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Friday
Jan312014

CoolPix: Getting Hooked On The F-35

(click pic for hi-res)  F-35B 'short takeoff' from aircraft carrier (photo: LockheedMartin)


 The recent trip to the Naval Aviation Museum didn't include any F-35 spotting at nearby Eglin AFB but I do wish it would have. I didn't have the time or energy to figure out if there was a spot you can hang out where one might be visible. I find myself quite drawn to the airplane these days even tho it's still easy to question whether the program is a good idea... but we are stuck with it at this point so let's encourage those working on the program to succeed!

 I do think there are far too many haters out there that would rather stir up a frenzy than acknowledge that this is one amazing aircraft. And, I suspect the haters are 90 to 100% people who don't know how to engineer an extreme carrier-capable aircraft, they are likely just people who (due to the internet) have a voice and they love to hear it make noise.

 While the CoolPix photo above is from last year showing an F-35B STOVL (short takeoff/vertical landing) making a short takeoff from a carrier deck (note the lift fan doors open and the downward rotation of the aft nozzle) there's an article from the U. S. Naval Institute about how the F-35C (the actual carrier variant) has recently completed shore-based testing of the redesigned hook. Problems catching the wire was an issue that many people made a big stink about, but as is the case when something doesn't work as originally envisioned, you make changes to the design. It's called development and every military aircraft goes thru lots of design changes along the way.

 The internet has made it possible for everyday people to have access to far more info than was ever available when aircraft like the F-14 or B-1 were being developed. The flow of info is great for those with an interest in the work of people handling tasks that are both extremely difficult and vitally important, but it also means that a lot of people who would be better off with their hands tied behind their back have access to the info too.

 Anyway, I hope you enjoy the very cool F-35B pic here and hopefully there will be a video available soon showing the F-35C catching the wire in those shore-based tests. 

 

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Reader Comments (3)

I don't think that most people have an issue with all of the 'kinks' that the F-35 has in its development. (although there is enough there to take issue with)

I think most people are put off by its staggering cost. Depending on whether you factor in various and sundry items such as the avionics, software, engines, etc. and depending on which organization is doing the figuring, DOD, CBO, OMB, etc., the cost is anywhere from $125M to $165M per individual plane. Per Plane!!

At that price it better do all it is supposed to do plus cook breakfast and take out the garbage.

But be that as it may, I think it is a incredible bird and I hope Lockheed figures out a way to leverage the basic design for future projects such as a twin-engined, larger, and more capable successor to the F-111.

I think the F-35 might well be the very last of this generation of manned fighters. The next generation might belong to X-47 and its siblings.

February 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTerence R

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Meantime here you can have a look at some great F-35 JSF photos:

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Pictures

February 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMehmet EMRE

Ridiculous cost - sub par performance - should stick with Super Hornet.

February 5, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjimd

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