January 07, 2009
F-35... All Too Visible?
Posted by scott at January 07, 2009 11:42 AM
It would appear that, according to one Australian think-tank, the F-35 is nowhere near as stealthy as Lockheed Martin are claiming. The longer this program goes on, the more it seems like a boondoggle in the making. Will the USAF end up with an aircraft like the F-4 (extremely successful after refinements) or the F-111B (don't ask)? It seems only time will tell.
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To be fair, the other F-111s worked well for the USAF and the F-111B was a USN thing. Considering the Navy could screw up a wet dream, I'm thinking we'll get the better end of things...
When you consider that the F-35 project has the same goal as the F-111 project -- one basic airframe to meet multiple needs of multiple services -- maybe the basic idea is just impractical.
It potentially is. The USAF has no real space nor runway restrictions, whereas the USN certainly does. Couple that with their issues based on the corrosive environment (since we all operate all over the world, temp isn't too much of a deal) vs the potentially sandy environments of the ME, and the requirements can become vastly different in short order.
I think many of the components can be the could probably be the same/similar, but the overall design will vary regardless.
It won't be the first time a major defense contractor has "stretched the truth" with regard to the performance of their new wunderkind...
Can you say "cost overrun"?
I knew you could.
"When you consider that the F-35 project has the same goal as the F-111 project -- one basic airframe to meet multiple needs of multiple services -- maybe the basic idea is just impractical."
Impractical?? Not really.
Just look at the F4 Phantom and you will find a succesfull multi role/multi service fighter (Though forced down the Air Forces throat)
It seems to be easier to start with a Navy fighter and then modify it for the Air Force rather than Vice Versa though (The F/A-18 would certainly be usable by the Air Force as would the F-14 back in the day) Not sure what a navalized version of the F-15 would have looked like though.
Yes - but Navy stuff is crap, so it's always better to start with USAF stuff and then downgrade it to an acceptable Navy level.