Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, January 16, 2012

You Just Gotta Be Shitting Me; F-35C Edition

This is just too much:
Leaked Pentagon documents claim a design flaw in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has caused eight simulated landings to fail. The “F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Concurrency Quick Look Review” claimed the flaw meant that the “arrestor” hook, used to stop the plane during landing, was too close to the plane’s wheels.
This chart shows the distances from the main gear to the tailhook on a number of naval aircraft.

As noted in some of the articles on this, the problem is that they can't relocate or lengthen the tailhook on the F-35C. Unlike other airplanes, where the hook retracts up against the fuselage (and is visible in-flight), the F-35C's hook is retracted and stowed internally, so the hook is within the stealth skin. So they just can't move it aft and let it ride out in the breeze, as that would tend to compromise the stealthiness of the airplane.

The Navy has been successfully designing carrier-capable aircraft for the last ninety or so years. There are specs on how the geometry of a tailhook should be set up. Apparently, the upper-level project managers just disregarded them and figured that they could ignore proven engineering art and that as long as the hook could touch the deck, the pilots would make it work.

This is too much. It's been known for awhile that the F-35B (and the V-22) has a problem with melting the decks.

Stalin would have had the program managers shot by now. We, on the other hand, are just throwing billions of dollars at this project and will throw tens of billions more in order to make it work. Even if we have to retire a carrier to do it.


montag said...

Sounds like time to start working on the F-36.

J4rh34d said...

LM appear to lack in institutional memory. The last trap-and-cat they seem to have worked on was in the late 60s, the S-3 Viking. Any engineer who worked on that would be retired by now.

From a purely selfish perspective, as an antiquated 03, I would like to see the program collapse into one version, the F-35B. No hook or runway required. I've been in situations where we needed air support up close and personal.

Joe said...

The person who drew that powerpoint slide needs reassignment. Do they still put people on KP?

Frank Van Haste said...

Dear Miss Fit:

I am confident that this engineering inconvenience can and will be ameliorated at great expense and with the introduction of substantial complexity in the arresting system.

Is it time to start describing the F-35 program as "too big to fail"?

Best regards,