Lockheed promises tailhook fix to Navy’s F-35C

Lockheed promises tailhook fix to Navy’s F-35C

Lockheed Martin has come up with a new design for the tailhook on the F35 Joint Strike Fighters  that should allow the Navy variant, the F-35C, to land on carriers and speed the long-delayed process of getting the aircraft out to the fleet, Lockheed and Navy officials said Wednesday.

Navy officials also said that they’ll have to do refits of the big-deck L-class of helicopter assault ships to accommodate the extreme heat and noise generated by the Marine Corps’ vertical-landing version of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35B.

The tailhook and ship overhauls were disclosed at a generally upbeat forum involving Navy, Marine and industry representatives on the status of the F35 program, the most expensive weapons program ever undertaken by the Defense Department.

“There’s a little bit of pressure coming down on our heads” on the F35s, said Vice Adm. David Dunaway, head of the Naval Air Systems Command.  “We’re now in the meat of this program where we’re either going to succeed or fail. The Joint Strike Fighter has to fit in — it has to fit into the carrier air wing, and it has to fit into the MAGTF (Marine Air Ground Task Force),” Dunaway said.

“I can promise you that problems will occur” in the process of acquiring 260 F-35C Navy versions of the JSF, and 353 F-35B Marine versions, Dunaway said.

One of the problems was the initial design of the tailhook, which was a challenge for Lockheed Martin in that it had to be concealed within the airplane to enhance its stealth capability.

In testing, the tailhooks were failing to catch the arresting wires that are stretched across a carrier’s flight deck to bring the aircraft to a halt.

“Our original design was not performing as expected,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin’s executive vice president for the F35 Lightning II program. Martin said the “toe” of the tailhook, the part that grabs the wire, had been re-designed along with the “hold down damper” gear that forces the tailhook down on the deck.

“It’s now in line with what the legacy aircraft uses,” Martin said of the new F-35 tailhook. She said the new assembly will be tested this summer at the Navy’s Lakehurst, N.J., facility and carrier tests were expected later this year.

Dunaway said he believed Lockheed Martin had found the right tailhook fix before he beck pedaled and said: “I will be a trust but verify person.” Rear Adm. Randollph Mahr, the deputy Program Executive Officer for the F-35, said “I have high confidence that that tailhook will be catching wires at Lakehurst.”

In other testing, the Navy found that its L-class ships would have to be adapted to the F-35, and “ship change notices are going out now to the L-class ships,” said Rear Adm. Mark Darrah, commander of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. “We have to adapt the ships to the new environment” that comes with the F-35s, he said.

The Navy was adding Thermion coating to the flight decks to guard against the heat blast from the vertical-lift engines of the F-35Bs, Darrah said. Additional baffling will be added to the substructure to lower the decibel level below decks, he said.

The $400 billion-plus F-35 program has been hit by a string of technical setbacks and is now running about 70 percent over initial cost estimates and is years behind schedule.

The U.S. still plans to buy 2,443 of the single-seat F-35s – a conventional landing and takeoff F-35A model the Air Force; a short takeoff and vertical landing F-35B version for the Marines, and a carrier-based F-35C version for the Navy.

Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, and Turkey have agreed to partner in the F-35 program, but several of the partner nations have been backing away from the deal as problems have mounted in production and testing.

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Uh huh. Believe it when l see it. This “fix” is over a year late. It is also the only issue l have ever read about being addressed specifically from the gaggle of issues in the 2011 QLR. When it comes to the C and the CNO’s obvious dislike for it, I wonder how many less the USN will be able to get away with not buying?

We promise we will fix it! Really.

Just add 7 mil to your multi-hundred million dollar aircraft.….…which wont even be combat ready till 2017 :)

F-35C arresting hook location and installation geometry (subject matter well described in MIL-A-18717) is a risky radical deviation from successful modern designs. In comparison to those others, F-35c locates the arresting hook much closer to the main gear, and uses a shorter hook with much less trail angle.

Improving hook bounce damping, and tweaking the hook opening may help, but what seems more likely to be needed are increased trail angle and increased separation distance between main gear and arresting hook. Changing that to reposition the attachment point further rearward in the aircraft structure would require a major redesign of the aircraft structure. And changing to use a longer hook for increased trail angle would compromise stealth unless the rear of the aircraft is redesigned to mask the longer hook.

It remains to be seen, if and how reliably, an F-35C might catch a cross deck pendant with arresting hook while the deck pitches and rolls in adverse higher sea state conditions. If arrested recovery is reliable only in fair weather, then Navy won’t buy many F-35C.

Let’s hope the tailhook redesign does not work. The USN then could not be faulted for cancelling this flying question mark altogether and move on to upgrade the SHs and focus on the F-XX.

And successful arrested recovery on the runway at Lakehurst NJ is a long way from reliable recovery to an aircraft carrier’s flight deck as it pitches and rolls in adverse higher sea state conditions. Much remains to be seen, very much.

” Additional baffling will be added to the substructure to lower the decibel level below decks”

I love that (new) one !!! And what about guys on the decks ? Solutions exists, but will not make their life easier…

Kill the F-35, please.

Same speech, no difference.

Just more of the same pile of “a total indifference to what is real” that has been coming out of the mouths of those whose interests lie elsewhere to the National interest.

JRT, your assessment is right on the mark (and the money).

The modifications required to meet the requirements of the subject matters so well described in MIL-A-18717 would weigh in at over 400 pounds (including ballast) and end up putting the F-35C way over the design NTE weight, let alone the MCLW.

This is getting pathological. You want a major US weapon system to fail! WTF is wrong with you. This isn’t religion.

the f-35 failed long ago, its just time to stop pretending, man up and bury the rotting corpse

Ultimately the fix will come in the form of a new arresting-technology. Modular design will integrate a magnetic brake that will slow the aircraft upon landing when mated with a magnetic counterpart in the deck of the vessel…all controlled by the ship and aircraft…and not with current “communication” between ship and aircraft systems, but with a system that essentially has a common AI platform to allow the aircraft and vessel to act as “one” in certain decision making processes. Of course, all of this bleeding edge technology does not come on line at the same time and Lockheed should be ashamed for missing the common timeline target with the F35C…it is the taxpayers and our national defense that suffer as a result. Magnetic launch and landing tech is on the horizon though and steam catapults and arresting wires will become museum pieces. The USN deserves a lot of credit for this…rail guns, laser weapons, magnetic launch and arresting tech and dead silent behemoth submarines…the reason sci-fi has “vessels” and “ships” in the future a tales and not the USAF. Sorry USAF, but spaceship sounds cooler than space-plane (even if one of those actually exists!).

The US Navy was not really on board with a single engine aircraft to begin with and really had the F-35C shoved down their throats. No money to develop a new fighter or new strike aircraft specialized for carrier operations. The selling point by DoD was to test the single engine thoroughly for reliability. Now that engine has shown problems and the airframe can’t catch a wire. The program manger says the problem is fixed, but as pointed out here, the solution is to lengthen the hook assembly. The F-35C is going to miss alot of traps and the Navy will wind up putting drop tanks on it to allow extra fuel capacity. At least Navair can tell DoD “I told you so”. Too bad the fleet will suffer from those decisions.

As a Systems Engineer, just wondering if the Tailhook design was ever a requirement in the first place. If it was, why would this be new news, and this SHOULD NOT COST AN ADDITIONAL PENNY. If it was not, what the heck is NAVAIR thinking about for warfighter requirements when they issue these RFI’s.

That is just it. They DON’T think, they just spend tax $$$ on the best pitched snakeoil at the time. We didn’t learn anything from Sargent York, Osprey or Lancer. Why change now?!?

The reporter must have misheard. Coating your ship with “thermite” and then landing a F-35B on that will ensure that the burning does not stop at the waterline.

Agreed, paying Lockheed extra for a tail hook is like paying extra for an anchor. WTF, has the DoD become that much of a sugar daddy for the corporate welfare queens? To hear these corporate “titans” (defense, big oil, etc), cry about their taxes & subsidies and preference for cutting VA bennies and food programs for kids, makes me sick. Their track records are horrible… how many major systems have ever come in on time and on budget?

I can’t believe that given the long history of naval aviation engineering that they couldn’t design a proper tailhook? Something is really wrong with this.…I wonder how many more hidden “gems” are in this thing just waiting to fail.

Such dribble coming from the unknown. I am employed on this program, ex naval aircrew. This program is in line and running very well. Development of new aircraft does not happen overnight. During the first build and development phase issues like this are discovered and corrected. The DOD and the contractors work together to resolve flight issues. I have worked engineering on the B1B, B2, C-17 and F35 and all programs go through a design and development phase such as this one, another reason why there are “mod kits’. The people employed on this program such as myself take great pride in the work we perform and in providing a better security and defense for our troops and nation. In addition all flight decks are re-coated frequently, called ship maintainence/ repair/overhaul.

How about building an entire new class of ships JUST FOR THE J-35? They might as well! What a disgrace. Unexpected heat for Pete’s sake. And mark my words; the companies responsible for this huge and lengthy debacle will make their usual huge profit and not pay a single penalty despite anything anyone says. Then it will be onto the next farce

I have been frothing at the mouth since the sergeant York debacle from the moment I heard about it. Glad someone else remembers it.

Lockheed would rather the whole program be cancelled now so they don’t have to build any operational aircraft after siphoning off their profit from 20 years of development work. So, yeah, cancel a program you’ve already sunk nearly $100 billion into because of the tailhook. That will teach them. Because the next program will be better, right? And who has a 50/50 chance of winning the next program? Oh yeah, the same people who brought you this one. You people are such morons. Lockheed laughs at you all day long, and sometimes well into the night. Morons!

The engineers are probably biting their fingernails, the guys at the top are laughing all the way to bank.

“Hah, those termination fees mean a bigger dividend, and the layoffs mean more Return On Investment for our shareholders!”

This is why they should’ve tested LiftSystem separately from the JSF program, and built some LiftSystem demonstrators to show this.

Of course, the V-22 also causes heating problems to decks, so maybe the V-22 and the JSF-B will be dealt with simultaneously? Two birds, one stone?

Agreed. I found only one other reference to thermite coatings, in a high-temperature application out of a patent:

“The $400 billion-plus F-35 program has been hit by a string of technical setbacks and is now running about 70 percent over initial cost estimates and is years behind schedule.“__________________________________________How can you run 70% over cost, years behind schedule, with them kind of problems, and still be in business?

Because government thinks there is endless supply of your tax dollar, your children’s tax dollar and their children’s tax dollar.

Another solution is just catch them in nets or keep them off carriers altogether!
The F-18’s has good upgrade potential.

Don’t disagree with the sentiment, but the fact remains that we’re stuck with a cost-plus type contract, which means the gov’t pays for development (and re-development, and re-re-development, and so on…)
The system is broken.

Thank you G.S. for your hard work on this program and your naval service, but the criticism is entirely fair. It’s not specifically directed at folks like you, but this program was sold as a low cost replacement of multiple T/M/S, and it is many years behind schedule, tremendously over budget, and it still doesn’t work. Nobody knows when, or if, it will ever work as advertised. Even more dollars are now being spent on mods to keep old aircraft flying due to the delays. You are a taxpayer too, and you should be equally outraged at the decision makers and the acquistion system that have produced this debacle.

WRG001, please investigate JPALS and AAG programs. The JPALS is being implemented on all CVN/ L(deck) ships. JPALS (Joint Precision Approach and Landing System) is applicable to all aviation but is integrated into both the F-35 program and the UCLASS (Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike system). Auto landing of F-35 has been tested and proven on the surrogate F-18 test a/c for both the F-35 and the X-47B.

Thermion, Thermion; tried and proven on the WASP for V-22, AV-8B, F-35B, etc. :)

The admiral misspoke. We corrected to what he MEANT. Thanks, Henry.

Sorry, this program has had way more problems to fix, and they are occuring later in the production phase than any other (surviving) DOD procurement ever. It sets new records for technical challenges and financial commitment every day.Too bad the product performance is not setting records to offset all the bad news. I am not counting the accomodations that must be made for these jets on the ground and on ships. Those are someone else’s problems, and budget. I like to keep score with the air vehicle performance. Speaking of that, does anybody know how the B and C models are doing regarding bringback weight? I’m guessing it is on the list of challenges.

If you separate the A/C from “Even more dollars …produced this debacle.”, I’m totally in agreement. Unfortunately, folks here grasp at any straw to ‘butcher” the a/c and roles it into anything negative in aviation. The a/c is progressing with less than 60 that have flown and fixes are progressing for the dozen+ SDD testing a/c that are trying to stess all of the design. 3,000 a/c around the world are to be replaced by these three variations of this a/c and concurrency still makes sense to me, with the initial 200 (two dozen, flying) going in to training commands, which can be updated at our convenience. History can prove me wrong. Late and overbudget, Heck Yes and available for any silly politician “football” which they can fumble.

Well, JRT, if you had ever been involved in flight test of ANY aircraft feature you would know about the principle of envelope expansion. IOW you start out easy and work your way up to the hard limits. The pitch and roll is in fact pretty benign at Lakehurst. But.… that IS where a reasonable, experienced test director would begin testing a new design particularly if its on a new aircraft. Ridicule the decision if you must but recognize that it costs you all credibility with the test toads out here, and should be a bit embarrassing to you as well. Think about it a bit before you throw the fingers into gear!!

Note:Last prediction for F-35C IOC was 2018 and that was probably optimistic.

Have you ever been on a flight deck during mission ops? It is as noisy as the devil and all of the guys scurrying around handling aircraft wear cranials (and a big part of the cranial IS .… ear protectors!) I dont care if its Tomcats, Phantoms, or F-8s, when the jet engines are running, particularly flat out sitting on the cat, it gets VERY noisy. I would suspect that the F-35 designers would have had to spend a great deal of dedicated design time to make it more noisy than a Tomcat in Stage-4. Even an AV-8B up close, is quite a little noisemaker. I suspect (given the enhanced performance of the F-35 with respect to the AV-8) that it would be very very difficult indeed not to have a noisier engine up close and personal than the L-class amphibs have experienced, and.… its not all above decks. So… some more baffles and such probably should not be a surprise…. and THAT my friend would be more of a “slam” against the ship than the A/C. Not a great fan of the F-35 but I really do hate to see facts spun with such reckless abandon by people who I suspect have never had diddly to do with USN flight deck operations. Sorry.


‘And it is foing to be the same price as an F-16, and it’s going to IOC in 2012, and it is going to etc. etc.’

Hmmmmm…given your nom de guerre I have to wonder what you would have to say in retrospect about all of the buzzards and bottom feeders were ravaging the F/A-18s, “back in the day” when they were having the high AOA instability issues? Would you have argued to hang on to the phantoms instead of designing an improved LEX? Hmmmmm.…. Yup, ExUSAF but I do have the tee-shirt! :-)

Its called “risk sharing”. Any design feature has risk attached and with the complexity of modern aircraft “something” is going to bust on the draw. In this case it was the tailhook. A very simple (conceptually) but complex functionally component for a long-deck carrier aircraft. Design it as carefully as you can and SOMETIMES you are just going to fail and many times you wont discover until you get to test (which keeps old test toadies like me in business!). When you get into a “risk sharing” arrangement the contractor gets to bid more realistically instead of inflating the original bid to cover all of the risk. Fail to do that or sign into a risk sharing operation and the sign will be falling off of the building! THEN nobody wins. Its a sad situation but it is reality. Aircraft design is not a 100% success story. Never was, never will be.

It may be a very fine point but is the “system” broke or is the execution of the system broke? Could the current FAR be exercised such that neither the government nor good-intentioned contractors get screwed to the wall? I think it could be, but… that might require a significant reformulation of the “interpretations” of the FAR, a muzzling of a few well paid lobbyists, and a calm, mission focus that Im afraid is today corrupted by histrionics, bad tempers, and political posturing. But thats just me.… ..

I cant believe that if you understood even a part of the physics involved in a tail hook’s operation and the uniqueness of these features with respect to an aircraft’s design and performance figures you would be so quick to criticize. If the tailhook was a “universal” item, like a seat cushion or water bottle holder… OK, but its VERY dependent on the specifics of the aircraft its attached to. There are PLENTY of things to criticize about the F-35 and its development. PLEASE just pick on some of those issues that honestly deserve the heat. The tail hook is just an engineering problem that had to be discovered and then solved.

What a F*%$#&^ joke.

Check out Winslow Wheeler’s take on this “Flying Piano” > go to the Project On Government Oversite website and get a genuine analysis.

Yeah, you’ve got that right. For the engineers it’s like Lucy pulling the ball away just before Charlie Brown gets to kick it. But really, it’s the taxpayers that lose the most. They footed the bill for development, the whole time being told how wonderful the airplane was going to be, then right at the end Lockheed corporate starts flooding the news with failure after failure, trying to force a stampede of stupidity that they always get. It always works — except for the V-22. That one is allowed to live even after having killed 40 people. Of course, hell, even the V-22 would be a good vehicle if they’d put a duct (with stators) around the rotors and cut them down to 20 feet diameter. That way they could take off like an airplane when heavy and do the VTOL thing the rest of the time without the risk of asymmetric vortex ring state. Paper airplanes aren’t going to keep anyone safe, neither are rehashes of 40–50 year old crap.

It’s ironic, because back when the defense industry was lobbying for “profit on development” their biggest selling point was that the DoD was going to get all these new weapons. Derivatives would be a thing of the past, because if they paid a profit on development then the contractors would want to build all new weapons with all kinds of new, “out of the box” thinking. Every single thing they said was a lie. Now we are stuck with weapons that are older than ever before, because if you can make a profit doing design, why ever build a weapon? And the taxpayer is so stupid, they thank these contractors for screwing them.

Hell, any VTOL vehicle (ok, other than a helicopter) is going to cause heating of the deck. Even the Harrier does that. If the carriers can’t take it, then the problem is with the design of the carriers.

Not only will they not pay any penalties for screwing the taxpayer, they’ll get a huge bonus due to program cancellation that will go straight into the pockets of the people most responsible for f’ing up the program. We reward stupidity and sloth, and then can’t figure out why these programs take so long and provide so little. What the hell, people? How long can you leave your heads up there?

Thinking_ExUSAF: I’ve wondered the same thing. I remember reading about the first ever delivered F-18. It had so many structural defects that it was trucked back to the manufacturer. Did that really happen? Were these words written by some anti-military weasel, like the ones who hang out here and bash every new system being developed? Who knows. I just know that flinging BS accusations is easy. Developing new hardware, especially cutting edge hardware, is incredibly difficult. It isn’t made any easier by inuendo, falsehoods and out and out lies. Let the program come to fruition.

You’ll remember the Sgt. York couldn’t hit stationary ground targets reliably, let alone maneuvering aircraft. It was a comedy show.

No not really. It’ placement on the aircraft was wildly out of step with every similar airplane that had come before from what I’ve read so the design was more dice rolling than proper engineering.

I dont think I’d go as far as saying all of that.

Wow, you’re about 10 yrs late on that V-22 fix…

I did not criticize Lakehurst. Those involved in testing there know that success at Lakehurst is not the same as success in adverse conditions in the fleet.

Winslow Wheeler? Isn’t he still arguing that the F-16 is too complex and that BVR combat doesn’t work?

Not to mention the ear shattering noise of the EA-6B at full power.

If you ever worked on a flight deck this would be the least of your concerns! If the F-35C goes so do alot of hard working people many of whom have served this country and defended it in times of war.….don’t forget to flip that burger boy!

Really? Why? It’s perfect score of absolutely not working at all as originally ‘designed’?


Those guys?

These problems?

True, but then it’s not like I’m getting paid to fix that turkey. Hell, just about every other VTOL vehicle built prior to and after the V-22 already had ducted fans. The only reason they went their own way was because some idiot decided it would autorotate without the ducts, and that fool was wrong. Of course, that person’s anonymity is ensured by the “design by committee” approach Boeing takes to all of their vehicles in recent times. I’m sure someone who actually designed VTOL aircraft for a living would have recognized that autorotation claim as the bs it was, but we’re so smart we don’t have any of those people anymore.

I have watched NAV aircraft arresting on deck since I was a boy. I last saw this action on my last @ sea deployment in 1980. In fact, the NAV trained me to service the ACLS = automatic carrier landing system. This group of instruments brought the jet down on the proper glide slope and caught (or hit!) the #3 wire consistently.

This accounts for 27 years of near perfect arresting of carrier borne jets. So, along with poorly designed breathing oxygen systems the tax payers are also funding the redesign of that carrier landing system. Gee whiz & it doesn’t work.

When will our military planners get out of bed with these ‘idea merchants’ who are so enamored with gadgetry? I suggest they allow the manufacturer to SOLELY foot the bill for the development of a prototype and all the gadgets that design may entail. Once they have created the ‘ultimate’ combat aircraft ONLY then should the tax payers check book be opened.


Ironically enough — they did exactly that. Its called LHA-6, and the first one down the slipways was USS America.

This so-called innovation (the “innovation” in this case, means eliminating the well deck, etc, to make more room for aircraft, fuel, spare parts, etc. — otherwise known as a CV instead of a CVN) had better not require any modification, because its original design had the F-35 in mind.

It is notable, that only 2 ships of this class are being built — the remaining ones will have the well decks needed for a true assault ship.

Take the money you are wasting on the F35 program and put it into newer F18Super Hornets.They have two engines and a very good tailhook.

Here’s hoping the USS America (LHA-6) and her sister won’t need this “L-class” modification. Both of these were designed from the start for the F-35B, and therefore shouldn’t need said modifications.

I think that I could probably offer you some references where you might be able to “read” that the Earth is flat.… . not sure that I would believe everything that you read, particularly if the author is pushing some agenda far removed from the technical details. When you build a new airplane there are a LOT of “dice rolls” where the best possible engineering estimates are nothing but exactly that… ESTIMATES. Then you get to “go” with those estimates or simply rebuild the last generation aircraft. If we didnt roll the dice… we would still be clubbing mammoths with stone axes.

Oh come on! The Sgt York was just exactly the kind of weapon system that the bottom feeders around here would seem to be advocating. The chassis was GOTS, the guns were 40mm Bofors (pretty much a benchmark for medium cal AAA since WWII) and the radar was proven in the F-16! All definitely non-developmental, low risk items with minimal integration challenge.… except for the trivial detail that the F-16 radar was designed to look at the world from the pointy end of an F-16 booking along at 475 knots! Of course that only makes a difference if you understand radar principles and insignificant little things such as doppler notches! LOL!

Git ‘er done, Lockheed, the aviators must fly, today!!!!!

Good point, a real screecher… but then to uphold the honor of the service, I have to give the F-105 and F-106 an honorable mention for pure undiluted unmitigated noise at the end of a runway! I believe that the totally undisputed record holder for modern aircraft (well sort since its still flying!) is the dear old Tupelov Bear. Four HUGE sets of counterrotating props! The tip noise alone will shake out your eye teeth if you happen to be in even a very loose formation! LOL!

I’d be willing to bet that after the college kids and their computers got done designing the F35, some wrench turner that was down on the floor building the thing said this will never work but was told to keep his mouth shut and build the damn thing.….…

Don’t be silly. More likely than not the F-35 was put together by some of the same people who were involved in the –22. The –22’s development certainly dragged on for quite some time…

Poor analogy because we didn’t reinvent the axe every time we made one, we improved on what came before. This plane is a POS and it is clear there wasn’t anyone working on the original design that had a clue about carrier aviation. They relied on their flawed virtual prototyping since they had no real knowledge and as a result the American taxpayer is stuck with a lead goose of a strike fighter.

I don’t think there’s any gripe against the engineers and other government and contract employees who are working their tails off trying to get plane to fulfill it’s mission, I think there’s a bigger beef with the greater acquisition process and strategy which fuels discontent and finer pointing. Good luck!

A quick Google search found this picture of an F-35C with main gear down and arresting hook dangling so very close behind.

Here is an excerpt from the Pentagon report titled, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Concurrency Quick Look Review:

“Root cause analysis identified three key AHS (Arresting Hook System) design issues: (1) the aircraft geometry has a relatively short distance between the aircraft’s main landing gear tires and tailhook point (when lowered), (2) tailhook point design was overemphasized for cable shredding (n.b. the tendency for the hook point to dig into and damage the cable) features versus ability to scoop low positioned cables, and (3) tailhook hold-down damper performance is ineffective to support damping of small bounces relative to runway/deck surface profiles.”

The constant refrain of the contractor shill — give failure a chance ! Wait until its a catastrophe then start over.

Remember that the F-35 tailhook is a problem from way back. They new they had some sort of problem even on runways but they deferred testing it. Even in early flight testing the airforce was complaining about the inability to trap the emergency arrestor gear

This program is full of these sort of design failures hidden and deferred to try to reduce the PR damage.

Of course the reason why this failure occurred in the first place was because of the commonality requirements with the marines F-35B. The F-35A already carries 2 tons of useless weight because of the marine version. Now the emergency fuel load will have to be increased on the F-35Cs reducing the already pathetic range.

How can you run 70% over cost, years behind schedule, with them kind of problems, and still be in business?

Because that is their business. Lockheed accountants can tell you exactly how many redesigns will be required over the next 15 years and how much it will earn them.

Of course there are always windfall failures — the new untested lox system fails and a pile of cash gets dumped on you to stop killing pilots. They put that into the account named ‘suckers’

They would not need to increase reserve fuel on F-35C if it has difficulty trapping. More likely a tanker will be held in standby orbit over the aircraft carrier. Nothing new in that, for examples the KS-3 and KA-6 were used for that.

Great, now that we have the “Thermite” issue resolved, what about 340??

The F-35B is being bought at 340 a/c by the USMC as planned to replace both the F-18 Hornet and the AV-8B Harrier II.
The F-35C is being bought at 340 a/c, 260 by the USN and 80 by the USMC as planned to replace the F-18 Hornet.

Not sure where the new numbers were authored??

Don’t you just love it. If we were in a WWII type war, this bird would have been on station , flying , years ago.

this plane is a MAJOR waste of $$$.…is it still unable to fly in WX and at night?…my grandaughters go to bed later than this hanger queen of a plane…what a waste…let’s sequester the whole program and spend $$4 where needed

So much talk about tail hook; how about those wings folding for better storage and flight deck movement..

My friend I might be tempted to agree with many of the points you make, but there is ONE that I really have to contest. “Flawed virtual prototyping” is IMHO an oxymoron. We hang our hats on computerized simulations of everything from “combat effectiveness” to the kinematics of a tail hook engagement, and I firmly believe in the principle, but.… . any computer model can be made to say whatever one wants it to say (and sometimes says things totally unexpected and unsupported by real world reactions). Simulate until the cows come home, and you still have to TEST it. In the case of the tail hook, they simulated all sorts of conditions, in hindsight, perhaps to unjustifiable excess, but when it came time to test, empirical evidence overcame analytical results, and a redesign was required. Its no slam on the designers OR the modelers that their interconnected results did not match reality, its just a fact that the models did not (for any one of a myriad of reasons) match reality. TEST found the error, and now they are fixing it. Whether the F-35 is REALLY a POS in combat or not will require far more than either my or your carefully considered but unsupported opinion. BUT as with the tailhook, empirical evidence will in the end rule the day, not our own egoistic daydreams.

If would’ve been flying now with extensive caveats and hangar time. They didn’t wait for the B-29 to be perfect before sending them out.

You would have given up on the P-51 Mustang because when it first came out its engine wasn’t powerful enough also I suppose. Forget the very long range, forget the laminar flow wings, lets scrap the plane because they didn’t get the engine right the first time around.

Well, fine, build a high performace aircraft using rubber band power, and that will solve your problem. No engine niose there, and save the baffling redesign costs. And I am sure you will fly it into combat with full confidence too. Higher engine noise and heat occur when you add performance to an engine. Either you go with the rubber band and save lots of money, of you gain higher performance for some LHA/LPD redesign costs. When your ready to go to war in a rubber band powered plane, get back to us.

When you have a poor basic design no amount of upgrades will fix it. The F-35 isn’t waiting for a more powerful engine to finally reach its potential, its an aerodynamic dog waiting for the axe to put it out of it’s misery.

So what happens when one of your ducted fans decides it doesnt want to work anymore? Do you still have an inter-connecting d/s from one engine to the other to keep the fan spinning with enough power to get you on the ground in one piece?

There’s no reason to change the cross-over system just to put a duct around the rotor. It should really only effect the front of the nacelle. One of the main advantages of the duct, through, is that it allows the rotor to be enough smaller that it doesn’t smack the ground when the vehicle lands like an airplane. The smaller size of the ducted rotors would allow the engines to be moved inboard several feet, but I suppose that’s more of an argument for a swing wing than for getting rid of the power cross over shaft. I tend to wonder if they wouldn’t be better off with both ducted rotors and a swing wing, but I suppose neither is actually going to happen…

Did I say, “swing wing”? I must have F-14’s on the brain. I meant “tilt wing” like the CL-84 “Dynavert” the Canadians built and tested (and should have put into production).

the only thing that makes sense with this airplane is to put the tailhook on top and land it upsidedown…fits right in with all the other bs that surounds this piece of s***

It seems to me to be just another example of the Military Industrial Complex, taking advantage of the nation! Bleeding us dry to coin a phrase! LOL

So is the theory that a 20–1 kill ratio is great! But what if our enemy has a 2–21 kill ratio? And has the craft to prove it?


Dod is putting a single engine aircraft on acarrier what happens to the aircraft when the engines fail,thats why the navy only has dual engine aircraft in case one fails it can still make to the carrierwho ever came up with this idea needs to reevaluate

The Navy used to fly the A-4 Skyhawk, A-7 Corsair II and F-8 Crusader just to name a few single-engined jet aircraft they’ve operated from carriers.

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