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MarkW

F-35 news roundup

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GE engines are better and easier to work with.

i completely disagree! Prat and Whitney all the way

every GE engine i have ever worked on has been a complete nightmare.

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{snip}

When it comes to the crunch of defending Australia, in my opinoin we need many more aircraft and quite a few more bases all around the coutnry, not having the 2 main bases within 300 nm of each other. All these things cost money and I have never thought it a wise move to put all your eggs in the one basket. WE have one base in the north west. We need more in the south and west to do the job really effectively. I know this is going to happen in my lifetime but at aome stage in the future we'll have to bite the bullet and pay out in infrastrucure what we should have been paying for years.

Cheers,

Ross.

I'd ditto that comment replacing Australia with Canada. Canada's military needs several billion's worth of upgrading. The CPF is one of the most start of the art and capable warships afloat. Yet we only have 12 of them, and usually only 9 at sea with the remainder in refit. And we have more coastline than any nation on earth. As for the airforce, we need newer airframes and more of them. I don't know why we've not gone with Super Hornets yet. I suppose we're waiting for the F35 but that could be 10 years yet.

But when it comes right down to it, if I had any say in the matter, Canada would be back in the business of building its own aircraft. Why are we buying old British BAE Hawks when we should have been designing and building the Tutor II? Heck even if they were just newly built Tutor airframes with engine and avionic upgrades. Why are we investing hundreds of millions in the US F35 when we should have been designing and building our own. Sweden has a 1/3rd of our population and is about the size of one of our smallest provinces, yet they've been building their own (very excellent) fighter aircraft since the 40's.

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...But when it comes right down to it, if I had any say in the matter, Canada would be back in the business of building its own aircraft. Why are we buying old British BAE Hawks when we should have been designing and building the Tutor II? Heck even if they were just newly built Tutor airframes with engine and avionic upgrades. Why are we investing hundreds of millions in the US F35 when we should have been designing and building our own. Sweden has a 1/3rd of our population and is about the size of one of our smallest provinces, yet they've been building their own (very excellent) fighter aircraft since the 40's.

Could it be that if this were attempted some corporate entity with a long memory and deep-pockets expense accounts (courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer) would re-play the CF-105 smack-down? Just a thought....

- Dan

Edited by Vpanoptes

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GE engines are better and easier to work with.

Well I guess that is worth the billions it would cost the US taxpayer for that second engine (that offers no real performance advantage over the Pratt unit). That second engine is nothing but a corporate scam, championed by a few dozen politicians with GE plants in their districts. By that logic, we should have also paid the money to produce the Boeing JSF version so that it could be used to keep LM in check cost-wise.

It's a crazy world we live in....

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Could it be that if this were attempted some corporate entity with a long memory and deep-pockets expense accounts (courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer) would re-play the CF-105 smack-down? Just a thought....

- Dan

I'm not sure I understand what the US taxpayer has to do with Canada rebuilding its aircraft industry. Other than I suppose we would no longer need to buy US aircraft.

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I'm not sure I understand what the US taxpayer has to do with Canada rebuilding its aircraft industry. Other than I suppose we would no longer need to buy US aircraft.

Perhaps an urban myth (I have no first-hand knowledge one way or the other), but one of the stories circulating at the time of the development of the CF-105 was that it was so good that the U.S. aircraft companies viewed it as a threat and potential competition for their products, hence significant political pressure (and $ indirectly contributed by the US taxpayers who "buy" the products of the major American mfrs) was used to see that the Arrow was never put into production. No one doubts that the talent and ability to design and build world-class aircraft resides in Canada, but how do you think NG/LockMart/Boeing would view our neighbors to the north if there was incipient economic competition for a piece of the world aircraft (military or otherwise) market?

"Other than I suppose we would no longer need to buy US aircraft." Yup, exactly.

Edited by Vpanoptes

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I think the SECDEF has been pretty clear that the GE engine will happen over his dead body. The President has been pretty clear too, and looks willing to torpedo "don't ask, don't tell" reform (which the military is cooling to) to kill the second engine.

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I think the SECDEF has been pretty clear that the GE engine will happen over his dead body. The President has been pretty clear too, and looks willing to torpedo "don't ask, don't tell" reform (which the military is cooling to) to kill the second engine.

GE can arrange that ... After all, they bring good things to life ... and can take it away too ... :rofl:

Gregg

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Ft Worth Star Telegram

F-35 joint strike fighter gaining momentum

Posted Sunday, Jul. 11, 2010

By BOB COX

rcox@star-telegram.com

Flight testing of the F-35 joint strike fighter finally seems to be gaining momentum as Lockheed Martin and the Defense Department try to show that development of the next-generation combat jet is finally on track.

Lockheed flew the ninth of the initial 13 flight-testing jets recently, counting the original prototype, which has already been retired.

By week's end, the test program had completed 146 flights this year compared with the 128 planned, a pace that, if, sustained, would enable the full-year goal of 394 flights to be met or exceeded.

Another measure of progress is the number of specific tests (test points) achieved: 1,438 completed compared with 1,255 planned.

All of which means that if F-35 testing continues at the current pace through the rest of this year, it will be just about where it was supposed to be at the end of 2009.

"Overall we're happy with the way things are going this year," said John Kent, Lockheed F-35 program spokesman.

More often than not, Kent said, the test planes return to base "code one," meaning that they had no problems and are ready to fly again.

After nine months of bad reports about rising costs, delays and problems, any sign of continuing progress is a good thing.

"Any good news on flight testing and costs gives a confidence boost" to the armed forces, defense officials and politicians in the U.S. and foreign countries that are expected to buy the F-35, said Richard Aboulafia, aerospace industry analyst for the Teal Group forecasting firm.

Despite the barrage of bad news in recent months, Aboulafia said all prospective foreign buyers "have kept the faith so far."

A Dutch parliamentary vote to withdraw from the testing program has cast a cloud over that country's commitment, but even there the final outcome is awaiting the formation of a new government.

Canada is reportedly leaning toward reaffirming its commitment to the F-35, and Australia, which has made the first commitment to buy production jets, has shown no sign of altering its plans.

The 42-minute flight Tuesday of the AF-3, an F-35A conventional takeoff model like those that will be built for the U.S. Air Force, went well until stormy weather cut it short. A second flight later in the week was scrubbed because of the heavy overcast; initial flight tests are conducted under visual flight rules.

The first F-35C test aircraft, the Navy version, has flown several times over North Texas since its inaugural flight June 6, Kent said. Several more test flights are scheduled in the next month before it's flown to the Navy's testing center at Patuxent River, Md.

The AF-3 is the second of the test planes to be equipped with the complete "mission systems" package of electronic weapons targeting, search and tracking and self-defense equipment like the package that is to be installed in combat aircraft delivered to U.S. and foreign armed forces.

Those systems, which were developed and tested on the ground, will now be tested in increasingly complex scenarios aboard the aircraft. One of the Marines' short-takeoff-vertical-landing F-35B models that is also equipped with the full mission systems flew for the first time in April and is now being tested at Patuxent River.

Testing of the two F-35A models at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., is going very well, Kent said, while the four F-35B models at Patuxent River, a more complex aircraft, have had a higher incidence of technical problems.

"They're things we're glad to have found early," Kent said. "Nothing systemic, just glitches that we've had to fix."

The other four flight test aircraft have been completed and rolled out of Lockheed's factory and are now undergoing ground tests and other flight preparations.

Those four, along with the first two "low rate" production F-35As that are to be delivered to the Air Force for pilot training, are to make repeated flights before year's end.

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GE can arrange that ... After all, they bring good things to life ... and can take it away too ... <_<

Gregg

really good one! :whistle:

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Two thoughts come to mind:

1. More fourth gen thinking.

2. They'll be fishing his body out of the bay any day now... :thumbsup:

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Why do I think that this guy is nothing more than a lobbyist for GE? His logic is that the original P&W's engines on the F-16 were crap and it was only after the AF started buying GE motors, that things got better. Therefore, we now need to write a blank check to GE in order to ensure that Pratt will deliver a reliable motor that does what it is supposed to do.

I have a better idea - save the taxpayer the billions it will cost for this GE welfare program and instead just hold Pratt 100% accountable if their engine does not measure up. We shouldn't have to waste this kind of money just to keep "the other guy" honest. If the Pratt motor has issues, fine. Don't pay them a penny until the engine meets 100% of the spec.

One of the comments to the article was interesting. Despite all the money spent on competing engines, 100% of the current F-16 fleet has GE motors, while 100% of the F-15 fleet has Pratts. This is despite the availability of competing engines for these aircraft. It makes no sense to have a fleet of aircraft with different engines.

The Air force is going to be cut to the bone in the near future, they need to use their scarce funding to keep more aircraft in the air, not to fund a waste like this.

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I'm not sure I understand what the US taxpayer has to do with Canada rebuilding its aircraft industry. Other than I suppose we would no longer need to buy US aircraft.

It's easier to swallow that foreign influences helped scuttle a promising aircraft than to think we screwed it up all by ourselves. We were (and are) perfectly capable of designing and building a truly great aircraft, and are also perfectly capable of getting cold feet and bailing out on such a program as well.

Al P.

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It's easier to swallow that foreign influences helped scuttle a promising aircraft than to think we screwed it up all by ourselves. We were (and are) perfectly capable of designing and building a truly great aircraft, and are also perfectly capable of getting cold feet and bailing out on such a program as well.

Al P.

SETTING ASIDE NATIONAL DEFENSE CONCERNS

Also file under "be careful what you ask for". I'd like to know exactly how much economic benefit is derived after you account for all the govt money dumped into cost plus contract aircraft development efforts. Is the US really getting a net economic benefit from how these taxpayer dollars are spent? I'm pretty sure there isn't a lot of tech transfer from fighter programs to anywhere else, considering how COTS drives fighter development, not the other way around. I don't know either way. Maybe we do because we buy 1,000+ of some types. Would Canada ever sell enough of the native types to make the investment back? Is FMS absolutely essential to making money back? Maybe so--unless you have a country getting US aid to buy US equipment... :whistle:

I just can't see $90M spent on a fighter having $90M of net benefit on the economy. I'm feeling it certainly isn't the most efficient Govt investment economically.

RESUME CONCERNS ABOUT NATIONAL DEFENSE.

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Are there no Block 52 Vipers in service any longer ? :whistle:

And the USAF has never had anything but F100 powered F-15s ...

Gregg

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SETTING ASIDE NATIONAL DEFENSE CONCERNS

Also file under "be careful what you ask for". I'd like to know exactly how much economic benefit is derived after you account for all the govt money dumped into cost plus contract aircraft development efforts. Is the US really getting a net economic benefit from how these taxpayer dollars are spent? I'm pretty sure there isn't a lot of tech transfer from fighter programs to anywhere else, considering how COTS drives fighter development, not the other way around. I don't know either way. Maybe we do because we buy 1,000+ of some types. Would Canada ever sell enough of the native types to make the investment back? Is FMS absolutely essential to making money back? Maybe so--unless you have a country getting US aid to buy US equipment... :whistle:

I just can't see $90M spent on a fighter having $90M of net benefit on the economy. I'm feeling it certainly isn't the most efficient Govt investment economically.

RESUME CONCERNS ABOUT NATIONAL DEFENSE.

It has worked for Sweden since the 40's. The investment is in Canadian jobs and getting people doing more than laying concrete (which seems to be what the majority of the 'Get Canada Working' programs are about). With the Canadian Patrol Frigate program Canada rebuilt its ship building industry. We created a force of highly skilled workers and a full infrastructure. The result was some of the best fighting ships afloat. Then we let it die again and all those skilled people are now working in the US or over seas and we have to go to the UK to have our subs refit.

We don't need to spend $90mm on fighters. We could be spending 5M on training aircraft (my example of the Tutor II). We could be spending 15M on light tactical fighters that replace the CF-5. While the Cormorant (EH-101) is a fine helicopter, I'm pretty sure we could have designed and built our own. All of these have export opportunities.

Meanwhile, you're building up a force of extremely highly skilled people that may move onto other industries but at least stay in the country. Those people start new businesses and need highly skilled workers. It's a snow ball effect.

There's a perception that buying something from other countries is cheaper. The reality is that it often costs a lot more than you think.

As for the Arrow itself, well, the US managed to convince a a group of people that the manned interceptor was obsolete, yet they kept their less capable F106's in service until the mid 1980's... so what does that tell you..

Edited by RiderFan

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Don't forget that many people from many countries were proclaiming that the day of the manned interceptor was dead, such as Duncan Sandys in the UK, who did a very good job killing off a lot of that country's fighter projects in 1957. While the US kept manned interceptors in the mix for years, they also had the luxury of several companies making competing aircraft, and losing several didn't wipe out the entire effort. The F-103 and F-108 are two promising projects that fell to budget and technological axes, without leaving the US without an interceptor fleet.

The US also embarked on a costly mistake of eliminating internal guns from their fighters for quite a while, before realising the error in that.

Some of the parallels to the current situation are uncannily similar...

Al P.

Edited by Alvis 3.1

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Don't forget that many people from many countries were proclaiming that the day of the manned interceptor was dead, such as Duncan Sandys in the UK, who did a very good job killing off a lot of that country's fighter projects in 1957. While the US kept manned interceptors in the mix for years, they also had the luxury of several companies making competing aircraft, and losing several didn't wipe out the entire effort. The F-103 and F-108 are two promising projects that fell to budget and technological axes, without leaving the US without an interceptor fleet.

The US also embarked on a costly mistake of eliminating internal guns from their fighters for quite a while, before realising the error in that.

Some of the parallels to the current situation are uncannily similar...

Al P.

Well, the F-103 also had the pilot fly via periscope, so yeah, I would have cancelled that too.

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Makes more sense that that last PR fluff article. As noted in this article, every aircraft program developed since the F-16 has been based on a single engine for the airframe. Why would the F-35 need to two engines to choose from, all at taxpayer expense? Oh yeah, because the GE facility in Lynn, MA will at some point in the future cease production of the F414 for the Superhornet and GE will need to have something in the works to replace it on the production line. Otherwise, profits will be way off.

Sounds like a valid reason, lets get these guys a contract ASAP!

All kidding aside, the F136 program is shaping up to be a real political test of wills. The folks in the Pentagon and the White House want nothing to do with it but the GE inspired political pressure to fund it is enormous. Even some pols that made a point of saying they will go to Washington to cut pork and special interests are aligned with GE. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. 50-50 at best from what I have read.

Still hoping that they would take the money wasted on this program and purchase some additional F-22's but that ain't gonna happen :rolleyes:

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F-15K/SG ... Two engines ... Developed since F-16 ... Just saying ...

F414 ... Also used in Gripen NG ...

Gregg

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Anyone know if there's a 1:32 scale kit of this sucker out there? Is there one in the future?

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