Hagel Traveling to Site of F-35 Fire

Hagel Traveling to Site of F-35 Fire

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday will visit Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, scene of an F-35 fire last week that has put the Joint Strike Fighter’s first international flight at the Farnborough Air Show in doubt.

“He looks forward to hearing from the folks on the ground” on what caused the fire before takeoff that forced the pilot to flee the aircraft, said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, on Tuesday.

The fire in the back end of the aircraft, which many suspect was caused by the engine, forced the grounding of the entire F-35 fleet as the engineers still search for the cause of the fire. The grounding was announced on July 3.

Kirby confirmed on Tuesday that the Pentagon has still not decided on whether the F-35 would perform at Farnborough, but with each hour without a decision it makes the F-35 flight to London less likely.

“There has not been a decisions made on that yet,” Kirby said when asked about the F-35 flying at Farnborough as originally scheduled. “We’d be disappointed” if the F-35 did not go to the air show, Kirby said.

The engine fire was the latest in a series of design and performance problems for the F-35. Kirby said these types of problems are not “atypical for a new aircraft.” He stressed that the Defense Department was still “fully committed to the F-35 program.”

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I assume that Hagel is not travelling because of the cost of one engine, but the implication of a possible subsequent engine failure of a “near future” operational fleet of f-35.

I get the very feeling that something in the background is about to change. Anybody know the some preliminary result of that fleet-wide engine inspection?

What a piece of junk. Seriously, how much cash has been dropped on this program ALREADY? By now, this long into the program, they should be further along than they are. If it is found that the fire was due to the engine, and a turbine blade failed, ripping through the motor casing, and through the top of the plane, Pratt and Flappney has got some serious engineering work ahead. All of this will of course require more money. You have a jet that is no more maneuverable than what’s flying today, no significant gains in range, buggy, undeveloped software, and who knows what kind of reliability issues the STOVL variant will bring, with all of its gears, and doors, and actuators, and LO fragile surfaces, FOD, etc…

Pretty clear why the Pentagon bigwigs are worried.

If one of the jets due to appear in the UK is being tanker-dragged over the Atlantic, and has an enroute engine fire like the fire that just happened, the only option would be for the pilot to eject. That would be… pretty darn consequential for the program.

Several prospective buyers, especially the UK, would be suddenly be saying to themselves, wait a minute, we intend to fly these things over water too. But a $214M acquisition cost for a B model and the jet goes plunk, to Davy Jones’ locker, if the sole engine has trouble? Shouldn’t we be getting dual engine reliability for that huge price?

Not to mention the huge fun of a maritime SAR effort to recover an ejected pilot, at 30 West in the north Atlantic. Which is not exactly a kiddie wading pool. Really big waves. Really cold water.

JSF = Jinxed Spending Fiasco

If, you only knew what you were talking about.……

They could airlift it to the UK if that what they really wanted; actually it look like as if the B’s were not grounded so it could make it to the show. All 3 but UK’s –B were in Maryland ready for the intercontinental flight but theirs was still in Florida. Some newspaper says that a British officer clearing out that flight would be personally legally liable should something goes wrong.

But I think it was not enough to make the decision to ground the fleet days later. One of the best case scenario would to be a faulty batch of engine? Something sure is that engine did not ingest a sabot.

“They could airlift it to the UK if that what they really wanted”

Sure, the core fuselage with the wings off fits in a C-5.

But again that doesn’t really convey a great message about the maturity and reliabilty of a jet that is being described to prospective buyers as being nearly ready for go-to-war missions.

You just have to laugh — 10 years into development with 100 aircraft produced and it has to be airlifted across the Atlantic because its too risk. The F-35 has got to be the most pathetic aircraft program ever.

Initial scuttlebutt is that a third stage stator broke. It is a stationary piece deep in the bowls of the engine. The broken stator caused enough damage that it could not be contained within the engine, went through a fuel cell and exited the skin of the aircraft. Aircraft and engine are most likely a total loss. The parts that failed are common to all variants of the aircraft.

The Wright Flyer almost didn’t get off the ground and look where we are now ;-}

Safety of the nation did not rely on that aircraft, nor was it made by the world biggest defence contractor. It was entirely experimental, and it was made by artisans whom business was to build bicycle.

DARPA deal with this.

At this point the program should be canceled. Use the existing aircraft for testing and development of the electronics that are suppose to give it 360 degrees situational awareness. Produced newer visions of the F-15 and F-16 w/ super cruise and thrust vectoring, what ever stealth the designs can incorporate, and the current most up to date radars and electronics.

If the f-35’s electronics can be fully developed, then considers an new stealth airframe without any of the deficiencies or compromises on design of the F-35. Or just skip this entirely and start on the next generation fighter.

“Wright Flyer almost didn’t get off the ground and look where we are now”

Yes, the Wrights well understood that the 1903 Flyer and 1904 Flyer II were not good aircraft, and rather than continue flying that poor design, they quickly moved on to developing a much better aircraft in the1905 Flyer III, soon followed by the much improved model A.

In 1939 the US Navy chose to buy Brewster Buffalos instead of the Grumman F4F Wildcat, but after a year of lackluster performance from the Brewster Buffalo, Navy changed course and began buying the Grummans.

When you realize you are headed in the wrong direction, how long do you continue to drive down the wrong road?

Navy needs a fast stealthy long range CATOBAR fighter bomber (FB-23?).

Other words Obama scrambling to save his pet project he used to kill the F-22. Seems the DoD brass his hooked on this disaster which should be cancelled and effort into upgrades and new production of Eagle and raptors.

Agreed,. more F-22s plus new F-15s and F16s could work. Or maybe the F136 can be resuscitated

“Navy needs a fast stealthy long range CATOBAR fighter bomber (FB-23?).”

Correct mission conception. Perhaps not the best aircraft choice for the USN, though.

The original YF-23 design was looked over as a possible candidate to be marinized and carrier-rated for a Naval Advanced Tactical Fighter.

The YF-23 design was brilliant, and a superb performer in many ways, better than the F-22 in some, but one area where it was not likely to excel was low-speed handling and waveoff while boarding the ship. A serious barrier to acceptance of a navalized variant.

Northrop put out a few early trade studies on how to solve that problem. You can find images of YF-23 derivatives with canards. None ever actually prototyped: just slideware.

There is going to have to be a genuinely low observable and survivable first-day door kicker somewhere in the mix.

There aren’t enough F-22s for that now. Restarting the cold disassembled line for the F-22 would be a nightmare (and strongly resisted by LockMart, who make more money on F-35).

F-35 isn’t going to do it. A failed design.

Incremental signature-management improvements on F-15s, –16s and –18s won’t do it.

Realistically, the only solution for a genuinely stealthy and cost-competitive first-day jet, that can be built quickly enough and in large enough numbers, will be UCAV.

Say goodbye to white scarves and Junior Birdmen. Say hello to domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.

In other words poorly designed stator to save weight not contained by the engine to save weight starts fire that cant be fought effectively to save weight, aircraft is still overweight.

F-35 the nightmare continues.

Well, here is how you restart F-22 production. First of all the tea party hobbits have to agree to cancel sequestration, Let’s say the become wise and this happens, you then need 2.2 bill to restart the production line plus some addtitional funds for engineering upgrades. It can be done. LM would go along with it because there would be no F-35 to cash in on. The biggest hurdle is probably the President. He refused to be photographed in front of the F-22 and would never allow it to be built again no matter what the need. But 2016 will be here soon enough and with a new President everything is possible. If the country has not been annihilated by then.

With all of your expertise on turbofan design and manufacturing why not head over to P&W headquarters and tell them what they’re doing wrong Oblat? I’m sure they’d love to hear your wisdom…

Too lightly built? And you’re basing this off what?

The F-16 is at a limit for growth without a major redesign. Studies have been done in the past (the F-16AT Falcon 21 for example) but to actually modernize and produce such an aircraft would still be a lot of work and retooling of the production line. Meaning you won’t be buying it for the same price F-16s are currently sold at.

When all is said and done the end result won’t be anywhere near as stealthy as the F-35 and chances are it won’t feature all of the same sensors and avionics which give the F-35 an edge. Plus no chance of a STOVL or CV variant.

We’ve also already designed the F-15’s replacement, the F-22.

A huge percentage of the work is integrating the electronics and software into the airframe. That has been one of the primary reasons for delays in the program. You can’t just transfer all of that into another aircraft with the wave of a hand.

The usual dismissive “UCAVs will do everything for dirt cheap” answer. Remember when the JSF was going to do everything for dirt cheap? Will these UCAV’s evade the challenges of turning concept into reality unlike the JSF?

You have people complaining about the amount of code needed for the F-35 but double or triple the amount for an advanced UCAV will be no problem at all to develop?

UCAVs need to be incrementally introduced into service as we further develop and improve their capabilities. We still need to determine what sort of designs (speed, size, payload, etc.) would best serve us.

The F-35 will also be playing a large role coordinating with UCAVs in the future, all of that sensor-fusion and data-linking business isn’t just for other F-35s.

The many internet experts who post here have vast experience in designing modifications to all sorts of aircraft and other systems. Why, I’m sure that they can easily integrate the F-35’s avionics and sensors (many of which are classified) into the trusty F-16 and have it all up and running in a year or so at little to no cost. This stuff is pretty much plug and play, no difficult work to do here.

It has seemed to me like the YF-23’s flying qualities would have been good for carrier operations yet there must have been some reason Northrop’s NATF proposal was so very different from the YF-23. It appears quite ugly unlike the aircraft the USAF would have gotten.

Why do you say that Lockheed Martin would make LESS money on F22 then on F35? Are you basing this on flyaway cost? F35 is made by a four company consortium that is headed by LM with large amounts of work being done by BAE, NGG, etc. F22 has a much higher work content for LM so I question if you have any REAL knowledge on this or are you just making guesses and ASSumptions.

Yeah, I wonder why Northrop didn’t pitch MD’s airplane design for NATF too. Maybe I could find a comic book somewhere that would tell me.

Clearly you are underestimating just exactly what one can learn from picture books. After all, he seems quite certain.

I know. I know. He’s got a picture book about it.

Deploy it, use the proven method, “time to market”, than fix it in the fiels where you have more options and lot’s of experience from those who fly the bird.

I’m still waiting for your unclassified “real” history of the ATF and JSF programs. Or will the government come after you if you say anything? And there are words in that book I referenced earlier, looking it up could show that to you, but I suppose you think it’s all part of some lie or another.

Poor William as they say…obviously an LM geek employee past or present. I’d be defensive too if I had a hand in this. Will fella, there is no “real” history by now, you know that. History is as subject to revision as this miserable program has proven to be. Maybe not quite as often though. Semper Fi.

Oh, pardon…forgot the following link:


Hagel Traveling to Site of F-35 Fire. In other news the Worst President of All time resists calls to visit the border area and view the incredible cesspool of illegal immigration that he himself created. “FORE!” — explained Bozo the President.

Now if you’ll just stick your head inside this exhaust nozzle Mr. Hagel, hold on while I fire it up.


Bush can hardly go to the border — he’s in rehab painting childish pictures of his dog.Likely to be there for the long term.

Just have to look at Lockheed financials.

Well, let’s hope it’s a fluke, and not a substantial design defect, after the decision to single source engines for this airframe (http://​en​.wikipedia​.org/​w​i​k​i​/​G​e​n​e​r​a​l​_​E​l​e​c​t​r​i​c​/​R​o​l​l​s​-​R​o​y​c​e​_​F​136)

For the sake of variation, I am going to say that despite the epic over budget, degraded specs, failures and problems. Eventually regardless of cost, this will be a wonderful aircraft, probably not as good as expected, but will be awesome.

Lockheed Martin needs to contact GM and see how to apply for a Govt Bailout — Oh wait a minute they already have by being awarded the F-35 contract.……

And we can’t use a phone? these “trips” are a waste of time and money.

It has words!

Hagel is another ‘bagman or money collector’ for Obama Administration. He’s flying down to crash site because he doesn’t believe video; and perhaps a round of golf is in order to hear the stories ( call it investigation) and collect campaign contributions.
The F-35 has been nothing but a jobs program to keep aerospace workers employed. At $100+ Million and growing ( more than the GDP of most African nations); how many allies does anyone think is going to buy this work in progress !

Let LM take a JSF over there that they still own. After all, They’ll be the one to make billions on contracts they get. The only thing DOD gets is a lower rate if they can buy other countries to buy the overpriced Junk Strike Fighter.

Do You remember the F-16 XL ?
It was a mistake to not build them.

Corporate welfare at it’s finest!

Hell, if GM could have got the government to pay them a profit on new car development, they’d be making record profits now too. That’s the kind of free money you don’t have to pay back.

You might actually be able to understand comic books. But because you have trouble comprehending I’ll repeat myself. The YF-23 was Northrop’s design, but McDonnell Douglas did submit their own design prior to that, a design which lost out to Northrop and Lockheed’s proposals.

All you guys hollering about the engine or the money spent are idiots whom have never been involved in fighter jet development.
First — Building one common air-frame with 70–80% of the parts common to all three different variants have never been done before and is a huge challenge. You guys are clueless.
Second — engine failures on jet fighters is very common and especially on a brand new designs, the risks are managed and designs are improved, and even existing design from 30+ years ago are being upgraded and improved today. Engine failure is the #1 cause of loss of jet fighters today with pilot error a close second. Third — this is the most powerful and compact jet engine made by the USAF or any nation in the world, with any new developments you are going to have failures, you learn from them, you improve the design, and then you move forward with a better model that how we make advanced aerospace systems.
No jet fighter today is the same jet that flew the first time, its probably the 30 to 50th version. Shoot the F-16 first flew 40 years ago, has undergone 115 different versions/variations and now has sold more than 4500 of them to 28 different nations of the world.

No. Even in the 21th century no technology on earth replace a face to face meeting. That’s not business as usual, the plane is grounded and the damages amounts in tens or perhaps hundreds of millions.

That’s a serious problem –not the first nor the last– and spending money to make sure that you are reacting to the situation you think is all justified.

To your first: It’s a failure! No need for gentle words it just didn’t work out as expected. And yes it’s a challenge, IMHO when mixed with other constraint it became nearly impossible –and it’s even worse when you screw up your weight calculation. I have already commented about this and it’s more about being critical than clueless.

To your second: Yes but as I and many have said in their own term, a single engine in project of this size is a dumb idea. Not quite sure which one is the worst between these two, but when you sole source an engine for a fighter jet that is envisioned to replace the vast majority of your fleet, it does represent a single point of failure, and it mean a BIG problem of lack of competition. We are heading toward Standard Oil all over again, but time I’m afraid it’s going to be something even more vital and widespread than that. Making project bigger and riskier and sole sourcing everything and anything won’t end up well; regardless how great the project itself worked out the outcome is dark.

I totally agree with your third.

As plug and play as there is a connector on the wire.

The nonsense is when you just experienced a myriad of difficulties doing software fusion on the f-22 and you end up blaming a programming language especially designed for such large scale real-time mission critical system and instead go with C++. And just to make sure it’s going to be a mistake, don’t put your best and most experience programmer on the project, because coding C++ is easier and they are all a bunch of slow and outdated dinosaur dragging deadline on irrational motive. Only recently (apparently less than a year) after some internal shake-up did Lockheed decided to use them.

When Itanium was developed in the hope that some problem would be worked out later, the concept on which it’s compiler and therefore the whole architecture was relying on … was all but ~10 lines of assembly code. It took Intel decades before starting to make money with Itanic, well after a lot of big boxed betting on that chip went bankrupt. The only miracle that kept HP from dying with it was likely some very loyal (i.e. screwed) and deep pocketed customer.

With this in mind I wouldn’t be surprised that there is a near complete absence of formal modelling for that software fusion, and the programmer try to “just make them work together”. After all mathematics are not consistent, why would someone lost precious talent, time and money and be less competitive?

So in other words, it was uninformed speculation since the Lockheed financials do not show a side by side comparison of profits with F22 going forward vs F35 going forward.

According to the news, no other f-35 are showing sign of a similar breakdown. Still not flying yet but for now it mean more f-135 inspection.

>you are underestimating just exactly what one can learn from picture books.


My computer skills … busted!

Cancel them all and start building the F22 again

Jack***! It must be very convenient to have someone to blame everything on so as not to put out the effort to think and make logical connections from evidence.. The current immigration rules are being enforced and no one anticipated the huge increase in immigrants over such a short period of time. If you want to continue building a fence for instance that involves getting a large sum appropriated from the Republican house. Nothing of what you say above makes any sense, it is just an ugly assertion.

I remember the days when Bill told us single sourcing an engine would make it cheaper and more reliable.
Those were the days I bet he misses the coke.

There isn’t enough fairy dust in the world to make the F-25 awesome

If you are referring to me I never claimed that. I’m rather indifferent over the whole F136 question. But I do suppose you’d be the one to talk to about buying coke.

Is the F-25 made by the same guys who build the MiG-28?

>A huge percentage of the work is integrating the electronics and software into the airframe.

Laughable if it wasn’t true — Lockheed put half baked and untested electronics into the airframe now claims integration (really rework and junking the whole design and replacing subsystems) is taking up a huge part of the work.

The solution is easy — never give Lockheed another contract. They are fraudsters.


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