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    F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time

    There is a video at the bottom of the page. It was pretty sweet - though I may be biased because I was out on the runway about 1200' to the left of that video

    Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Succeeds In First Vertical Landing | Lockheed Martin

    There are also some other videos from recent flights this last week showing it hovering and doing a short take off

    F-35 Lightning II | Lockheed Martin


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    Re: F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time

    Ah, so YOU are the reason it's so far over budget. It all makes sense now. I hope you can wear your war pant and championship belt to the senate hearings.


    ...Straight going donkey...

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    Re: F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time

    Quote Originally Posted by tamjam View Post
    Ah, so YOU are the reason it's so far over budget. It all makes sense now. I hope you can wear your war pant and championship belt to the senate hearings.
    I blame Lockheed for the cost overruns

    I don't work on the plane itself. I'm doing a little work that supports the VL landings, and my project is chump change compared to everything else. Not to mention what I'm doing takes the place of work that was going to cost literally 100x more to do.


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    Re: F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time

    Aircraft like this will change the design of future naval vessels. The aircraft carrier as we know it may become a thing of the past. The cost overruns may someday be nulified by the expense of building large aircraft carriers.



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    Re: F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time

    Quote Originally Posted by singsing View Post
    Aircraft like this will change the design of future naval vessels. The aircraft carrier as we know it may become a thing of the past. The cost overruns may someday be nulified by the expense of building large aircraft carriers.

    The F-35B is not going to change the design of future naval vessels just for the mere fact that it is a newer generation AV-8B Harrier. The plan is for the Air Force to receive F-35A's to replace the F-16 and possibly the A-10, the USMC to receive F-35B's to replace the AV-8B and the Navy to receive F-35C's to replace the F-18.

    So, aircraft carriers will not change and quite honestly, many members of the military are not for the F-35. It is a single-engine, multi-role, 5th generation fighter that is being built to compliment the F-22 and to defend the US against States such as the Chinese or any State that buys the newer Russian aircraft being built. It is not being built for today's wars but for the future wars and in my opinion, the government, especially with the economy the way it is, needs to pay more attention to the present day wars and not the future wars. Because of this, there is just not enough bang for the buck when it comes to the F-35.

    Granted, don't get me wrong, I would love to have the opportunity to fly the F-35 but I just don't think it is needed right now.



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    Re: F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Tank View Post
    It is not being built for today's wars but for the future wars and in my opinion, the government, especially with the economy the way it is, needs to pay more attention to the present day wars and not the future wars. Because of this, there is just not enough bang for the buck when it comes to the F-35.

    Granted, don't get me wrong, I would love to have the opportunity to fly the F-35 but I just don't think it is needed right now.
    You could argue several points here,

    It takes a loooong time to build a new airplane these days, especially to the rigorous standards of the US Military (There is a LOT of work that goes on to make sure that aircraft is safe to fly before it every leaves the ground - and then they don't just send it up and "try it out' they expand the flight enveolope slowly)
    You can't just realize "oh, we now have a new threat, lets start developing something to combat it" You do have to look at what your threats in the future will be and try to anticipate those threats/plan ahead, so that you have a system ready to go

    Grant you that needs to be balenced with adapting to current threats, but for the time being thats more of an Army/Marine issue in terms of land vehicles or smaller UAV's for survalence in hostile terrain. The F-35 represents long term strategy

    This is not just about a technology refresh either, this is part of a planned replacement of equipment. The aircraft being replaced by the F-35 are not being replaced because newer technology came around that looks cool, they are being replaced because the airframes are old (F-16's, legacy F-18's have been around since the 70's and 80's, and the harrier is pretty old as well) and need to be replaced anyways.

    You can't simply just "buy more F-16's, A-10's, AV-8B's and F-18's" either - I doubt any of those production lines are still running, and it would cost a LOT of money to restart them (you can't just flip a switch - suppliers change/go out of business, assests are reallocated or lost, etc).

    If you can't buy more of the old planes, makes sense to take advantage of the oppertunity to upgrade the technology (yes, they still make Super Hornets, but those don't fill all the roles the F-35 will, and the F-35C will be the last model deveoloped anyways. The F-35A and F-35B, which are replacing the F-16, A-10, AV-8B, and F-18C/D models, are being built first)

    You mention the poor economy as a reason to not focus on the program. I have 2 points to that - once again deveolopment of a new aircraft is time consuming. Work for this has been going on since long before the economy turned bad, and it would be VERY expensive to stop work and expensive to restart it, if it could be done. When you cancel a contract like this, there are all sorts of fees that must be paid, retraining of workers and other costs associated with shutting down production, etc. It wouldn't be cheap

    In addition, I don't know what the impact is of tax dollars spent vs economy stimulated, but the program certainly provides employement, and will only provide more in the future as it transitions from Low Rate production to Full Rate Production and sustainment of the fleet.




    Now you could make arguments for a need to overhaul the acquisistion system, or how much money we spend on defense over all, but saying just because the economy had a bad year you should quit working on this project is not a very good argument


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    Re: F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Flag Guy View Post
    There is a video at the bottom of the page. It was pretty sweet - though I may be biased because I was out on the runway about 1200' to the left of that video

    Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Succeeds In First Vertical Landing | Lockheed Martin

    There are also some other videos from recent flights this last week showing it hovering and doing a short take off

    F-35 Lightning II | Lockheed Martin

    You are spending money like it is stimulus money.

    The planes take eight years to develop?


    Last edited by Wesley; 03-18-2010 at 08:56 PM.
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    Re: F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time

    Quote Originally Posted by singsing View Post
    Aircraft like this will change the design of future naval vessels. The aircraft carrier as we know it may become a thing of the past. The cost overruns may someday be nulified by the expense of building large aircraft carriers.
    And as Tank pointed out, this really won't revolutionize Naval airwarfare. It's probably a bigger deal that the Navy and Marines will be acquiring stealthy aircraft than it is that this plane can land vertically, a feat already accomplished by the AV-8B and, in a different manner, the V-22 Osprey (more on the transport side than the Fighter/Attack side)

    Things may happen to change the carriers of the future, their size and crew requirements, but this isn't it


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    Re: F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Flag Guy View Post
    There is a video at the bottom of the page. It was pretty sweet - though I may be biased because I was out on the runway about 1200' to the left of that video

    Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Succeeds In First Vertical Landing | Lockheed Martin

    There are also some other videos from recent flights this last week showing it hovering and doing a short take off

    F-35 Lightning II | Lockheed Martin
    Question: Can that thing take off vertically? If not, how is it going to land in an "unprepared field" and then take off again? Evidently it has to be able to take off vertically.



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    Re: F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time

    I'm not sure if it can take off Vertically at all or not... if it can it wouldn't be with much of anything on it. No idea what the limit on that is, but it certainly cannot take off vertically with a mission payload.

    It has a "Short Take Off" ability (STOVL - Short Take Off Vertical Landing), where it can take off in a much shorter distance than a conventional fighter (or take off of a ship w/o catapult launch, which is good because it can't launch from a cat)

    The plane is not designed to land on bare grass or dirt.
    What it can do is land at a forward opperating base on expaditionary airfields (AM-2 matting - aluminum mats laid down and locked together to form an airfield) or land on Amphibious Assault ships, etc


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    Re: F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time

    It's also going to see use on British aircraft carriers, though they're more the size of our Amphibious Assault Ships


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    Re: F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time

    Quote Originally Posted by aauummm View Post
    Question: Can that thing take off vertically? If not, how is it going to land in an "unprepared field" and then take off again? Evidently it has to be able to take off vertically.
    I think you've missed the entire point of the thread titled "F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time".



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    Re: F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time

    I could dredge up a link from yesterday's thread... with the plane's first Short Take Off

    http://www.lockheedmartin.com/data/a...akeoff_ppt.wmv

    I have no actual basis for saying so, but it looked to me like it took off in a shorter distance today than it did yesterday, but my perspectives may have been a bit different as well.

    It did have an F-18 chase plane take off after it though and the F-35 DID go up in a shorter distance. How much more... meh? and I don't know that the F-18 was trying for a minimum distance take off or not, but you could certainly tell the F-35 did it in a short distance today


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    Re: F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Tank View Post
    The F-35B is not going to change the design of future naval vessels just for the mere fact that it is a newer generation AV-8B Harrier. The plan is for the Air Force to receive F-35A's to replace the F-16 and possibly the A-10, the USMC to receive F-35B's to replace the AV-8B and the Navy to receive F-35C's to replace the F-18.

    So, aircraft carriers will not change and quite honestly, many members of the military are not for the F-35. It is a single-engine, multi-role, 5th generation fighter that is being built to compliment the F-22 and to defend the US against States such as the Chinese or any State that buys the newer Russian aircraft being built. It is not being built for today's wars but for the future wars and in my opinion, the government, especially with the economy the way it is, needs to pay more attention to the present day wars and not the future wars. Because of this, there is just not enough bang for the buck when it comes to the F-35.

    Granted, don't get me wrong, I would love to have the opportunity to fly the F-35 but I just don't think it is needed right now.
    I'm with you, here, Tank. It's an amazing aircraft, but we're still building swiss watches when what we really need now is a bunch of G Shocks in a variety of configurations. There is certainly a point to be made about technology progressing and the industrial base and all that, but 5th gen fighters are a huge gamble by the Air Force on a "SAC-Centric" war happening sometime in the future, when the reality is that we are in a "TAC-Centric" world these days (sorry for bringing up long-dead commands :D ).

    Quote Originally Posted by Flag Guy View Post
    You could argue several points here,

    It takes a loooong time to build a new airplane these days, especially to the rigorous standards of the US Military (There is a LOT of work that goes on to make sure that aircraft is safe to fly before it every leaves the ground - and then they don't just send it up and "try it out' they expand the flight enveolope slowly)
    You can't just realize "oh, we now have a new threat, lets start developing something to combat it" You do have to look at what your threats in the future will be and try to anticipate those threats/plan ahead, so that you have a system ready to go
    And those systems will be built to counter the ones you are building and so on and so forth until the end of time. It's a question of setting requirements and then building the tools to meet them. In this case, the requirements are a bit out of date, IMO.

    Grant you that needs to be balenced with adapting to current threats, but for the time being thats more of an Army/Marine issue in terms of land vehicles or smaller UAV's for survalence in hostile terrain. The F-35 represents long term strategy
    I think the focus on UAVs has really changed the actual requirement that the marine corps once had for the Harrier.
    Quite frankly, the whole STOVL concept is sort of silly, especially considering the capabilities of the F-35. It's like trying to make an F1 car off-road capable but maintain all the same performance. The MC would be better served, IMO, building a gunship V-22 paired with UCAVs.

    Instead you're sticking a dude in what amounts to a strategic asset in order to drop cheap bombs.

    It's the aerospace equivalent of buying a mansion when you're looking for an apartment.


    This is not just about a technology refresh either, this is part of a planned replacement of equipment. The aircraft being replaced by the F-35 are not being replaced because newer technology came around that looks cool, they are being replaced because the airframes are old (F-16's, legacy F-18's have been around since the 70's and 80's, and the harrier is pretty old as well) and need to be replaced anyways.

    You can't simply just "buy more F-16's, A-10's, AV-8B's and F-18's" either - I doubt any of those production lines are still running, and it would cost a LOT of money to restart them (you can't just flip a switch - suppliers change/go out of business, assests are reallocated or lost, etc).


    If you can't buy more of the old planes, makes sense to take advantage of the oppertunity to upgrade the technology (yes, they still make Super Hornets, but those don't fill all the roles the F-35 will, and the F-35C will be the last model deveoloped anyways. The F-35A and F-35B, which are replacing the F-16, A-10, AV-8B, and F-18C/D models, are being built first)
    I believe the F-16 line is still running. The Block 60 is a very capable aircraft. The F-15 line is still running too, I believe (export jets). And they are building F-18 E/F/Gs as we speak which is a VERY capable aircraft, in both A/A and A/G (which are roles that the F-35 is supposed to fill). In fact, there is a push by the ANG to look at the possiblity of buying more "4.5 gen" fighters. Slap an AESA radar on any reasonably modern platform and you have something reasonably capable against anything you'll run up against in the A/A arena anytime soon.

    The F-35 and F-22 are simply amazing platforms, but the Air Force simply isn't buying enough of them to replace the physical numbers and deployed locations of existing fighters, which are essential to defending the country, and executing the current military strategy. And believe it or not, homeland defense is not the Air Force's #1 priority. There are things about the F-22 and F-35 that make them less than ideal for that mission anyway.

    The F-35 is also a "Jack of all trades and master of none" in some respects. The A-10 is not going to be usurped by the F-35 anytime soon in the CAS role. All those fancy sensors and gadgets on board don't fundamentally change the way CAS works. It's the single biggest role for the Air Force (aside from logistics) in our current and anticipated conflicts.

    You mention the poor economy as a reason to not focus on the program. I have 2 points to that - once again deveolopment of a new aircraft is time consuming. Work for this has been going on since long before the economy turned bad, and it would be VERY expensive to stop work and expensive to restart it, if it could be done. When you cancel a contract like this, there are all sorts of fees that must be paid, retraining of workers and other costs associated with shutting down production, etc. It wouldn't be cheap

    In addition, I don't know what the impact is of tax dollars spent vs economy stimulated, but the program certainly provides employement, and will only provide more in the future as it transitions from Low Rate production to Full Rate Production and sustainment of the fleet.

    Now you could make arguments for a need to overhaul the acquisistion system, or how much money we spend on defense over all, but saying just because the economy had a bad year you should quit working on this project is not a very good argument
    Hey I'm not in favor of cancelling it either (at this point). We've already gotten the fat chick into bed, and our friends think we've screwed her, so we might as well do the deed. Military programs should NOT be welfare jobs, though. I'm an Eisenhower Republican in that regard. I look at thee military-industrial complex as an evil necessity, not a necessary evil.

    I guess there's also the export market to look at as well. The US needs an aircraft they can sell overseas, and the alternatives are looking pretty good if we can't deliver on the F-35. The US gains a TON of cachet by having it's aircraft in the hands of allies. We control, to some extent, the keys to the castle, not to mention the direct economic benefit.

    The whole F-35 program is a gigantic square peg trying to fit into a bunch of smaller round holes for the US, though. To get funding for gigantic things, you have to promise the world, and you end up with a LOT of capability that isn't really required if you stop and look at it.

    My own, personal, preferred course of action would be to cannibalize the F-35 and F-22 programs for technology that can be cheaply inserted into 4th gen fighters. Buy enough of those (which can be had at a fraction of the cost of the F-35) to meet the existing requirements for what the US military is currently engaged in and drastically reduce the scope and scale of the F-35 program. The whole A-10 line could probably be restarted for the cost of a single F-35 :D

    In short, do what the Navy has been doing with the super hornet/growler, combined with a bit of what the Air Force set out to do with the F-16 back in the olden days.

    That's not going to happen at this point, but it's what a reasonable person would do given a constrained set of resources, IMO.

    Now that the cherry is popped in the UCAV world, there will be an ever decreasing role for the F-35 and F-22 as tactical aircraft, and a much larger role in the C2 world anyway.


    I would also argue that multi-role fighters produce a poorer group of pilots overall. If you want the best A-A pilots in the world, you look at F-15C (or now, F-22) guys. If you want the best guys at CAS, you look at A-10 guys (or USMC guys in whatever they fly, since that's pretty much what they exist to do). The F-16 guys, for instance, are good at both, but generally not the best at either.

    At any rate, it's an awesome plane. Watching an F-1 car go off-road certainly would be a lot of fun too....


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    Re: F-35B Fighter Lands Vertically for the First Time

    Quote Originally Posted by jumbopackage View Post
    I'm with you, here, Tank. It's an amazing aircraft, but we're still building swiss watches when what we really need now is a bunch of G Shocks in a variety of configurations. There is certainly a point to be made about technology progressing and the industrial base and all that, but 5th gen fighters are a huge gamble by the Air Force on a "SAC-Centric" war happening sometime in the future, when the reality is that we are in a "TAC-Centric" world these days (sorry for bringing up long-dead commands :D ).


    And those systems will be built to counter the ones you are building and so on and so forth until the end of time. It's a question of setting requirements and then building the tools to meet them. In this case, the requirements are a bit out of date, IMO.



    I think the focus on UAVs has really changed the actual requirement that the marine corps once had for the Harrier.
    Quite frankly, the whole STOVL concept is sort of silly, especially considering the capabilities of the F-35. It's like trying to make an F1 car off-road capable but maintain all the same performance. The MC would be better served, IMO, building a gunship V-22 paired with UCAVs.

    Instead you're sticking a dude in what amounts to a strategic asset in order to drop cheap bombs.

    It's the aerospace equivalent of buying a mansion when you're looking for an apartment.




    I believe the F-16 line is still running. The Block 60 is a very capable aircraft. The F-15 line is still running too, I believe (export jets). And they are building F-18 E/F/Gs as we speak which is a VERY capable aircraft, in both A/A and A/G (which are roles that the F-35 is supposed to fill). In fact, there is a push by the ANG to look at the possiblity of buying more "4.5 gen" fighters. Slap an AESA radar on any reasonably modern platform and you have something reasonably capable against anything you'll run up against in the A/A arena anytime soon.

    The F-35 and F-22 are simply amazing platforms, but the Air Force simply isn't buying enough of them to replace the physical numbers and deployed locations of existing fighters, which are essential to defending the country, and executing the current military strategy. And believe it or not, homeland defense is not the Air Force's #1 priority. There are things about the F-22 and F-35 that make them less than ideal for that mission anyway.

    The F-35 is also a "Jack of all trades and master of none" in some respects. The A-10 is not going to be usurped by the F-35 anytime soon in the CAS role. All those fancy sensors and gadgets on board don't fundamentally change the way CAS works. It's the single biggest role for the Air Force (aside from logistics) in our current and anticipated conflicts.



    Hey I'm not in favor of cancelling it either (at this point). We've already gotten the fat chick into bed, and our friends think we've screwed her, so we might as well do the deed. Military programs should NOT be welfare jobs, though. I'm an Eisenhower Republican in that regard. I look at thee military-industrial complex as an evil necessity, not a necessary evil.

    I guess there's also the export market to look at as well. The US needs an aircraft they can sell overseas, and the alternatives are looking pretty good if we can't deliver on the F-35. The US gains a TON of cachet by having it's aircraft in the hands of allies. We control, to some extent, the keys to the castle, not to mention the direct economic benefit.

    The whole F-35 program is a gigantic square peg trying to fit into a bunch of smaller round holes for the US, though. To get funding for gigantic things, you have to promise the world, and you end up with a LOT of capability that isn't really required if you stop and look at it.

    My own, personal, preferred course of action would be to cannibalize the F-35 and F-22 programs for technology that can be cheaply inserted into 4th gen fighters. Buy enough of those (which can be had at a fraction of the cost of the F-35) to meet the existing requirements for what the US military is currently engaged in and drastically reduce the scope and scale of the F-35 program. The whole A-10 line could probably be restarted for the cost of a single F-35 :D

    In short, do what the Navy has been doing with the super hornet/growler, combined with a bit of what the Air Force set out to do with the F-16 back in the olden days.

    That's not going to happen at this point, but it's what a reasonable person would do given a constrained set of resources, IMO.

    Now that the cherry is popped in the UCAV world, there will be an ever decreasing role for the F-35 and F-22 as tactical aircraft, and a much larger role in the C2 world anyway.


    I would also argue that multi-role fighters produce a poorer group of pilots overall. If you want the best A-A pilots in the world, you look at F-15C (or now, F-22) guys. If you want the best guys at CAS, you look at A-10 guys (or USMC guys in whatever they fly, since that's pretty much what they exist to do). The F-16 guys, for instance, are good at both, but generally not the best at either.

    At any rate, it's an awesome plane. Watching an F-1 car go off-road certainly would be a lot of fun too....

    I could not agree more!



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