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?