Look! It works!

5 vertical landings in 8 days for F-35B

A series of five vertical landings over eight days shows that the troubled F-35B Joint Strike Fighter is getting back on track, analysts said.

The tests, performed between Jan. 6 and 13, are among the 42 that must be completed before the aircraft can be tested at sea onboard an amphibious assault ship….

Analysts agreed that this series of vertical landings signals the problematic vertical landing variant is starting to recover from a series of technical glitches that resulted in schedule slips and the redesigns of some ancillary equipment and structural elements of the aircraft.

Can you say “get this shit fixed before they pull the whole damn plug”? Kids on probation are encouraged to straighten up.

For the record, Murdoc would like to see the F-35B work, though not at any cost.


      1. What the really ought to do is ferry at least a fighter squadron down to the Falklands. No way in the world could they re-take the islands again without nukes so they better be ready to defend them.

  1. As someone who spent 21 years in Naval Aviation Maintenance, I’m not sure sure about the whole concept.

    When you try to make a single platform that can do everything, you end up with a platform that doesn’t do anything really well.

    There is good reason that, up until fairly recent decades, there were fighters and bombers and VTOL and Elint and ground support craft that were of different designs and capabilities.

    For the same reason you don’t hire a plumber when you have an electrical problem. The same reason you don’t see offensive linemen lining up on the outside to run post patterns.

    The same goes for the pilots as well. Air to Ground and Air to Air are two completely different skillsets which require different core competencies and different training.

    With aircraft that can be configured for both roles and all of the myriad of variations of those roles, by necessity, pilots will have to be trained in both roles rather than specializing in one or the other, effectively reducing the training relative to that of specialized pilots by half.

    I personally believe that in warfighting, as with many other aspects in life, the object shouldn’t be to produce units that are efficient in terms of being able to perform varieties of tasks moderately well; but rather are effective in terms of being able to perform their assigned tasks as well as can be concievably achieved.

    There is no one size fits all solutin to every problem. The more versatile something is, genearlly speaking, the more tradeoffs had to be made to make it so.

    Aviation Warfare is no exception.

    1. We know that the F-35 is a designed-by-committee pig. In most areas of performance, it is no better and maybe worse than the models it is supposed to replace.

  2. Good points. Commonality is great if it works, and the cost savings are realised (as you’ve noted…………they’re usually not). I have to think if all new weapon systems R & D was still on the manufacturer’s (who’d like to score those BIG TAXPAYER BUKCS) dime; they’d be much more efficient at design and development, and perhaps not take nearly so long getting a viable model up and running for the military’s shopping pleasure.

  3. And the ghost of Robert McNamara haunts us still. Ask old Navy hands their opinion of the naval version of the F-111. ISTR a 4-star Admiral telling Congress “there’s not enough thrust in Christendom to make this plane a fighter”.

  4. That’s an interesting concept Sailorcurt.

    Now I know why I shouldn’t have had my dentist remove my hemorrhoids.

    It sure left a bitter taste in my mouth.

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