating ‘without a valid baseline’ (& I think you are confusing baseline with milestone B), NOT that of the program.

The F-35 isn’t causing damage to the DOD OR the taxpayers.

The F-35 Program Exceeded 2011 Flight Test Goals

0972 flights vs 872 goal
7823 test points vs 6622 goal

And yet still failed to make the complete flight. How many other of those 972 flights were shorter than planned? Good thing our goals are extremely low.

Great job for a flight that was only 20% completed and failed due to rainwater and excessive washing? Good thing that we never fly anywhere there is rain and also hope that the enemy is close by when we fly them and that dogfights last less than 15 minutes. They are hurrying this project along because the F-22 is suffocating our pilots (who then get blamed for the crash in the official government reports). What else is the government not telling us?

They have had more than enough time and there have been so many cost overruns that this thing should be able to fly its intended mission.

Chaostician, I agree with you, unfortunately because of the extreme high cost of Plan “A’ there is no money left for a Plan “B”.

I agree with Schira and Delon, and I specifically remember back in the early 70s the F-14 testing. There were lots of problems with that aircraft and I believe there were several deaths. Yes, I do not like the cost it takes now to develope a new fighter/bomber, maybe if we had real leaders that put the defense of our country first and formost, they could figure out ways to lower the costs without sacrificing the quality of the aircraft. For those that still think the F-35 testing is going poorly, I’ll post this video for you again:
http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​_​p​o​p​u​p​?​v​=​K​i​8​6​x​1​W​K​PmE

Fuel leak turns into just some condensation causing a mis que glitch and everyone freaks out. Do you know the complexity of the thousands of systems that are operating on this bird? I can’t argue to cost, etc but I can tell you with as many opportunities a complex system like this has, there will be more of the same until it works itself out. People still bash the V-22 program due to some past history, yet people fail to remember this was a totally new concept for an air vehicle. Tell the Marines you want to pull those out of their aresenal and see what reaction you get today. It is on time, under budget and the cost keep dropping. Its part of the process folks, how many of you have screwed up a recipe cooking dinner? This bird is millions of dinners all being served at once.

It is about time to do, as Carter did, whack this red herring. Then we can get a new “savior”, like Regan, to bankrupt us so that a Democrat, like Clinton, can actually save the day. History does repeat itself. Go Ricky Santorm, GO!!

Glad to see someone defending the JSF program! I work for a defense contractor (not LM) and like others have said, these systems are very complex and this is a great start for the ‘first’ flight test. I can also tell you LM has nothing to do with the decision to produce aircraft before fully testing the system. This is a regular occurrence / requirement from the government because they want the final product sooner and are willing to take the risk of having to rework the system if there is a failure. Sometimes the risk is realized and it can be costly, but its just part of business.….

Great QC LM!!!!!!!! A Seccessful Failier! What a crock! LM and the Pentagon should be ashamed
of producing trhis piece of crap. So much for quality control. How about doing a pre flight! I remember
my old SAC days and if this happened you were shit canned! Someone will get promoted!

WOW! Another Brain Dead Obozo fan and zombie!
I am impressed!

token plan B’s don’t count. We have not been able to develop viable alternatives egress ourselves out of this mess due to the intransigence, lack of discipline, and cowardice of our leaders, fueled by disinformation spread by the likes of you. There is a darn good reason why the acquisition process is what it is. Programs that cannot exist within this reality, repeatedly bust baselines, and continue to operate without baselines, do not deserve to exist. When institutions compromise the integrity of their processes, they are doomed. They increase internal friction and discord, making it impossible to unify and accomplish meaningful objectives.

Sorry for you, but there are many more considerations to take into account when debating defense and acquisition strategy than just how “revolutionary” something is. You need to widen your lens.

Agree with you it’s the Government’s fault for this whole mess. I’m not confused you are the one who is confused. I know what an Acquisition Program Baseline is, I know what a Milestone B is, and F-35 does not have a valid either one. Go back to school, the education process has failed you, since you do not understand the concept of Opportunity Cost. All of the most talented pilots, engineers, and maintainers were needed in Iraq & Afghanistan. Our failure in Afghanistan has global security implications NOW, as opposed to pie in the sky F-35 promises.

I sure hope we still have a skunkworks somewhere with a small but gifted team, out of political and regulatory view, producing state-of-the-art and servicable aircraft .…or even just doing normal follow-on engineering on the F22. The normal procurment process is totally FUBAR.

where there is a will there is a way. DoD’s heart has never been into developing a realistic plan B. In comparing costs of alternatives, we really do not know how much F-35 will cost. We could develop an alternative with less cost risk, if our leaders truly cared.

Our options narrow the longer and longer we continue with the bury in the head in the sand, and just keep trusting F-35 approach, which is probably DoD leadership’s strategy. It’s kind of like if you draft a promising QB as your #1 pick, and that QB never delivers but there is just so much promise for the future. In football, the most competetive endeavor on the planet, no sane organization would operate like this. You always develop backup plans if you truly care to win.

With the decision of 9 developed countries diplomats and high level military officials in supporting the work of hundreds of talented scientists and thousands of bright engineers/technicians, it is easy to conclude that they know something better than you do. There is nothing more comical than an anonymous critic claiming to be, or at least pretending to be the know-it-all, and then lambast others for not agreeing with them.

Even in the most chaotic scenario, there is still an order. It’s a matter of finding it. You’re angry because you’re confused. You’re confused because you failed to comprehend the real strategy behind the creation of the JSF concept.

I concur. Give the F-35 time to mature before passing judgments based on one’s limited knowledge of the plane, its technology and development process.

And you know better because?????

If you were truly the expert then you wouldn’t be on this site wasting time. Oh, genius!

I see that a card carrying member of the obtuse, historical revisionist byproduct of an outcome based education system cabal is at the public library posting on the internet again. The “Occupy” protest must have been canceled for the day due to apathy, indifference or fragrance.

to answer your first question because I have plenty of academic credentials & experience to make these judgments. I am an expert on these matters, and furthering debate on critical issues affecting our national security & economy. Thanks for your comment.

If you want to be fair, then you would not pit 9 developed countries best & brightest against little old me. So sorry you’re appeal to authority argument fails here. Now THAT is truly comical. There are plenty of experts on both sides of the F-35 debate. I’m angry because I expect us to learn how to plan and execute a project within the promised cost & schedule. Would you get angry if someone gives you an estimate to do work on your property, and then hopelessly blows cost & schedule, and suckers you in time and time again? It is you and most DoD officials that fail to comprehend strategy & technology development concepts.

Obviously most repliers here are NOT AF maintainers, most have spent too much time in an office and little or no time on a flight-line making em’ go. Soon they’ll be comparing it to Rickenbacker’s Spad. Jet air aborts and people break out war stories… Someone said it was water, really? unreal.

Battle ready by 2013 it hasn’t even released a live weapon yet LOL.

Perhaps the enemy is expected to faint from laughter ?

Rubbish these are operational aircraft meant for training pilots not testbeds flown by test pilots.

Just another contractor claiming that failure is business as usual.

““We can’t cancel the program now,” he said. “We have to make it work.”
This is more nonsense from the fool factory. Sunk Costs should be disregarded in decision making. Any sane person acts this way when they are spending their own money. If you are caught bluffing you do not put more chips in just because you’ve been doing so to that point. You calculate what your expected value is from different courses of action. With F-35, the future costs are unknown, since the program is operating without a baseline. F-35 is something like $50B sunk, but there’s $300+B to go. The calculation should be, what kind of alternative option could be developed for $300+B in investment costs that enables us to accomplish our national security goals. The more and more insane you get by trying to estimate the impossible, the more and more it emerges that the rational alternative to F-35 would be a much more affordable, less risky one.

Turn it over to Boeing St. Louis (the company formerly called McDonnell Douglas) They’ll fix it…they build fighters in their sleep.

“Rational alternatives” that don’t exist. Not even on paper yet. You’re talking about at least two new fighter programs. It would be foolish to think everything would go as planned in these programs too.

The X-35 was a very different machine.

I’m not the one that thinks that everything goes according to plan, DoD Service Leadership are the ones that make that mistake, repeatedly.

Let me jump in here for pfcem

The F-35 is the greatest aircraft ever conceived of by humans!!!!!! This plane wasn’t leaking, the air was crying tears of joy on it because it was just so happy to be around the F-35. The flight was only cut short because of the dangerous levels of money saved by flying it. If they had flown for the scheduled amount of time there would have been too much money and lives saved for the planet to survive. Humanity is not prepared for how much money this jet with create out of thin air overtime it flies.

F-35 is so effective in battle it dosen’t even need to fire it’s weapons only carry them. This is why there has been no actual weapons dropped or fired by the f-35. It will truly be a plane of the future, it will fly missions without ever needing to take off or land or deliver bombs to targets. That my friends is the way of the future and it is good.

Ok, pfcem you can take over for me I have to go read up on more LockMart propaganda.

@William C.

In all fairness that is bronxboymike’s point. All those changes that make it so different were a mistake.

Concur. But as of 2005, it was programs like F-35 that were bankrupting America, as a result of too many LM costs and their corporate leadership.

The f-35 can’t drop food. It can’t even drop bombs right now. Weapons testing is still in the distant future. I do agree with you that about 5 million tons of free honey baked hams dropped from 30,000 feet on the terrorists in Afghanistan would go a long way towards fixing the problem.

Sorry you missed out on how government actually functions. The opinion of a non-ranking minority member is about as usefull as a bucket or warm spit. If you do not realize that please send back your GED

All three variants have flown supersonic and are well into testing with pitch overs, weapons bay doors open etc in the fast boys club. The CTOL at Edwards has already maxed out speed and G limits. The Eglin flyers are going to be overly cautious for a while because these are production jets with no telemetry to monitor system performance and they are not test pilots at Eglin. I do get a kick out of reading all the posts from the rednecks and hicks who can’t spell for one thing and two know nothing about 5th generation technology. They think a line of code is something to sniff up your nose!

This is acquisition reform. The contractor tells the government what it wants. The contractor is looking out for the government’s best interest! NOT! While there needed to be change in how business was done, this was not it. Eventually the government will be able to have more say in what it wants and how it wants it done instead of having to make suggestions to the contractor. Everybody has to remember the only thing the contractor wants to do is make his Board of Directors happy. That is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
If that happens then the contractor is happy. The government may get a useful system in the long run.

Sad that it happened; happy as heck, no one was hurt and the plane wasn’t bent. I think I understand that it was a procedure “by the numbers” to RTB. I hope they have better luck on all the follow-on flights.
I wish them “Good” flying weather.

Did you know that the DOD pays for concept, design, R&D, tooling or retooling of the contractors production equipment and facility and then turns around and pays of millions. or tens of millions of dollars for each unit. It doesn’t include the maintenance or any parts. The DOD also gets the worst warranty that is conceivable, (I’ve seen brand new vehicles that the warranty was expired before it was even assigned to a unit.) This is why a program costs so much. Now you see why the military is such a big feed trough. Oh and by the way the DOD also pays for moth balled production capability. No business in America get’s everything practically paid for and then has the gull to over charge American taxpayers for what they produce. Enough is enough!

if you think I have a GED then you don’t have the brains to even qualify for one. or more likely you’re just a jerk.

you could pull all the f14 tomcats out of the musems and do a lot better than this and they were getting to expensive?

The same china that our greedy corporations took our American jobs to and where this aircraft company would go to if it could..

You work for Lockheed Right.

And no one could build a better carrier aircraft than grumman.give it to them

Look bronxboymike

I’m getting tired of having to explain this to people like you. If it looks like poopy, and smells like poopy, and it kind of tastes like …well isn’t it just obvious… it means it is the greatest fighter aircraft ever to be developed. The F-35 can do more than the sledge-o-matic and it is made from the same magic and pixie dust used in the iPad and government budgeting. There have not been and will never be changes made to this aircraft. These things you keep calling changes are the F-35 telling reality how things are going to be from now on. The program isn’t behind, it is 1000 years ahead of schedule and that is how lucky you are to even be able to get a glimpse at it, never mind criticize it. What’s 10 years compared to a millennium?! ‘Cause that is where this plane comes from–1000 years in the future. I think you can wait another 20+ years for this gift from the Gods to enter service.

Ok pfcem, your turn! Go get em!!

So true Cyberfax and that aircraft went of from Kitty Hawk to become the most successful air dominance fighter plane in history. You see people, yet more proof that the F-35 is the greatest invention since Prometheus brought us fire and sliced bread.

end sarcasm.

http://www.nwfdailynews.com/articles/-48089–.htm


Maintainers with the 33rd Fighter Wing conducted an extensive review of the jet and determined three slightly loose fasteners allowed a small amount of fuel to seep from the jet during its initial flight, Eglin Air Force Base announced Friday. Maintainers also found residual water from an earlier wash of the aircraft.

This is Corporate “WELFARE”, not war fare, To bad North American Aviation,Inc. & Douglas Aircraft are not still around to show Lockheed Martin how to build and develope an Fighter plane. How one of these ships does not run into a new Sukhoi T-50.

High tech aginst low tech opponents doesn’t always equal victory.

Actually; LM is only following the requests of the Defense Dept.

Ok the blame lies squarley on the Govt. Why in the world would the Govt. agree to to building the aircraft to a contract that is barely a shell of the ORD? (operational readiness document) If it did then the taxpayer wouldn’t be held to pay for the extra upgrades. You pay on the front side so you don’t get screwed on the back end. Just like F-22 the F-35 is following the same path due to the govt. Not LM. They buit to contract. Not their fault that the contract doesn’t match the ORD or the TEMP. Chaostician to be such an expert on Aquistions I would expect more from you. Full rate production doesn’t happen til Milestone C. Let’s get to B first. This aircraft has yet to show it’s teeth.

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