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On 5/24/2020 at 11:16 PM, NoSG0 said:

F-35 supersonic flights can damage stealth coating. 

 

If I am reading this right, it is not reparable/deemed not cost effective to repair.  Answer is to limit time spent at supersonic speeds.

 

Reply from the test pilot:

https://www.defensenews.com/smr/hidden-troubles-f35/2020/05/22/the-inside-story-of-two-supersonic-flights-that-changed-how-america-operates-the-f-35/

 

Again, glad the pilot made it out ok.

 

My understanding is not that it's not reparable but that the fix proposed by the manufacturer is not deemed worth the cost, meaning that the users believe that prefer to live with the (potential) issue rather than invest in an expensive modification.

 

I have to say that some of the comments in that article sound quite puzzling... like mentioning how the USN has a "historical distrust of relying on long range kills". Is this the same USN that pioneered the Sparrow missile and later introduced into service the Phoenix ??? And then worked on getting more and more range from the AIM-120 ?

 

Another point that I found interesting was the mention of supersonic speed to enter a contested area: which aircraft is doing this today ? With tanks and bombs under the pylons and the consequent drag ???

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More smoke and mirrors, Giorgio. It's still not out of the woods.

2 minutes ago, Giorgio N said:

 

My understanding is not that it's not reparable but that the fix proposed by the manufacturer is not deemed worth the cost, meaning that the users believe that prefer to live with the (potential) issue rather than invest in an expensive modification.

 

I have to say that some of the comments in that article sound quite puzzling... like mentioning how the USN has a "historical distrust of relying on long range kills". Is this the same USN that pioneered the Sparrow missile and later introduced into service the Phoenix ??? And then worked on getting more and more range from the AIM-120 ?

 

Another point that I found interesting was the mention of supersonic speed to enter a contested area: which aircraft is doing this today ? With tanks and bombs under the pylons and the consequent drag ???

 

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13 hours ago, exdraken said:

Very intetesting..... so the F-35B/C at least are only marginally superdonic capable it seems... kind of the contrsry we were made believe important with the F-22 's supercruise capability... and the enormous kinetic advantage that give to ordance released at high speed.... a bit against logic, but seems there is no way around it!

 

Is that actually over or underengineering when you only have theoretical capability?

Supersonic speed counted in 10s of seconds.... not VERY convincing! ;)

Is the RAF/Navy also changing tactics?

 

 

Wonder why the A model does not have these problems? Or just not reported?

 

Sorry, a bit of topic but the above link made me wonder..

 

Having limitations on an aircraft performance envelope in peacetime is actually very common so we're not seeing much new here. And in reality most supersonic combat types can keep their maximum speed for a limited time for a number of reasons, mostly thermal.

Again, as often happens with the F-35 program, there's nothing really new when it comes to this kind of problems. The difference is that this program is under such a scrutiny that anything becomes a serious problem never witnessed before

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4 minutes ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

More smoke and mirrors, Giorgio. It's still not out of the woods.

 

 

IMHO it's not a matter of smoke and mirrors. The matter is the opposite and is that the F-35 is a massive and very expensive program tht started in the "internet era". As such attracts a huge attention from mostly people who know totally nothing of the way aircraft and their systems are designed, developed, tested and introduced. And who seem to know absolutely nothing of how an aircraft work when in service.

Sure there have been problems with the F-35 and some will still need time to be sorted. However this is something that has happened in most combat aircraft programs before, with the difference that we don't talk about it. Only the Hornet and the Super Hornet have attracted some flak in the past, only to be forgotten once in service. And mind, none of their performance issues has been solved, simply their users have adapted and accepted certain limitations.

The F-35 is expected to meet some stringent objectives, that may well never be fully met. But what too many don't seem to understand is that many aircraft from the past never ever achieved similar objectives through their whole career ! I constantly see here and in other internet sources the glorification of types from the past that would have never even been built if their program had to satisfy the kind of scrutiny that the F-35 program is witnessing. Do people here realize that some of your favourite aircraft types never ever managed to satisfy the original requirements even when built in hundreds ???

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Giorgio N said:

 

IMHO it's not a matter of smoke and mirrors. The matter is the opposite and is that the F-35 is a massive and very expensive program tht started in the "internet era". As such attracts a huge attention from mostly people who know totally nothing of the way aircraft and their systems are designed, developed, tested and introduced. And who seem to know absolutely nothing of how an aircraft work when in service.

Sure there have been problems with the F-35 and some will still need time to be sorted. However this is something that has happened in most combat aircraft programs before, with the difference that we don't talk about it. Only the Hornet and the Super Hornet have attracted some flak in the past, only to be forgotten once in service. And mind, none of their performance issues has been solved, simply their users have adapted and accepted certain limitations.

The F-35 is expected to meet some stringent objectives, that may well never be fully met. But what too many don't seem to understand is that many aircraft from the past never ever achieved similar objectives through their whole career ! I constantly see here and in other internet sources the glorification of types from the past that would have never even been built if their program had to satisfy the kind of scrutiny that the F-35 program is witnessing. Do people here realize that some of your favourite aircraft types never ever managed to satisfy the original requirements even when built in hundreds ???

You also have to keep in mind that requirements change... due to changes in operational doctrine, available resources etc...  just think of when the F-35 design requirements where set... ~ 20 years ago! of course the evolve ...

 

if the F-35 is good/ sufficient/ excellent only its future operational career will show! And I do hope we all will not have to find out its true capability for what it was designed for (day1 to day 3 all out war....)

Edited by exdraken
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51 minutes ago, Giorgio N said:

As such attracts a huge attention from mostly people who know totally nothing of the way aircraft and their systems are designed, developed, tested and introduced. And who seem to know absolutely nothing of how an aircraft work when in service.

Nailed it. 

 

Did anyone actually read the linked Defense News article, particularly the last five or six paragraphs? 🤔

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I doubt any past or in service aircraft ticked all the boxes. Compromise is the name of the game as long as is does most of what is required. It never helps that the goalposts get continually moved, and the longer the gestation period, the greater the perceived shortfalls. It's certainly getting better, but I doubt it will ever do everything that they wanted.

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2 hours ago, 11bravo said:

Totally OT but this is a pretty cool article.   Low energy catapult testing with an F-35C.   Glad test pilots get paid the big bucks!

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/33689/code-brown-as-this-f-35c-sinks-to-just-above-the-waves-after-taking-a-low-power-catapult-shot

Strictly speaking, it’s done to establish minimum wind-over-deck requirements, done in isuccessive launches at lower and lower WOD points  and usually stopping before the airplane sank that much.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/27/2020 at 5:34 PM, alt-92 said:

@Giorgio N I'm having severe F-111 flashbacks, but that might just be me ;)

Funny you should mention the F-111; I learned yesterday that a former Lakenheath F-111F WSO who was one of the group of junior officers I hung out/partied with back in my days at Mildenhall is now a Flight Safety Inspector, and arriving at Eglin this weekend as part of the investigation team looking into the cause of this particular accident...

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On 5/24/2020 at 11:47 PM, dov said:

Just to remind: At no time on earth so much money used for a project.


Well...

 

A single Arleigh Burke costs $1.843 billion, while all of the Arleigh Burkes in existence have cost about $101.8 billion (https://moneyinc.com/most-expensive-military-weapons-ever/).

The ‘most expensive’ tag is, to date, a bit of a misnomer. The F-35 programme’s total costs are projected to be more; however, this is for an estimated fifty-ish year life of the project, and includes purchasing countries that do not contribute to system development (the upshot being that, while horrendously expensive, costs are not borne solely by the US taxpayer).

Cruisers, destroyers, submarines, aircraft carriers and nuclear missiles do tend to cost more and have (generally) longer life spans. They - and their costs - also seem to be more widely acceptable to governments/taxpayers over the longer timeframes.

An example is the French submarine recently bought by the Australians - each will have an estimated unit cost of 4.2 billion, while each F-35 purchased is estimated to have a unit cost of 116 million (Australian DoD 2018 estimate).

 

A small irony here is that a unit cost for a multi-role F-35 is considered to be 80 million to 105 million USD, while the unit cost for a single-role S-400 SAM system (to shoot down an F-35) is reported to be between 200 million and 500 million USD.


s-400-missiles_650x400_71476453786.png?d

 

And the Patriot’s not cheap, either...

"Sweden is the newest customer after holding a competition to buy an air and missile defense system. The country will buy four fire units, 100 GEM-T missiles, 200 PAC-3 MSE missiles and other necessary equipment for roughly $3.2 billion" (from https://www.defensenews.com/land/2019/05/03/state-dept-clears-25-billion-sale-of-patriot-missile-defense-system-to-bahrain/).

 

Edited by Blimpyboy
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Posted (edited)
On 5/26/2020 at 7:39 PM, Giorgio N said:

I have to say that some of the comments in that article sound quite puzzling... like mentioning how the USN has a "historical distrust of relying on long range kills". Is this the same USN that pioneered the Sparrow missile and later introduced into service the Phoenix ??? And then worked on getting more and more range from the AIM-120 ?

 

It can be puzzling (and not a little frustrating), but that is the nature of technical design functionality over user-specific doctrine and rules of engagement.

 

The use of most 'beyond visual range' air-to-air weapon systems has been constrained (certainly in 'Western' countries) by rules of engagement and doctrine that are derived from various laws of armed conflict, political will, the technical limitations inherent to long-range target ID, the nature of the battlespace and the dynamics of the engagement. These generally require a goodly range of 'positive' identification measures that cannot always be met or applied in most conflicts short of a war for national survival.

 

From https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/4678/is-the-european-meteor-air-to-air-missile-really-the-best-in-the-world

"As much as beyond-visual-range combat is hyped these days, and technology is certainly caught up with the concept, the operational realities that most 4th eneration fighters will find themselves in the future doesn’t really support the idea that dog-fighting is dead. Rules of engagement and fear of friendly fire incidents make very long-range missile shots unpalattable during coalition operations like those we have seen time and time again against non-peer state foes over the last few decades.

The cold hard reality is that visual identification of the target is still where the bar sits for weapons release during many operations. Using targeting pods slaved to a 4th generation fighter’s radar (like the F-15C has today via the Sniper pod), or using the F-35’s Electro-Optical Targeting System (EOTS) for long-range examination of aerial targets, can help greatly with this hurdle. The only issue is that using these systems for visual identification of a potential enemy still puts such an engagement deep within the range of any AIM-120 variant. As such, the benefits the Meteor offers would are nullified."

 

Some interesting articles relating to this issue:

1. https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a217528.pdf (particularly the first 4 pages)

2. https://navy-matters.blogspot.com/2012/09/bvr-is-it-useful.html

3. https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-f-35-and-the-dogfight-it-matters/

4. http://pogoarchives.org/labyrinth/09/06.pdf

5. https://csbaonline.org/uploads/documents/Air-to-Air-Report-.pdf

 

Also, if you can get your hand on these books, there are interesting pointers relating to RoE constraints to use of beyond visual range weapons:

1. On target: organizing and executing the strategic air campaign against Iraq

2. Lessons Not Learned: The U.S. Navy's Status Quo Culture

 

 

So, while many of these weapons can be let loose to go Pitbull, it is not always the case that a user can guarantee the identity of the target being engaged - history is rife with accidental shoot-downs of non-combatants and blue-on-blue incidents, even using 'within visual range' weapon systems.

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Nice comment.

Of course, there are many expensive systems.

For my understanding: This project of F-35 of design, building and operation causes worldwide gigantic costs. The summary of these costs I had in mind. In present day, an additional burden to CV-19 economy costs.

The system may kill itself, by being too expensive.

The fighting morale to kill beyond vision is very dangerous. You never can be sure whom you may hit. Nobody can be sure. We are today permanently controlling other countries and societies by UAV and satellites. It all causes headache.

I closely watched the most successful nation of the world in military matters since 1967. The military system becomes one day too big. Too sophisticated. Today you run out of operators. The people cannot bear this burden for too long. Money is one matter, but the smart people who must operate this system are not anymore by hand in sufficient numbers. It is a self-killing project. Beside the wisdom of all the matters, what happen in other countries beclouds your vision. Finally, you stuck in too much data to analyze.

Present day: Take an electronic pod on the F-15 and you lose a big part of your flying envelope. You restrict your abilities and enhance others.

The military industry is to my opinion on the dead end. Exhausted. The dominant problems we should solve on earth are overseen. No one can today conquer a country an enrich himself. To occupy a country is no success either.

Wars today are dirty wars. Civil wars. Fueled by idealists who want to create a better world, by neglecting the right to exist for both sides. Even the enemy. This is a pity. This intolerance is the biggest danger in today civilized world.

 

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, dov said:

For my understanding: This project of F-35 of design, building and operation causes worldwide gigantic costs.

You're absolutely right, it is staggering!

I did a bit more reading and found out that the F-35 programme will almost certainly go to 1.5 trillion dollars, which will make it the most expensive combat aircraft programme to date!

 

I, for one, would like to see more affordable housing and better universal health care. I suppose that's the cost now, of being ready for a 'peer-on-peer' conflict...

 

Edited by Blimpyboy
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  • 3 months later...
56 minutes ago, NoSG0 said:

 

And previously undiscovered software anomaly.

 

In the end leading to pilot induced oszilation....

Not the first time this happened on a FBW design...

 

Interesting read also here:

https://theaviationist.com/2020/10/06/investigation-report-points-to-landing-speed-as-main-cause-of-loss-of-f-35a-at-eglin-afb-valued-176m-usd/

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So my "expert" opinion is that some smaller malfunctions led to a pilot error  which revealed a bigger software and training issue wich in combination led to a total loss with fortunately no life lost...

 

A but strange to put the speed in the headkine and not the software or training!

Sounds a bit like bias :(

 

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4 minutes ago, exdraken said:

So my "expert" opinion is that some smaller malfunctions led to a pilot error  which revealed a bigger software and training issue wich in combination led to a total loss with fortunately no life lost...

 

A but strange to put the speed in the headkine and not the software or training!

Sounds a bit like bias :(

 

Is this actually based on reading the official accident investigation report, and is it based on what they described and the priorities they awarded to the causes?  Nowadays, accidents never happen due to a single cause.

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3 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

Is this actually based on reading the official accident investigation report, and is it based on what they described and the priorities they awarded to the causes?  Nowadays, accidents never happen due to a single cause.

That is my point... they blame it mainly on the pilot who definitely faulted... but the loss most likely is caused by the software issue and wrong simulator training experience.. without those there would most likely be no accident investigation report at all but a hard landing attempt and a go-around.....

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29 minutes ago, exdraken said:

That is my point... they blame it mainly on the pilot who definitely faulted... but the loss most likely is caused by the software issue and wrong simulator training experience.. without those there would most likely be no accident investigation report at all but a hard landing attempt and a go-around.....

In your opinion.  As opposed to the investigators and analysts with detailed knowledge and experience of the aircraft and circumstances. 

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30 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

In your opinion.  As opposed to the investigators and analysts with detailed knowledge and experience of the aircraft and circumstances. 

Of course in my opinion!!

I do not have another!

But one reads the actual report, it does not state "one main reason" but two! Without order. Only a and b.

Exessive speed AND flight control system miss-behavior....and lots of additional contributing factors!

I call the media articles biased , not the investgation report!

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They've probably already fixed it, but I wonder about carrier ops?  Planes never come in too fast or weird angles eh?

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The US Navy has been rather lukewarm on the F-35. They seem more comfortable with the F/A-18 series, with which they've had long experience.

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