Some Things One Has To Laugh At Even If It’s Funded By Tax Dollars

The cost overruns and delays of the F-35 programme for fighter jets are technological marvels. How in this day of automation can things go so wrong? Perhaps it’s a human failing to mis-use IT to make errors faster…

The latest boondoggle with the F-35 is that the carrier version has wheeled undercarriage too close to the tail-hook. When the wheels role over the arresting cable on the deck of a carrier ship, the cable takes some time to snap back and the tail-hook may have passed by in the interim.

The whole programme has a bunch of technical failings:
“Other F-35 program problems identified in the QLR Report included the helmet visual cueing which is seriously affected by design issues and airframe buffet in the heart of the combat envelope. Also, all F-35 variants suffer from paper-thin weight margins, unsafe fuel dumping, flight restrictions on diving, speed and proximity to lightning hazards to name a few. And, it can only be flown during the daytime.”

Is this a weapons-system or consumer goods designed by lawyers? Clearly this project lacks coherence or even identifiable goals. I just don’t understand how the human beings involved in the design could be so unable to compare notes between what is desired and current status. Are they lost in a space-time warp where there are no straight lines?

Normally, I would chuckle at the foibles of the USA running such a project but UK and Canada have also signed up… 🙁

The F-35 appears to be a “re-write”. If one makes the decision to start over, one must accept the serious responsibility of doing a lot of things right the first time. It is a recipe for failure to continually mess up a project. It either never finishes or never meets the needs. Is it time to write off the F-35 and start over? Is there any possibility or probability that the current managers will get their act together before the project is stopped?

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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25 Responses to Some Things One Has To Laugh At Even If It’s Funded By Tax Dollars

  1. SunkNath says:

    The B2 Spirit also known as the Stealth Bomber sends the frequancy waves back to the radar but at shorter legnths so the radar cncelles them out because it is too small. This is because the radar (RWR) thinks it is a bired flying through the air.

    You can make a plane invisibal to the radar. You will just have to choese the right material for the job. The B2 Spirit can be flown in the night, just because it has sections doesnt mean that it can not be flown in the night.

  2. oiaohm says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intercontinental_ballistic_missile

    Robert Pogson even that it can be guided it is still ballistic. This is where people get caught. You have missed something about a bullet.

    Maneuverable reentry vehicle is the warhead itself. So once warhead split from ballistic missile enters the earth atmosphere it can partly steer itself. But the big catch the dominate force is gravity. Altering it resistance to air to alter where it hits.

    Multiple independently target-able reentry vehicle on the top of a ICBM have to be deployed at particular locations. Now the ICBM is not targeting one location its targeting many. And it down right better let go of its rounds in the right places.

    The gyros are a form of resistance. So you are losing speed to alter course. Lose too much its kinda splat. This is why only a fine amount of alteration can be done.

    Ballistic moves like bullet correct but you missed something about a bullet. inertia, gravitation,
    air-drag and gyro effects. A bullet is spun by the barrel so it goes straight. Yes a gyro effect.

    Good example is that one when you have a spinning wheel sitting in a chair that rotates and if you move the gyro you can make the chair move.

    Yes the big Ballistic missile still obeying the rules you put up. Only thing is air-drag and gyro effects are controllable. Air-drag works while going up to get rocket on right course. Gyro can be used for fine corrections once Air-drag is not usable. Still you will hope a ICBM are not using the gyro correct since it can equal coming up short. That is not particularly good.

    This is steering by resistance alone.

    Yes its not the ICBM engine that is steering. I know its warped that you can steer while coasting.

    Some satellites have been altered in orbit by the same method when they are out of booster fuel to make sure they go splat where there is no population.

    Solar power they can still run there gyro stabilization. Cannot increase orbit height with it. But you can kinda direct where you will end up. Not quickly. Gyro systems are to stabilize the flight path. So a small bumps into things don’t ruin it either.

    All these are still ballistic problems. Item is still falling by the rules that define a ballistic object. Gyro just allows you to play with the where a bit.

  3. Something guided should not be called a ballistic missile. “Ballistic” means that it moves like a bullet: inertia, gravitation, air-drag… A missile that steers itself is a guided missile. ICBMs reach outer space with engine finished. They coast through space and re-enter the atmosphere. If they land a nuclear weapon within a kilometer of the target it is toast. No need for GPS.

  4. oiaohm says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic_missile

    Robert Pogson Ballistic missile and unguided is a common mistake. Look at the graphic of the v2 notice the control system. v2 used a analog gyro-based control system to guide to target.

    The gyro are still there for a reason. Its not only detecting course. By driving gyro you in fact minor-ally effect course. Ie you want to be only off course by a few hundreds of a degree other wise this is not going help you. But over a long distance a few hundreds of a degree add up. So almost 100 percent unguided in the edge of space stage but not unguided.

    “Much of the path is in thin air after burnout of the engine so no steering is possible.” Correct and incorrect. V2 master the art basically steering once in the thin air using the gyros. Other means to steer is in multi warhead missiles. How and when the warhead are released. So basically the missile can change course by using the warhead thrust that is used to cause separation.

    Also if off course you don’t want the weapon dropping back in. Something went wrong on the launch pad and stead of going to target it is now going to your capital. In that case you want the weapon to self destruct. If target can trick weapon that its going to your capital. Basically you require a weakness.

    Also warhead or missile also gets means of steering on reentry. Depending on angle of entry this section of guidance can move the impact point a few 100 kms left or right of where it entered.

    Angle of reentry from a multi warhead is effected by separation. Guidance is a lot more important that many people would think to a Ballistic missile.

    Also not all Ballistic missiles are nukes.

    There are Ballistic shells you can fire from tanks that will alter there flight path. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM1111_Mid-Range_Munition Smaller scale of Ballistic missile warheads.

    There is a lot more guidance in a Ballistic Missile than most people think.

    Old ballistic stuff was unguided pre the V2. As the guidance tech is getting smaller lot of items that people would think of as unguided is not. Tank shells most people would think that they are just ballistic so unguided. Does not have case any more.

    So far the tech is not small enough to put in bullets.

  5. By definition a ballistic missile is unguided. It’s a bullet that’s a bomb. Much of the path is in thin air after burnout of the engine so no steering is possible. No steering is needed since fusion warheads toast a large area easily hit. Ballistic missiles are obsolete technology. That’s why USA/Russia agreed to cut back on them. These days almost everything in the atmosphere is guided because it’s more efficient to deliver smaller warheads more accurately.

  6. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon ballistic missile category unguided by external means is false for USA and Russian class weapons.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic_missile

    There control systems both reference the one of the two major gps networks to make sure they are on path.

    unguided by external means is the old V rockets. Internal guidance systems can develop errors so they were just as likely to land in the wrong city in england or even go completely the wrong direction off launch pad. Basically internal guidance is pray the internal guidance is not defective.

    tomhawk cruse is the hardest because it optical guidance. That had to be disabled before it will depend on it GPS for reference. Once its depending on that it can be taken off track.

    Long range Ballistic Missiles are blind they are oversized GPS guided weapons. Yes they have internal gyros but exactly like the v rockets those can get out of alignment. They need external reference so they don’t do friendly fire. If someone has the gear to mess with the require external reference you could be in for major case of hurt if you use the weapon. There is a safe guard but is not that useful. If GPS and gyro is disagreeing far enough self destruct. Still means person jamming GPS has won missile does not hit target. But at least you did not send you friendly troops to hell.

    Long range Ballistic Missiles have limited tactical usage due to how badly they can screw up.

    To be correct you lack of weapon knowledge is showing Clarence Moon. Formal education can make you a formal idiot presuming how the weapons function today. Your statement is correct for a V2 rocket.

    Clarence Moon
    “I don’t think anyone has ever tried to make a jet fighter out of such materials, though. They are not strong enough.”
    Not the full airframe correct but things like the windshield glass and hardened by ceramic outer paneling.

    Under wing plating. Can be full ceramic remember is not only fairly light but its also operating as radar absorbing material and heat shield so reducing visible thermal print.

    Aurora / SR-75 Penetrator complete outer skin is ceramic. Its goes twice the speed of sound+. So it basically coated in radar absorbing material. Skinning the ceramic is more than strong enough.

    Yes normally you would expect a stealth fighter jet to be carbon fiber airframe basically coated in ceramic to operate as radar absorbing material or fiberglass or even Kevlar. Of course any section of the airframe that the ceramic strong enough todo you will skip the carbon fiber.

    Some sections to all of a carbon fiber airframe are in fact fiberglass and Kevlar mixed with carbon fiber. Basically integrating radar absorbing material. into airframe. Yep carbon fiber strength everything else to hide the fact the carbon fiber is there and in the process provide a little more strength to the airframe. Remember weight is a issue. So the more you radar absorbing material does the better. Extra strength and stealth and the same time is a great deal.

    So yes its possible to build a complete hybrid airframe that is by it nature stealth.

    Clarence Moon basically a stealth fighter jet is a brew of materials. The reflective materials have to be aligned right and shield by radar absorbing material of enough thickness to prevent refection.

    Paint simply lack the require thickness in most cases against all bar minor radar absorbing errors in design.

    Fighter aircraft is a brew of materials you can screw up really badly. Get you ratios of carbon fiber to fiberglass and Kevlar wrong that area either will be weak or not stealth. Hopefully not stealth meaning you used too much carbon fiber so it strong enough. Hopefully enough that you can just paint the area to repair. If not its destroy the aircraft and start over.

    Bad part here. Area that is weak will still be stealth. Yes detect the case can be really fun test first flight of aircraft and it breaks up is the worst possible with that mistake.

    Your mistake was thinking paint was more than a repair tool. Clarence Moon. That is all the paint is to repair where the design is stuffed to a limited level.

    Stealth aircraft is a very complex request. Even for a little drone aircraft. Human on board is harder. You have to hide the Human and control systems as well. Yes humans are partly radar reflective. Humans need bigger control systems than a drone.

    I made the mistake once of attempting to design a stealth drone to sell. So I got to know this mess better than I wish I did.

  7. Clarence Moon says:

    “Glass composites and many other ceramic composites that are Dielectric composites have a zero reflect and in fact can be Radar-absorbing material as well.”

    I don’t think anyone has ever tried to make a jet fighter out of such materials, though. They are not strong enough.

    “Iran does have weapon guidance jamming for tomhawk cruse missiles and other USA long range weapon tech.”

    Your lack of a formal education is showing, Mr. Oiaohm. Anything in the ballistic missile category is by definition unguided by external means.

  8. oiaohm says:

    Really I am not kidding when I say the smallest bit of reflective material counts counts.

    Pilot helmets in the F22 had to be altered to maintain stealth. Yep aircraft could be tracked because someone uses the wrong helmet. Making a radar stealth aircraft is hard. Smallest mistake will undo it all.

  9. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon
    “And you will see that carbon or boron fiber composites are not the answer to stealth and that radar wave absorbent coatings are essential to the process.”
    Glass composites and many other ceramic composites that are Dielectric composites have a zero reflect and in fact can be Radar-absorbing material as well.

    Paint alone will not work. Reasons send a strong enough signal and the paint will not absorb all the signal. So you will still reflect. Paint is your last level to perfect the stealth the aircraft must already have.

    The stealth fighter F-117 without its paint. Is still almost 100 percent stealth against a single tower if it flying straight at. Because its design. reflects radar all right. Just not back to where it came from. So the radar tower cannot see it coming.

    Clarence Moon think of it this way what you were talking about was like painting black paint over the mirror. Hit the mirror will a large enough light source even that you painted it the bugger will still reflect. How findable that black painted mirror is. Directly relates to it size and the direction it facing. Smaller less reflect. Less you have to hide. Also just like black paint radar absorbing paint does have a radar profile. Too thick of coating you might as well not put it all since it will reflect anyhow.

    Yes black paint with light works almost exactly how Radar-absorbing material paint works with radar and its something you can do as a lab experiment to explain in visible ways how it works.

    A stealth airframe will be designed to reflect in direction areas of Radar-absorbing material and not back to the radar tower that sent the ping.

    Anything stealth the most critical part is Vehicle shape. In an aircraft this has to start at the airframe. You cannot take a non stealth aircraft paint it and magically make it stealth.

    There is a very big reason take a Super Hornet I put enough paint on to fix the radar issue. It will not fly. You could try to advance the paint but is airframe is designed to reflect radar in all directions. You have to cover basically everywhere. Even the way its engines blades are radar reflecting. Air intakes on stealth aircraft have to be designed better to block the radar noise of the engines.

    And I think you got your number wrong as well Clarence Moon. F-111 “Aardvark” paint that is not stealth. The paint you would be requesting would be the paint for the B2. Reason F-115 paint does not like heat. F-115 had a lot of trouble in iraq with there coating they almost had to be re-coated after ever usage. That is the other problem with Radar-absorbing material paint its on the outside so it gets damaged a lot. Making it very problematic to use in combat.

    SR-71 Blackbird is also a good read. Even that is airframe is prity darn stealth. You can still shot it down with a radar guided missile. Reason jet engine exhaust shows up on radar. So you lock the missile on to the exhaust coming out the engine and the aircraft is kinda going down.

    Paint on a old aircraft design is a full waste of time. All you do is 100 percent make sure that when someone locks a missile on to you they have locked it exactly on your engines. Since that is now the biggest radar target of the aircraft. So you must alter the engines and that leads to having to alter the airframe. Now sees you in hell with a untested airframe.

    Really Clarence Moon how are you going to paint the exhaust fumes? Fuel additives don’t work. The radar print is coming from the difference in speed between the still air and the exhaust gases. Say mirage effect.

    You are off on baloney Clarence Moon.

    Stealth aircraft design.
    Get airframe right.
    Get engines right. (this is wrong you might as well stop now)
    Get blocks Radar-absorbing material in the right places inside the aircraft.
    Then finish the thing off with paint to fix up any defects you have.

    Any other method you don’t end up with a useful stealth aircraft. Basically if a aircraft is in the field and you cannot repaint it you want it to at least maintain some of it stealth.

    Clarence Moon Yes you are right stealth aircraft are not required in large numbers.

    North Korea and Iran both have weapon system that can take out conventional aircraft effectively.

    Iran does have weapon guidance jamming for tomhawk cruse missiles and other USA long range weapon tech.

    Also there is another problem. There is such things a optical locking weapons. If the country like Iran that we know has optical and radar locking. Your stealth aircraft is still a sitting duck just it might get close enough to the optical to take it out where the conversation will not. Where did iran get those from North Korea.

    So yes both have the means to neutralize radar stealth aircraft. optical does infrared and into large section of ultraviolet. So yes it can see threw conventional cloud cover. Worst part is silent. There will be no weapon lock warning. If the weapon is stealth you are really in trouble because you will not get a collision detection warning. Basically flying along next min exploding.

    This is why clear balloon based drones are being developed. Hopefully to be able to hide from optical and radar guided to locate the optical particularly. Radar you can attempt to jam to let conventional get it. Optical is the true prick from hell. Hard to find worse most likely if is fired correct its 1 shot 1 kill because the target will not even know they have been fired on to be able todo anything.

    Basically the F-35 is already weak on the battle field.

    Dr Loser
    “Write your own version of ‘ls’ and plonk it in your home directory. This version of ‘ls’ will spawn off a shell waiting at your later convenience.”

    That does not work in my system. Home is mounted noexec. Also selinux configure correct take this out as well. Linux has come a long way from the time of Unix.

  10. Clarence Moon wrote, “how can he account for the lack of consumer demand for Linux and FLOSS products?”

    I know many millions of people do buy GNU/Linux systems and many more would if they were found on retail shelves. We saw that when ASUS shipped netbooks with GNU/Linux. ASUS could not keep up with demand. Dell is selling millions of GNU/Linux units annually. There is no lack of consumer demand. There is a lack of retail supply managed by M$ deliberately and illegally.

  11. Kozmcrae says:

    “It’s a damn sight better than unfounded generalisations about how “ordinary people” can detect “security issues.””

    It’s difficult to detect that something truly is wrong with your computer when it’s in a constant state of flux. Microsoft Windows users expect the unexpected. That’s a dangerous state of mind to be in with your computer.

    As you well know Dr., GNU/Linux doesn’t do anything unless you ask it to.

  12. Yes, Dr Loser, malware running on your PC is a security issue. What’s it doing, eh?

  13. Dr Loser wrote, “Tell me, Robert. Does that sound remotely secure to you?”

    Yes it does but not with the nuances you put on it. File permissions work very well in GNU/Linux. That other OS did not discover them for ages and let malware run anything, anytime, and anywhere.

  14. Ivan says:

    “How in this day of automation can things go so wrong?”

    Automation doesn’t help with the engineer’s piss poor design decisions nor will automation fix budget overruns in (arguably useless) government expenditures.

  15. Dr Loser says:

    Well, I say the trivial ‘ls’ attack will work on just about any OS.

    I was lying. It only works on a cretinous OS that bundles up a huge amount of kernel-relevant activity (ie listing files, in this case) and for some reason yet to be explained puts them in trivial little executables, located somewhere along a random path defining where to find executables.

    Tell me, Robert. Does that sound remotely secure to you?

  16. Dr Loser says:

    @Robert:

    “Nonsense. the average person knows that their PC running that other OS slows down over time due to the weight of malware on it among other things.”

    That’s not really a security issue, is it?

    If your computer runs slow, you have a performance issue. Whether or not this is caused by malware or crapware or whatever: it is a performance issue.

    To be brutally honest about this, Robert, I don’t think you have a clue about what a security issue might be. They start with buffer overruns, continue through man-in-the-middle attacks, and at the extreme end involve root-kits. There’s an interesting example of a root-kit attack, described in the Unix Hater’s Manual, which goes as follows:

    Write your own version of ‘ls’ and plonk it in your home directory. This version of ‘ls’ will spawn off a shell waiting at your later convenience.

    Now, ask your local *nix SysAdmin to visit your terminal and explain why ‘ls’ doesn’t seem to list JPGs (or whatever). If said SysAdmin (or even person with SysAdmin rights) is stupid enough, they won’t type /usr/bin/ls … they will execute the local copy.

    This sort of stuff will work on just about any operating system. Security these days is less about mythical exploits and more about phishing.

    Oh, and if you want to immerse yourself in actual security issues, I can do no better than to recommend http://www.mitre.org. It’s a damn sight better than unfounded generalisations about how “ordinary people” can detect “security issues.”

    Because, you know, they can’t.

  17. Clarence Moon says:

    “Nonsense”, says Mr. Pogson dismissively.

    But then how can he account for the lack of consumer demand for Linux and FLOSS products? The notion of “monopolistic abuse of the consumer” is bound to figure in any reply, but there will be no discussion as to how such a thing could be wielded in this day and age where even Tickle Me Elmo can emerge from obscurity and become an overwhelming demand at the drop of a tweet.

  18. At the right angles anything is reflective. The smooth surfaces needed for a thing to fly become like a mirror at the right angle. The shape of aircraft can minimize reflectance directly back to the radiator but will be defeated by an array of receptors or the aircraft’s own use of radar/radio.

    Air superiority is a multi-dimensional organism and stealth is just a part of it. Unfortunately, the F-35 as an attempt at stealth seems to fall short of its intended role.

  19. Clarence Moon wrote, “It is nearly impossible for an average person to test security issues themselves”.

    Nonsense. the average person knows that their PC running that other OS slows down over time due to the weight of malware on it among other things. They also know the salesman is only too glad to sell them something to reduce the rate of malware collections. It’s one of the first thing a new user notices.

    Similarly users can judge performance by how long it takes to login or to start an application. They can count “potatoes” or heartbeats. I knew one teacher counted XP logins by how many cups of coffee she could drink before she had a usable desktop. I could not believe she used a machine that took minutes per click but she was used to it.

    Efficiency is not performance. Efficiency is performance/effort or performance/$ or performance/watt, some ratio. Efficiency is very high using GNU/Linux because you get what you want very quickly and with minimal effort. My users and students found they could do amazing things with GNU/Linux and very little effort. Students did installations of GNU/Linux in a few minutes. Just commissioning a NIB (new in box) PC running that other OS took more time than installing GNU/Linux.

  20. Clarence Moon says:

    “Really stealth paint does not work.”

    Initially I was willing to give you the point, Mr. Oiaohm, but I did bother to look it all up, if only superficially, and it looks to me like you are off on another of your baloney rants. A layman’s guide to the subject is here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stealth_technology#Non-metallic_airframe

    And you will see that carbon or boron fiber composites are not the answer to stealth and that radar wave absorbent coatings are essential to the process. Of course that does not mean that the Navy can get some F-111 paint from the Air Force and do anything to the Rhino to make it do anything other than look strange, but coatings are not just something to take the shine off.

    I don’t know how much stealth is even worth in the places where it is likely to be used. If all we are fighting are nations such as Iraq or Afghanistan or even North Korea or Iran, non-stealthy weapons are more than enough to get the job done.

    Pogson laughs at the costs of a new, leading edge weapons system with some accuracy. Consider the problem that Iran might have doing the same thing in order to come up with something that is effective against current generation NATO aircraft. They don’t have the intensive training in process to counter NATO forces even without stealth thrown in.

    Iraq didn’t have any ability to counter the stand-off sort of initial attack that destroyed their command and control systems or the ability to slug it out with ground forces. Moammar Gadhafi could not do anything to prevent conventional aircraft from destroying his ground forces whenever they were deployed against the rebel forces either.

  21. Clarence Moon says:

    “The characteristics that make GNU/Linux a great OS for servers also work for desktops: security, efficiency, and performance.”

    You are entitled to your opinion, Mr. Pogson, particularly on your own blog. But consider that your criteria listed above may not gibe with a lot of people who buy or influence the purchase of desktop computers.

    First of all, is Linux really all that wonderful in terms of security, efficiency, and performance as you suggest? If it were, I might actually use it myself rather than occasionally installing it on some out of service machine to see what the latest fuss is all about.

    It is nearly impossible for an average person to test security issues themselves, since their familiarity with security is limited to remembering the passwords and account IDs that they use to access their favorite sites and their computer itself, if it even uses a password. I think that the average person would simply see the same web page and same log-in requirements and conclude that security was the same for Linux as it is for Windows. I know that is not the issue, but we are talking about what might motivate someone to choose and use Linux instead of Windows.

    Ditto for efficiency and performance which are more or less the same thing. An average person has a sort of rote procedure for doing things with their computer and the chances are that routine is shaped by the individual applications that they use. If you give them Linux and some different set of applications to use, their first impression will be that the thing is harder to use, if only because their pre-set routine is no longer operable. You will have to admit that the trend in Linux GUIs has long been toward mimicking Windows and/or Macintosh because even the Linux developers themselves are subconsciously swayed in the main stream directions.

    Performance, where it can be measured directly, is mostly at the mercy of the application doing the performing, I think, since it is running as fast as it can once it is launched and has no other applications contending for services. I don’t see where Linux could do much to change that. A further problem for the average person is that performance testing would mostly have to be run side by side to benchmark results and few are equipped and fewer are motivated to even try.

    I think that your perceived results are being seen through the lens of bias towards Linux and against Microsoft.

  22. oiaohm says:

    Really stealth paint does not work. The airframe itself has to be a stealth design then the materials put on top of it have to compatible stealth design.

    Have you seen all that is required to make a fully fiberglass boat non stealth to general radar. Same kind of item is used on weather ballons.

    The amount of metal wrong you need to give away an aircraft is bugger all.

    Really lousy on the desktop does not just fall to Linux alone. Linux developers repeatedly tried with ywindows and directfb and others to leave the server aspects of the desktop behind.

    Issue comes if the only way video card makers will provide you with drivers is for the old Unix X11 because this way they don’t have to maintain extra code bases for freebsd and solarias you are kinda screwed.

    History tells a way different story to you Clarence Moon. Linux desktop has had everything against it.

    Hardware makers lack of applications …. Really its that FOSS developers are tough that it still going.

    Yet a long last the Linux world is being able to break free.

  23. Clarence Moon wrote, “When you think about it, Linux has a similar sort of problem in trying to keep all the server aspects of Unix causing it to be a lousy desktop OS”

    Chuckle. Wishful thinking. The characteristics that make GNU/Linux a great OS for servers also work for desktops: security, efficiency, and performance. I have never seen a GNU/Linux system that did not perform better than the same hardware with that other OS.

  24. Clarence Moon says:

    At first glance, the Lightning II does suffer significantly from the jack-of-all-trades syndrome, particularly due to the V/STOL variant for the USMC. There is an urge, it seems, to save money and the government bean counters concluded that commonality of parts was a higher goal than common sense. Hence the notion of a sporty amphibeous dump truck.

    The Navy’s F/A-18, particularly the E/F/Q models showed that a wide range of missions could be mastered by a single basic airframe, but I think the Marines were just the last straw. Maybe they should have just come up with a stealth paint for the Super Hornet.

    When you think about it, Linux has a similar sort of problem in trying to keep all the server aspects of Unix causing it to be a lousy desktop OS.

  25. oiaohm says:

    F-35 is not different to every other radar avoiding aircraft they are buggy for a long time.

    Remember the stealth fighter is that unstable that if the flight computer goes off line there is no way a human could take over manual controls and fly it.

    The stealth bomber was altered in design to make it more stable even that its less stealth.

    F-35 uses more composite materials. Composite materials might not reflect radar but they do kinda take offerece to being hit with lightning. Reason is to make them radar non reflective you make them non conductive in the process. So kinda explode when hit by lightning since all the power of the lightning is turned to heat.

    Paper thin weight margins would also be stealth. The smaller the aircraft is the simpler it is to hide. So the smaller you want the wing area so less lift. So the smaller you margin for error.

    Tail hook mounting may be a metal issue. Without moving the mounting there are other tail hook designs that effectively move the impact point on the deck backwards. Of course the closer to the wheels they can have the tail hook mount the less metal for hooking is in the aircraft. Again stealth requirements.

    “And, it can only be flown during the daytime.” This sound special but any aircraft still having sections changed is not allowed to be flown at night.

    Basically remove requirement for aircraft to be stealth and you options really open up.

    Building stealth stuff is not simple.

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