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Six Lockheed F-22 Raptors have Y2K-esque glitch of their own over the Pacific

Lockheed’s F-22 Raptor is the most advanced fighter in the world with its stealth capabilities, advanced radar, state of the art weapons systems and ultra-efficient turbofans which allow the F-22 to "supercruise" at supersonic speeds without an afterburner. The Raptor has gone up against the best that the US Air Force and Navy has to offer taking out F-15s, F-16s and F/A-18 Super Hornets during simulated war games in Alaska. The Raptor-led "Blue Air" team was able to rack up an impressive 241-to-2 kill ratio during the exercise against the "Red Air" threat -- the two kills on the blue team were from the 30-year old F-15 teammates and not the new Raptors.

But while the simulated war games were a somewhat easy feat for the Raptor, something more mundane was able to cripple six aircraft on a 12 to 15 hours flight from Hawaii to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. The U.S. Air Force's mighty Raptor was felled by the International Date Line (IDL).

When the group of Raptors crossed over the IDL, multiple computer systems crashed on the planes. Everything from fuel subsystems, to navigation and partial communications were completely taken offline. Numerous attempts were made to "reboot" the systems to no avail.

Luckily for the Raptors, there were no weather issues that day so visibility was not a problem. Also, the Raptors had their refueling tankers as guide dogs to "carry" them back to safety. "They needed help. Had they gotten separated from their tankers or had the weather been bad, they had no attitude reference. They had no communications or navigation," said Retired Air Force Major General Don Shepperd. "They would have turned around and probably could have found the Hawaiian Islands. But if the weather had been bad on approach, there could have been real trouble.”

"The tankers brought them back to Hawaii. This could have been real serious. It certainly could have been real serious if the weather had been bad," Shepperd continued. "It turned out OK. It was fixed in 48 hours. It was a computer glitch in the millions of lines of code, somebody made an error in a couple lines of the code and everything goes."

Luckily for the pilots behind the controls of the Raptors, they were not involved in a combat situation. Had they been, it could have been a disastrous folly by the U.S. Air Force to have to admit that their aircraft which cost $125+ million USD apiece were knocked out of the sky due to a few lines of computer code. "And luckily this time we found out about it before combat. We got it fixed with tiger teams in about 48 hours and the airplanes were flying again, completed their deployment. But this could have been real serious in combat," said Shepperd.

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By cochy on 2/26/2007 11:16:45 AM , Rating: 2
Weird story.

12-15 hours from Hawaii to Japan? Are these things supersonic or hot air balloons? Shouldn't take more than a few hours for even a commercial airliner to cross that distance, considering it takes about 15 hours to get from Toronto to Hong Kong.

RE: Hmmmmm
By TomZ on 2/26/2007 11:40:41 AM , Rating: 2
Hawaii to Japan is 3850 miles - do the math - there's no way it's a "few hours."

RE: Hmmmmm
By cochy on 2/26/2007 11:50:35 AM , Rating: 2
Well like I said, Toronto Hong Kong is 15 hours and that's 7800 miles. Plus I'm assuming these planes move a tad faster than an Airbus. Though I did underestimate the distance from Hawaii, I always forget that it's as far south as it is.

RE: Hmmmmm
By Brassbullet on 2/26/2007 2:28:29 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, they were flying with their tanker, either a KC-135 (B707) or a KC-10 (DC-10).

Generally military aircraft do not fly at the altiudes that commercial aircraft fly at, and fighter jets are especially inefficent flying at those altitudes.

I would expect that the flight group was around 20-30k and moving slower than would a JAL 747 going the same route.

RE: Hmmmmm
By yacoub on 2/26/2007 1:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
So.... 8-10 hours?

RE: Hmmmmm
By Triring on 2/26/2007 9:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
They took off from Kadena in Okinawa right next to Taiwan.
It's a three hour flight from Tokyo.
The Tokyo-Honolulu flight takes about 8-10 hours depending on which way you are heading affected by the jet stream.
So twelve hours in sub-sonic flight exercising refuel maneuvers doesn't seem that outrageous.

RE: Hmmmmm
By MrTeal on 2/26/2007 2:14:37 PM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind they were flying with their tankers. The F-22A can supercruise, but I think the Stratotanker might have trouble keeping up.

RE: Hmmmmm
By eryco on 2/26/2007 3:41:43 PM , Rating: 4
They should have left the fuel lines attached so the F22s could have towed the StratoTanker into supercruise...

Maintaining Air-superiority is one thing.....
By osalcido on 2/26/2007 2:57:43 PM , Rating: 2
Spending $125 Million a piece on these aircraft when our only major conflicts in the past year have been against some less than well equipped dictators in Africa and the MidEast... that $125 million could've been better spent on a few (dozen) more armored APCs so our troops on the ground don't have to get around in unarmored SUVs...

RE: Maintaining Air-superiority is one thing.....
By stromgald on 2/26/2007 3:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
With that mentality, the Chinese would be kicking our butts in 2020, if not sooner. It's a simple fact: you have to keeep dvancing or else you will be overtaken.

RE: Maintaining Air-superiority is one thing.....
By osalcido on 2/26/2007 5:30:03 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah I think the Soviet Union subscribed to that doctrine... and look what happened to them.

Progress is fine and dandy. But for the price of one of these things you could feed thousands of Americans or build a couple of schools , etc.

Progress in moderation would be best.

RE: Maintaining Air-superiority is one thing.....
By osalcido on 2/26/2007 5:32:24 PM , Rating: 2
Afterall, what good is futuristic weaponry when it's defending a decaying civilization? How ironic that these high-tech things are built to defend cities with crumbling infrastructures

By Scabies on 2/26/2007 6:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
You must live in St Louis?
wait no thats just crumbling abandoned buildings (theyre working on this... kinda)

By SmokeRngs on 2/27/2007 10:23:32 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah I think the Soviet Union subscribed to that doctrine... and look what happened to them.

The arms race was able to bankrupt the Soviet Union because it did not have the financial infrastructure and policies in place to drive the economy along. Military and government spending were the only things driving the economy and that is not sustainable. That's the simplified reason why the Soviet Union fell. Remember, the US was obviously in the same arms race and did not go bankrupt. What makes you think it would bankrupt the US now?

By gsellis on 2/26/2007 1:54:49 PM , Rating: 3
I would not want to be the first pilot to fly south of the equator after this bit of news.

RE: Equator
By Scabies on 2/26/2007 3:04:45 PM , Rating: 3
and I DEFINATELY would not like to be in your formation any other time.
Or in your geography class.

RE: Equator
By gsellis on 2/26/2007 3:16:47 PM , Rating: 3
There have been problems with nav computers as they crossed 0 in the past. Suddenly, the plane thinks it is going 'North'. I know some commerial planes required an upgrade to fly to South America in the 80's.

Would not want to be in your history class... ;)

RE: Equator
By porkpie on 2/28/2007 10:29:20 AM , Rating: 2
I HOPE he was joking-- but I'm not too sure.

I think
By suryad on 2/26/2007 6:53:43 PM , Rating: 1
those exercise numbers and kill ratios etc are quite doctored up just to get the bean counters all happy and produce large orders. The F22 is an impressive piece of machinery and a marvelous technological achievement no doubt but I doubt those are actual numbers. It wont be the first time the military will have lied to us after all.

RE: I think
By stromgald on 2/26/2007 7:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
You think . . . maybe you should get some knowledge before speaking up. The F-15C has an acutal kill ratio of 95-0. So, the simluated combat of the F-15's successor gets 241-2 isn't so far fetched when you look at the real numbers from previous air superiority aircraft. Then again, you'll probably claim that the 95-0 number is made up to.

RE: I think
By Brassbullet on 2/27/2007 1:24:38 AM , Rating: 2
Kinda like the F-15 loses in excercises were padded and arranged so to scare Congressmen into funding the F-22?

Not that I have anything against the F-22.

RE: I think
By mino on 2/27/2007 5:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
No, they do not have to lie on this one.
Congressmen's lack of brainpower will suffice.

Just take into account that F15, not its weapons, radar or pilot training for that matter was designed to shoot down non-existent threat like Russian F-22.
They do not need to, there will be no 5-gen craft as stealthy as Raptor. Period.
What would be more informative is whether The raptors radar is able to detect themselves.
That would mean something as any enemy craft with simmilar abilities as F-22 will be spotted.

On the other hand it might make sense not to develop tech to see Raptor until there is a real F-22 threat on horizon as no one could steal tech that was not jet developed :). Heh.

RE: I think
By CascadingDarkness on 3/1/2007 6:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
No, they should develop it. They just need to keep it super secret and secure. Maybe they could put it in a 'lock box' somewhere.

RE: I think
By coldwarrior on 3/6/2007 10:09:05 AM , Rating: 2
The military doesn't lie to us and it is our military. There are some things that our military must hide for national security. I think they are releasing way too much information and the media is allowed to report way too much. Imagine a month before D-Day in WWII if the plan to win the war by invading at Normandy with a certain number of troops was broadcast on a world wide news channel.

By codeThug on 2/26/2007 10:45:35 AM , Rating: 5
rack up an impressive 241-to-2 kill ratio

Prolly due to wall hacks and aim bots...

RE: pwnage
By GoatMonkey on 2/26/2007 11:10:22 AM , Rating: 2
They h4x0r3d the radar with l33t st34lth ch34ts.

RE: pwnage
By mark2ft on 2/26/2007 3:38:19 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot wallspamming and flash immunity. And speed hack.

<no subject>
By Scabies on 2/26/2007 10:52:11 AM , Rating: 4
Oops. Was windows on the OS dev team?
I kid. Spatial disorientation could have been a HUGE problem. It takes a lot for a pilot to learn to trust their instruments, so when they go out, they can get screwed fast. Spatial disorientation is where the pilot's inner ear (thus overall perception) of planar orientation is skewed. For instance, if a pilot goes through a cloud bank and loses all visual cues as to where the earth is, which way is up and which way is down, they can begin to think that a few degrees rolled to the right or left (or even upside down) is the correct "level," or zero degrees. Then when they pop out and see what is correct... It is enough to cause a crash. This weather point that was reiterated over and over in DailyTech's quotes could have killed these pilots, and I imagine that the general press is fickle enough that it could have killed the F22 project in general.

RE: <no subject>
By Scabies on 2/26/2007 1:29:13 PM , Rating: 3
Jeez, was the windows thing too much for you? Could I get another negative for saying I am a Vista adopter?
Go look up spatial disorientation, and you'll see why having no instruments is really a life threatening situation.

RE: <no subject>
By CascadingDarkness on 3/1/2007 6:27:33 PM , Rating: 2
Good point. Even with clear skies at night can put you in similar situation. Not to much of a stretch to lose track of what's sky and what's ocean during a night maneuver.

You think they would learn
By nzervgpongo on 2/26/2007 12:26:18 PM , Rating: 3
The most amazing part of this story is that a simular thing happend to the last major fighter type introduced by the USAF.
The first time that F16s crossed the date line the whole formation inverted.
You think they would know to test for this kind of thing.

By marvdmartian on 3/7/2007 3:32:17 PM , Rating: 2
Geez, you'd think they would have inverted when they crossed the Equator.....being as everything is upside-down in the southern hemisphere, right? ;)

I was reading the story myself, and wondering if JPL (Jet Propulsion Labs) had anything to do with that software glitch. You remember them.....the nice folks that sent a couple Mars probes off into deep space when they failed to check and make certain that the spacecraft were using metric measurements, when in reality they were programmed for English (American) measurements. Yeah.....meters versus yards.....who'da ever thunk those few inches could make such a difference??? <sarcastic eye roll>

By EODetroit on 2/26/2007 5:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
The Cylons would totally pwn every F-22 in the sky, but that guy in the cropduster from ID would be immune and crash into their resurrection ship, killing them all.

RE: Cylons...
By BucDan on 3/8/2007 2:25:19 PM , Rating: 2
really...i see u believe that...well since the f-22 is a 5th generation aircraft which is stealth. the JSF is basically the little brother of the f-22 ....i say bring on all of that and we wont know until it is tested. all ur talkin about is just ur lil comment and not a maturly please and try no t to talk so immature

always the small things
By otispunkmeyer on 2/27/2007 7:13:42 AM , Rating: 2
whenever anything as complex as this is designed built and tested you fret over all the scenarios except the small, stupid ones that would seem to have zero bearing at all on what your doing.

then it happens and shit hits the fan. but as is usually the case, the small supposedly insignificant little quips are the ones that are easy to deal with. the 22's just need a little software jiggery pokery and it'll be fine.

still, this shows the reliance on technology. the planes were effectively blind. this is why i love mechanical back up systems....theres a certainty to them

RE: always the small things
By otispunkmeyer on 2/27/2007 7:16:50 AM , Rating: 2
forgot to add

at least they didnt fuck something major up like the engines or areodynamics. those are a little harder and alot more expesnive to fix

Don Shepperd is the problem
By timmiser on 3/1/2007 7:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
This guy is known to sensationalize stories (i.e.- Make them up!) and I don't believe anything that comes out of his mouth. As others have pointed out, it is obvious he has no idea what he is talking about.

We may not all be F-22 experts but most of us are computer experts and I have a hard time believing that a date/time return area will cause the program to shut down. Most programming systems, and I would like to think this includes the F22's systems, won't just "shut down" the entire program for something as trivial as an incorrect date or time.

Plus as already mutually agreed in this forum, the F22 probably can't fly too well with EVERY system shut down which is exactly what this guy says happened.

RE: Don Shepperd is the problem
By 0serg on 3/4/2007 1:53:26 AM , Rating: 2
Well, why not?
Lets think: crash occuried when planes crossed IDL. Since it is not really important for a fighter to know local time (does it matter, 17:32 or 19:32 is the time at the place where you shoot an enemy plane?), we could guess, that current time zone tracking was implemented as secondary subprogram on plane. It was written fast, since it was secondary, and had never been heavily tested, so when plane crossed IDL something really ugly may had happen - integer overflow, for example, causing this small secondary program to throw an exception. But there were no handlers for any exceptions, and since plane OS is, I think, real-time and thus "single-tasked", this single unhandled exception caused main computer to freeze. And unfortunately there were no "reset button" to do something with it - pilots had to fly without computer at all. Of course, main plain computer is NOT controlling everything - most vital plane subsystems are autonomous, so pilots still can control aircraft.

Well, why do I think this version is real? Since there were several similar cases on American-built planes. It is a known legend, for example, about Israeli F-16, that got all it computer systems down when flying one patrol route near the Dead sea. Nobody in Israel can guess, what happened - the plane was absolutely ok. But next day, this story happened to another F-16 flying the same patrol, at the same point. Israeli had to ask american specialists for help. And it turned out, that plane computer is counting for absolute plane height (thinking it was a positive number, and, I think, implemented as unsigned integer), and failed, when this height became negative (the Dead sea is located 400 meters below the world sea level)

glad they made it safely
By yacoub on 2/26/2007 1:14:04 PM , Rating: 3
Welcome to the biggest downside of increasing reliance on electronics replacing mechanical components.

Hopefully this is a case where the systems were designed properly to withstand environmental and combat dangers such as solar storms and EMP, but this little man-made glitch snuck through.

Thank you media
By Scabies on 2/26/2007 5:15:46 PM , Rating: 3
so I read the transcript that gave birth to this story... and I have to wonder about a couple of things.
But it was no match for a computer glitch that left six of them high above the Pacific Ocean, deaf, dumb and blind as they headed to their first deployment. So what happened? We turn to a man who's at home in the cockpit, Retired Air Force Major General Don Shepperd. Don, let me set the scene. These F-22s, eight of them, were headed from Hickam (ph) Air Force base in Hawaii to an (INAUDIBLE) Air Force base in Japan. They were approaching the international date line, pick it up from there."

So, six of eight aircraft had this glitch, we didnt know that. The article goes on to discuss what had happened like college football coaches or something. "Oh yeah they had a hell of a time, you lose your instruments and you're like a rooster in a tornado" kind of talk.

At the international date line, whoops, all systems dumped and when I say all systems, I mean all systems, their navigation [etc etc....]

When you think of airplanes from the old days, with cables and that type of thing and direct connections between the sticks and the yolks and the controls, not that way anymore. Everything is by computer. When your computers go, your airplanes go.

You don't run -- you don't get yourself where you run out of fuel. You always have enough fuel and refueling nine, 10, 11, 12 times on a flight like this where you can get somewhere to land.

...why do I get the feeling that this is not a voice of experience? Or at least a trustworthy analyst? And the rest of the show, the news anchor is basically like "The US is in deep shxt. More after the break."

..oh wait it was CNN. It all becomes clear.

By Red Thunder on 3/6/2007 12:32:56 PM , Rating: 2
This goes to show that no matter how much money is spent a little glitch like this could be disastrous! I thought the AF can afford good Test Engineers to test EVERYTHING thoroughly before they allow an aircraft to fly(our tax money is the what allows them to create such aircraft in the first place, can they just tested even if it cost a little more!!). Obviously they need help...As a PRO TE I know someone did not do hes/her job exactly as it should!

F-22 is the 1337
By daily on 3/9/2007 1:33:05 PM , Rating: 2
The F-22 is a great Anti-Fighter plane but it's definately not gonna help the US in any military conflicts in the near future except the US is going to attack China which would turn into a Nuke-it-All Party anyways.

There are some points you should consider before making the F-22 Teh best A1rcraft ever.

1. For the price the US is gonna pay for its 150 F-22 they could've bought about 1000 F-16. (Also 1 F22 equals 3 Eurofighters in price)

2. The F-22 is sooooo super stealthy
Maybe the plane is very stealthy (at least in forward direction within 20 degrees off the nose). But for the "I shoot you down before even see me" tactic to work the Fighter must still employ some means of an active radar (or have AWAC support) therby making itself an visible to air-defense.

3. It's kill to loss ratio is ridiculous since the scenario it was made in is unrealistic (2 Fleets of Fighters approaching the other head-on and those who get the radar-lock on the others first win, brilliant)
They did make the same statistics for the F-15 and then:
"Some decades ago, the USAF conducted a fairly intense, somewhat relevant, airbattle test at Nellis
AFB called Aimval-Aceval. This was a two part test aimed at — a) Testing the difference between the
high performance, sophisticated F–15C versus a low performance, unsophisticated F–5E, and
b) Evaluating the effect of short-range missiles in the ensuing close-in, maneuvering airbattle.
Preliminary computer simulations indicated that the exchange ratio would favor the F–15 by 70-to-1.
Pilots flying some preliminary engagements suggested that the estimated ratio be lowered to 18-to-1.
Many engagements with 1–vs-1, 2-on-2, 2-on-4, and 4-on-4 were flown. They would enter from
opposite sides of a 30–mile diameter circular arena approaching each other head-on (in the classic
joust, of course), and then “have at it” in maneuvering engagements using computerized short-range
missiles and camera guns.43 Despite the fact that this test heavily favored the high performance F–15
with its vastly superior radar and medium range AIM–7F missile, the test results proved quite different
from the expectations. The results? The data? With 2 F–15s pitted against 1 F–5, the F–15 was better in
the ratio of about 5-to-1. In 1-on-1 jousts, the F–15 was 3 times as successful as the F–5. As the number
of aircraft in the arena became larger and more target rich, with 4 F–15s vs. 4 F–5s, still with even
numbers, the success ratio dropped to about 2-to-1. When the protagonists were 4 F–5s vs. 2 F–15s, the
success ratio tended to 1–to–1.44 A startling (unpredicted) result. But, in the end it made sense."

Though I must admit that believe the F-22 would have sth. like a 4 to 1 advantage (in real combat) over an Typhoon.
But I also believe that it would be possible to produce about 20 ground based air-defense systems for the price of 1 F-22.

We'll just have to wait a few years and see what technologies will be developed to shoot these things down.

what a waste
By jmunjr on 3/1/2007 7:19:23 PM , Rating: 1
Reading most of these comments has been a complete waste of my time..

jet threads on DT are retarded...
By skyyspam on 2/28/07, Rating: 0
Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By ButterFlyEffect78 on 2/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By ajfink on 2/26/2007 10:48:11 AM , Rating: 5
This just makes me laugh. I think they're incredible aircraft, and there is certainly a need to maintain air superiority, but even the most high-tech equipment can be felled by a computer glitch. There is a need, it's just not obvious now. They could come in handy in a lot of international situations where an impressive show of air force is necessary.

And they're sexy.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Obujuwami on 2/26/2007 10:53:38 AM , Rating: 2
Wait, i got a better idea!

Lets go back to using P-51s and F-4Us and save the government LOADS of money! Then, when we have to go again those SU-27s and MIG-29s we can out produce them and lose 10-20 aircraft for every one they put up!!!!

Ok, I agree that maybe this was a waste of money because of the JSF that is being developed but this is the first thrust vector aircraft that the US has actually put into production that works.

I don't include the Harrier though, that is completely a british design (and a damn cool one at that).

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By jaybuffet on 2/26/2007 12:20:21 PM , Rating: 5
lose 10-20 aircraft for every one they put up!!!!

You mean 10-20 pilots. I think thats the idea behind the high tech planes. Minimize the deaths of our pilots, maximize the deaths of our enemies.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Scabies on 2/26/2007 1:14:07 PM , Rating: 4
No one wins a war by dying for their country
You win a war by making your enemy die for theirs

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By masher2 on 2/26/2007 2:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad you paraphrased the quote. The original is much more...colorful. One of my favorites.

By Pythias on 3/5/2007 9:36:29 AM , Rating: 2

I'm not sure why these morons keep voting you down. I didn't see anything offensive in this post.

By microAmp on 2/26/2007 4:59:42 PM , Rating: 5
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."
- Attributed to General George Patton Jr

Taken from here:

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Calin on 2/28/2007 5:25:41 AM , Rating: 2
In the last years of World War 2, the germans had the best heavy tank of the war (the Tiger, and then the Tiger 2). Their only problems were reliability, and slow speed/short range. They were so much better than the russian T-34 and american Sherman, that a 10:1 advantage in tanks was needed for the americans or russians. However, the americans alone lost 12,000 tanks in Europe, and it was not enough a victory for germans.

But right now, the things are totally different: by then, the USA was producing tanks and planes faster than the germans could destroy them - now, planes are built by tens in a year. In the world war 2, in May 1944, the Soviets had increased T-34-85 production to 1,200 tanks per month - while the Il-2 planes were built at about 1,000 a month.

Meanwhile, the US Air Force is buying some hundreds F-22 planes, staggered during a few years.

Since maybe the Pacific islands war in WW2 (thousands of deads for an island a square mile big), american public started to want war with little casualties. This has pushed high-technology in a much more important place than it would be otherwise, and the end result is that now the technological losses during a war against a big opponent will hardly be replaced by new equipment

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By ceefka on 3/3/2007 1:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
However, the americans alone lost 12,000 tanks in Europe, and it was not enough a victory for germans.

Don't forget the Germans had lost air superiority by then since D-day. Especially since the arrival of the A-10 and Apache, a superior number of tanks means nothing if you don't gain air superiority first.

By 0serg on 3/4/2007 1:13:01 AM , Rating: 2
[quote]Don't forget the Germans had lost air superiority by then since D-day. Especially since the arrival of the A-10 and Apache, a superior number of tanks means nothing if you don't gain air superiority first.[/quote]

They lost air superiority long before D-day on Soviet front, and mostly because of impressive Soviet plane production capabilities - they send almost all their planes to Eastern front. Just for example, there were virtually no german aircrafts on D-Day at all - so it was really difficult to archieve air superiority this day when it was absolutely nothing to archieve ;)

By rtrski on 2/26/2007 1:50:55 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, I agree that maybe this was a waste of money because of the JSF that is being developed but this is the first thrust vector aircraft that the US has actually put into production that works.

Without the F-22, the JSF wouldn't be what it is. The whole initial point of it being so 'cheap' to produce is how much of the F-22 design it leveraged. Take a look at them side-by-side and the similarities will leap out at you.

Besides, they've got different roles, just as the F-15 and F-16 did.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By alicecbrown on 3/6/2007 9:53:25 AM , Rating: 2
It made me laugh, too but not for the same reason.

The International Date Line has made fools of many other programmers, and naive test engineers. We can't seem to learn from history, because we don't know our history.
the IEEE used to have a great feature in the Journal of Software Engineering that related various anecdotes where software killed people. If any of you know if it's still current, let me know. We need that cultural knowledge. Especially since ignoring time and timing issues is a Requirements/Design issue, independent of the coding language.

By seaman on 3/6/2007 6:47:55 PM , Rating: 3
alicecbrown noted:

the IEEE used to have a great feature in the Journal of Software Engineering that related various anecdotes where software killed people

You likely mean the ACM. See:

for the latest issue of the Risks Digest with a discussion of the F-22 IDL bug. Unlike the Darwin Awards, computer risks are also reported short of homicide. Aircraft and other transportation related risks are a frequent topic.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By iNGEN on 2/26/2007 10:52:22 AM , Rating: 4
To ensure complete air superiority. In modern warfare, if you don't have it, you lose.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By kelmon on 2/26/2007 11:14:05 AM , Rating: 2
I'm no expert here (so feel free to correct) but I was under the impression that the US already had air superiority with its current jets. Is there anyone else making fighters anymore that is likely to represent a threat or are they just building these things to keep the industry going?

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By cochy on 2/26/2007 11:33:31 AM , Rating: 5
No you're right. No point in innovating further. The Air Force should just sit and stagnate until it realizes that it's falling behind. Thankfully for Americans you're not in charge of spending.

The F-22 is a step in the direction where the Air Force wants to be, that is unmanned fighter aircraft.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By The Sword 88 on 2/26/2007 8:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
No way, in combat a computer cannot fight like a person; having the pilot with his decision making and instincts in the cockpit is hugely important.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Zelvek on 2/26/2007 11:57:48 PM , Rating: 2
Ever heard of remote control? The Idea for everything now is to make it RC no dieing soldiers means continued support on the home front.

By taikonaut on 2/28/2007 4:42:11 AM , Rating: 2
remote control can be easily jammed using yesterday's technology.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Brassbullet on 2/27/2007 12:35:18 AM , Rating: 2
And why not do you say? Ever flown a combat flight simulator? Ever gotten shot down by the AI?

A computer with software can beat even the best at chess, and modern air combat is very much like chess.

Besides, first generation unmanned fighters will be piloted by people in mobile command centers a hundred miles from combat. Who knows, maybe the flight software will even support the Xbox 360 controller.

By 0serg on 2/28/2007 1:11:37 PM , Rating: 3
Wireless network bandwidth is limited, especially when it is jammed. You can remotely control 1, 2, 5, may be 10 aircrafts in "real-time mode" simultaneously, but no more. This is not enough, i think, even for relatively "small" military operation. To make things even worse, you`ll get about 0.2-0.5 seconds lag in aircraft control. Of course, all this doesn`t matter if you just fly and launch dozens of AMRAAMs, but this is safe for pilot too, so you get nothing from RC.

Wireless network bandwidth is limited, especially when it is jammed. You can remotely control 1, 2, 5, may be 10 aircrafts in "real-time mode" simultaneously, but no more. This is not enough, i think, even for relatively "small" military operation. To make things even worse, you`ll get about 0.2-0.5 seconds lag in aircraft control. Of course, all this doesn`t matter if you just fly and launch dozens of AMRAAMs, but this is safe for pilot too, so you get nothing from RC.

When it comes to AI, you forget, that computer game AI do not need to solve "recognition problem". This thing do not have to try to understand where a hell the plane is when GPS fails and what all these radar signals are about. It already knows everything about whats happening around. Unfortunately, piloting REAL plane in REAL conditions is not like solving mathematical task. It needs real AI, and this problem have being solved for more than 20 years now - and still far from completion.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By TomZ on 2/26/2007 11:35:07 AM , Rating: 2
I think the point is that we don't just have to "achieve" air superiority, we have to "maintain" air superiority. The enemy cannot be assumed to be standing still technologically. In addition, even if you have air superiority, it still makes sense to increase capabilities to further decrease risk of losing life and assets. This requires ongoing R&D spending.

Finally, keeping the industry going is also a good thing, economically.

By VooDooAddict on 3/5/2007 7:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
Finally, keeping the industry going is also a good thing, economically.

Not only that, but keeping the industry going is important to be ready to produce in large quantities if needed. Setting up the facilities to create an aircraft like this need to be done in advance of when it's actually needed. If you start R&D after the start of a conflict then by the time you can ramp up production there high likelihood that it won't be as effective. Or worse it will simply be too late.

Don't get me wrong there are plenty of things we waste military dollars on ... I just don't feel aircraft development is one of them. Would people rather we keep dumping taxpayer $$ into old designs and replacement parts?
(Don't get me started on the "waste")

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Kougar on 2/26/2007 11:42:08 AM , Rating: 1
Even assuming the US was the only major military power that was designing modern day jets (And we certainly are not), it is rather hard to claim air superiority when you sell off or trade several squadrons to various countries. Quite a few nations fly our own aircraft these days, and I specifically mean F-16s, F-18s, and F-14/15s. We've been selling the F-16 since the mid-80's. We are even currently selling them to both Pakistan and India, obviously a wise choice right there.

While I don't know about the wiki's source for this, it even claims Taiwan has already inquired about purchasing F-35s from us.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By stromgald on 2/26/2007 11:50:51 AM , Rating: 1
The military aircraft being exported by US companies are dumbed down. They generally wouldn't stand much of a chance against the ones used for US military branches.

We've had a long history of selling fighters to other countires. F-16s went to Japan, F-15s have been sold to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Korea. There's probably more that I can't recall off the top of my head.

For the F-35, IIRC it is being adopted by a few of our allies including the UK, Canada, Austalia, and Norway. Both the UK and Norway gave up on waiting for the Eurofighter from EADS and jumped on the F-35 bandwagon. I wouldn't be surprised if Taiwan was on that list.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Kougar on 2/26/2007 11:57:56 AM , Rating: 2
Not all of them are dumbed town. I know that in the past we've given our top model (at the time) F-16's to Isreal alone. And really, anything that is dumbed down would be easy to replace after the fact via some means... software especially I'd imagine.

Going by the wiki, Taiwan wasn't on the list for the obvious reasons, or I should say singular reason! If we were indeed handing F-35s to Taiwan then it's probably one of the absolute most closely guarded secrets, as China would most definitely not sit back over it and allow "a rogue island territory off their coast" to hold air supriority over their territory, let alone their entire landmass.

By cochy on 2/26/2007 12:04:44 PM , Rating: 2
Wouldn't it be tough to hide an airforce? Is there a black market for these things?

PS. Lots of Ooops errors when trying to post.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Araemo on 2/26/2007 2:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'm fairly sure that even the F-16s we sold Israel were not 100% US-spec. "Dumbed down" may not be at all accurate, but missing lots of classified US tech, sure. Does israel have comparable tech(possibly developed through cooperation with the US) that they can install? Probably.

That's one thing to remember, even though we have a tendency to strip out code and devices when we sell airframes to other countries, it would be silly to assume that they have no capability of building their own systems to make up for what we won't sell them. (It might take them an extra 1-5-10 years, but that is more of an intelligence question that changes over time, than a general 'dumbed down F-16s' question. ;) )

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Scabies on 2/26/2007 2:34:35 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, you would be surprised about Israeli technology. Keep in mind they are in a constant struggle for their lives and their soverignity, so they have war time R&D going on constantly. In fact, some of our fun toys (I think some of our ECM derivatives) are fruits of Israeli design, if I remember correctly.
So dumbed down probably just means "customizeable" to them.

By Chillin1248 on 2/26/2007 3:56:06 PM , Rating: 5
Israel typically "upgrades/modifies" all incoming US or foreign equipment to meet their [Israel's] needs. Here are several examples:

F4-2000 (Kurnass 2000): which was a F-4E turned upside-down and inside-out:

LAVI: was to be built with US supplies (assembled into plane in Israel):

And then we have the F-15s and F-16s in Israel refitted with Israeli electronics. We have the Kfir C1 and C2 that were copies and modifications of the Mirage 5. Hell even our M4A1s are modified in small ways from the US standard; such as having M16A3 carrying handles or sometimes M16A1 handles. Sometimes they have 20-1 twist in the barrel othertimes less.

Basicly what it comes down to is that Israel modifies the weapons it recieves for best efficiency in the enviroments it fights in. After all, I doubt we are doing Jungle combat anytime soon.


RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Felofasofa on 2/26/2007 6:24:31 PM , Rating: 2
That "constant struggle" also makes them the largest consumer of recreational drugs per capita in the world. Pot and ecstacy are huge in Israel.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Scabies on 2/26/07, Rating: 0
By Zelvek on 2/27/2007 12:08:31 AM , Rating: 2
his point has so validity to it in times of increased stress alcohol consumption and drug use do go up. And it's not like he is calling all Israelis druggies just that there is a larger percentage of drug use.

By Dianoda on 2/26/2007 6:57:56 PM , Rating: 3
F35's to Taiwan will never happen. Politics demands that it doesn't happen. If Taiwan was truly an independent state, maybe, but Taiwan's political staus is too similar to Hong Kong's for this to every happen. Kougar put this quite well, there is no way PRC would allow an independently governed territory of it's own state to have air supriority, especially one that seeks true independence from the mainland as much as Taiwan.

Also, this would almost certainly damage the relations between the two most powerful countries in the world. Which is something niether country really wants.

By cochy on 2/26/2007 12:02:09 PM , Rating: 4
Oh and I bet the F-22 have backdoors programmed into them just in case they become hostiles ;)

By Brassbullet on 2/26/2007 1:31:58 PM , Rating: 5
Actually, the US generally gives its BEST fighters to other nations, especially Israel and Japan.

With the exception of maybe the F-15s based at Elemendorf in Alaska (just in case the Russkies try to invade I guess), the best 4th generation fighters in the world are in Israel.

This makes sense as countries in more unstable regions are far more likely to use such weapons than the US. In fact, the majority of the F-15's 101+ to 0 kill ratio can be attributed to Israeli owned and flown airframes.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By stromgald on 2/26/2007 11:45:23 AM , Rating: 3
Everything from the SAAB Griffon from Sweeden, the French Rafale C, Eurofighter, to a handful of Soviet aircraft (Su-30 and its variants, Su-47, MIG-35/1.44) are newer and equal if not better than the US F-15.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Brassbullet on 2/26/2007 1:24:57 PM , Rating: 2
Although individualy some of those planes might have some superior qualities (although I wouldn't be so quick to put the Griffon or even the Rafale on that list), it is the implementation that matters. A lot of those planes you mentioned don't even exist per se, and it would be tough to counter US Air Force F-15s in terms of the support they have (although Israli F-15 drivers would probably kick our ass).

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Frallan on 2/26/2007 1:38:41 PM , Rating: 1
Hmm interesting - you might wanne explaint to the Swedish Air Force pilots that the plane thay have been flying for the last 5 or so years doesn't exist... And as for how good they are - in a low to medium rated crisis id say the probably would go about 1-1 to 1-2 with JSFs... The SAAB engineers beet the american to the ball with somwhere between 5 and 10 years as well as about 1 to 10 maintenance costs. A F15 or a F16 doesnt stand a chance against the JAS-Griffon. As for the others i dont know. but the Griffon most certainly exists and its one hell of a plane.

By MrTeal on 2/26/2007 1:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
I think he was saying that he wouldn't put the Gripen and Rafale on a list of planes better than the F-15, and that the Su-47 and MiG 1.44 aren't available. Even the Typhoon has very few units finished production.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Brassbullet on 2/26/2007 2:00:17 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm, I didn't say that none of the planes on that list were in existance, just that many weren't. The Gripen certainly exists, although is starting to show age even for a new aircraft.

As far as going 1-1 against a JSF, it BETTER go at least 1-1 against a JSF. The JSF is basically a POS plane that adds some (partially) new abilites. It is a Swiss Army Knife of fighter jets intended for basically every 'allied' nation and would get beaten by almost any modern air superiority fighter.

By Frallan on 2/26/2007 2:38:18 PM , Rating: 2
A swiss army kniofe - jet fighter LoL :) Well so is the the "Gripen" JAS acctually stands for:

Jakt - Air superioity
Attack - Attacking Ground or Sea target
Spaning - Surveilance

And yes its getting older but still its very availeble. SAAB and BA has been selling i for some time. What is a bit funny tho is the mail competitors for the contracts are the F-15s and F-16s that the USF is selling selling at cut-throat rates.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By stromgald on 2/26/2007 4:09:08 PM , Rating: 3
Please define what you mean by "modern". Other than an F-22 and a few Russian planes, I don't think many aircraft can stand up to a F-35.

Although a couple of those five planes I mentioned aren't in production, they're all newer and potentially more advanced than the F-15, which was desinged back in the late 60s and first flown in the early 70s. The US has upgraded avionics and other important components, but for the overall airframe design, the designers of the Rafale C (1991) and Gripen (1988) have had about 15-20 years to catch up you the F-15's level of technology.

The Gripen and Rafale are newer, and clearly on the same level of technology as the F-15. That means with the similar pilots and equal amounts of experience in each aircraft, I think a Rafale C or Gripen would be a pretty even match with the F-15. Even just doesn't cut it when you're trying to achieve air superiority.

By Brassbullet on 2/27/2007 1:00:13 AM , Rating: 3
By modern I mean 4th Generation. 4th gen plans generally thought to be better air superiority fighters than a JSF are:

F-14 (interceptor)
F-18 Super Hornet

MiG-29 (interceptor)
MiG-31 (recon and interceptor)


As well as most EU planes.

Again this list is an opinion formed from my contact with people that will have to be working with the JSF. These people may be biased (especially the ex F-14 drivers among them) but nonetheless were based on the specs and design philosophy of the aircraft at the time.

As far as the F-15 being too old, I'd argue that for an energy fighter, the F-15 is still unmatched (its only rival being the Su-27), even better than an F-22. Energy fighters have grown out of fashion, however, as the threat from high speed, high altitude bombers has disappeared to memories.

Stealth and extreme manuverability at high AoA are in vogue, and that is what the 'new' airframes deliver.

By Scabies on 2/26/2007 2:41:45 PM , Rating: 4
as well as about 1 to 10 maintenance costs.

US F-15 uses Sidewinder for 3290 DMG.
US F-15 fells FR Rafale.
Get 1200xp
Get 400g
Get "Secret Key"

I think another thing to look at is fighter PILOTS. It might always be a "mine are better than yours" kind of thing, but you cant leave the argument as to whose what is better if you look at only the hardware.

By Chernobyl68 on 2/26/2007 1:40:44 PM , Rating: 3
You're right. Comparing a fresh off the production line fighter to a plane that's been kicking a$$ for 20+ years now is a fair comparison.

By afkrotch on 2/26/2007 7:25:16 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, other countries are making new fighters that take air superiority away from the US. Russia has the S-37 and European countries have the Eurofighter Typhoon. Both of which can easily take out old generation fighters.

The F/A-22 and F-35 are needed. Both are needed. The F/A-22 with it's stealth is meant to roll in first and destroy any targets that would inhibit control of airspace. The F-35 will then come in and destroy anything else and provide air cover for ground forces.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By ElJefe69 on 2/26/2007 12:15:10 PM , Rating: 1
We have had air superiority since the 1970's.

we have made sure that no country has a real fighter plane since then as well. mig = snuffed. after that, nothing.

Do people realize that planes do not fight one another anymore? 1-2 fights a year if that = 0 to be worried about. And those are over countries where it is peace time and we arent supposed to be there. A plane traveling 1100 miles per hour cannot make more than 1 pass at another plane. You would be 100's of miles apart after one pass rendering the fight useless. THis is just military spending to the max and lockheed whatever making more billions on the backs of your weekly salary.

utter crap this idea of "air superiority" dont let me choke on this self righteous flag waving ideal that is old news and doesnt need billions to be spent on it again.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By cochy on 2/26/2007 12:21:17 PM , Rating: 2
Well the days of dog fighting might be over. You're right planes don't make passes anymore, they launch missiles at each other when they are 100's of miles apart. The more advanced the aircraft the less likely it will be shot down by an air-to-air missile or SAM and the more likely it will hit it's target.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By ElJefe69 on 2/26/2007 12:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
We have not been hit by a sam missile since before bush senior was in office. Certainly easily to read that no shotdowns besides our slow moving helicopters in the past 8 years have transpired.

we dont need more money to get the same perfection result. people on this forum seem to love govt/daddy taking their money from them and blowing it away on useless shit.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By ThisSpaceForRent on 2/26/2007 12:37:47 PM , Rating: 2

They shot one of these down with them thar missle thingies. March 27, 1999 just inside the 8 year window, hehe.

Part of the reason that the F-22's are so expensive at the moment is the economies of scale. They aren't in any sort of full scale production. Sadly they probably never will be built in large numbers, which means they will always carry a high per plane cost. However, if each plane is more mission capable than previous aircraft you start to see a cost savings there. (i.e. reduced maintenance, fewer losses of aircraft)

By ElJefe69 on 3/5/2007 4:36:50 PM , Rating: 1
wow, we should spend billions of dollars then!


wow that is tear jerking! lol.


RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By cochy on 2/26/2007 4:43:55 PM , Rating: 2
we dont need more money to get the same perfection result. people on this forum seem to love govt/daddy taking their money from them and blowing it away on useless shit.

People on this forum are just not as small minded as you. Have you thought about the fact that anti-aircraft radar and detection technology might improve as well? You innovate/invent to stay way ahead of the curve.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Scabies on 2/26/2007 4:52:17 PM , Rating: 2
Let him be, he is probably running a 32bit single-core machine, and will for the next two years (in happy ignorance, or ignorant happiness)
However, returning to his quote, if you were driving a 30 year old car, would you not be crying for something new? Oh wait, waste of money.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By BladeVenom on 2/26/2007 5:25:24 PM , Rating: 1
No. Most 60's cars are cooler, more fun to drive, and easier to fix than the average new car.

By Martin Blank on 2/26/2007 9:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
No, no... He said *30*-year-old car, which means mid-late 1970s, which really was a questionable era. :)

By Chernobyl68 on 2/26/2007 1:54:13 PM , Rating: 2
the only air to air missile with an effective range of 100 miles or more was the phoenix, which could only be launched by an F-14, neither of which are in use anymore.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By kyp275 on 2/27/2007 12:53:48 AM , Rating: 3
A plane traveling 1100 miles per hour cannot make more than 1 pass at another plane. You would be 100's of miles apart after one pass rendering the fight useless.

yea you're right. Obviously both planes will head straight for each other at max burn, and will continue to do so for over 3 minutes after they pass each other, at which point they'll be about 100 miles from each other. I forgot they don't teach pilots how to turn anymore :rolleyes:

regardless, the above scenario will never happen anyway, as they'd be shooting at each other well before they get close, at which point both will not be flying straight towards each other, as they'd be busy evading missiles.

but it's ok, you sir just go right on ahead flying straight, I'm sure your aura of ignorance will shield you from any possible harm.

By Brassbullet on 2/27/2007 1:11:14 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, most engagments still reach the point of merge and then continue for a few turns until one pilot reaches a solution or the other bugs out.

The fact is missiles are still horribly inaccurate given their price tag and are easily fooled using a variety of techniques. In fact, most US fighter pilots prefer the older, semi-active and passive radar missiles to fire and forget active munitions.

Most missiles fired at range against a skilled adversary will miss, and you will have to turn and burn.

By FITCamaro on 2/26/2007 12:53:38 PM , Rating: 2
Damn right. If it weren't for our air superiority, we couldn't be the super power in warfare that we are.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Saist on 2/26/2007 10:58:30 AM , Rating: 4
most of this technology eventually trickles down to the consumer grade planes from Boeing, Lockheed, and other manufacturers.

While we'll never see one of Boeing's 7xx series breaking Mach3, many of the system control techniques, radar techniques, surface air controls, and weight loss techniques are invaluable when designing a passenger air craft that weighs less, gets more distance for the fuel, and is more reliable.

With the growing rate of Islamic Terrorism world wide, many of the anti-offensive techniques for avoiding ground based weaponry are also becoming useful technologies.

While the argument can be made that we don't need the Raptor Specifically, no other country has an aircraft that can match it in direct combat, the technological aspects of the plane and it's design will have beneficial impacts on consumer products.

Your sentiment reminds me a lot of people from the 50's and 60's who wrote about not needing a Space Shuttle. There was no need to work on Lunar Landings, or craft that could withstand the extreme temperature differences in a non-atmospheric environment. There was no need to work on space suits so that men could bounce around on the moon. Yet, many of the metal alloy and plastic advances that provide us with Cell Phones that can withstand a 300lb man sitting down on them are of direct result from NASA research. The Scuba industry benefited from the rebreather and oxygen recycling technology developed by NASA. The Food industry benefited from the work done on making food that could be stored for long periods of time in small spaces. The box of Instant Ramen or Instant Mac'n'Cheese is a side effect of NASA.

Now, the question might be posed, why are US tax dollars being used to fund these expensive aircraft, and why were US dollars diverted to NASA? Because, whether or not anyone likes to admit, outside of military development, or military-oversight contracts, the consumer product types don't have a good track record. Example? Concord. Great plane. First consumer product aircraft capable of going past Mach1. However, where is Concord now? What where the long term benefits of Concord?

The difference is, when the US Military gets involved (providing democrats stop screwing around and trying to turn it into Peace Corps), the general rule of thumb is that they are building aircraft that needs to protect lives, be it of troops in combat, or the pilot itself. Military Designers, and those on Military contracts, are on average, far more focused on specific points of development in their product. They aren't worried about cutting costs because something may not work.

Compare this to the average bean counter run air craft manufacture who is looking to shave off 2 pennies by using a lower grade copper wire.

All I can do in the end is point out what's obvious. If you do need to actually ask why we need these planes to begin with? Then it doesn't matter how much explanation I give, how many analogies I make, the point will never be understood.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By DannyH246 on 2/26/07, Rating: 0
RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By poohbear on 2/26/07, Rating: -1
By cochy on 2/26/2007 12:18:13 PM , Rating: 2
Could you suggest some reliable sources for news and what not as opposed to
analipedia or the super scholaristic CNN

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By TomZ on 2/26/2007 12:08:50 PM , Rating: 2
The failure of the Concorde had nothing to do with Americans' acceptance; the problem was that Concordes were just not economically viable.

This web page has a pretty good description of the situation with Concorde:

Especially scroll down towards the bottom and read the answer to the question "What are the reasons for the failure of Concorde?".

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By DannyH246 on 2/26/2007 12:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but your plain wrong. British Airways's own public accounts showed that the Concorde service was making (admittedly small) a profit.

The fact is the Americans behaved in their usual way when another country displayed anything that is technically superior to what they have. Go back check the history, JFK proposed America's own supersonic plane that was of course bigger and faster than Concorde. When they finally realised how much it would cost and how difficult it was, it was cancelled, and then the dirty tricks of it being banned from American airports started. Of course Japan dutifully did what it was told and they didn't bother with it either.

The facts are nobody else dared to invest such huge sums of money in a supersonic jet after what happened with Concorde. Of course once Concorde was relegated to a small part of the market the only other nation that could develop a supersonic plane i.e America, well they weren't bothered as they had everyone buying Boeing 747's.

I suppose its one big what if, but if America had embraced Concorde then i believe we would all be flying supersonic now. Technology would have moved on, others would have made their own supersonic planes and competition and economies of scale would have made everything cheaper and more economical.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By TomZ on 2/26/2007 1:04:43 PM , Rating: 2
Did you read the article I linked?

As the chief executive of Airbus, Noel Forgeard, said, "The costs of operating Concorde, and in particular maintenance and support, have become such that operations are unrealistic for any operator."

In the end, paying up to $10K each-way limited the Concorde to a small niche of possible customers, and this had an obvious impact on the number of flights, and therefore, the number of aircraft built. Because of these low numbers, the other costs were too high. That's what I would call not economically viable.

Finally, if aircraft like Concorde were viable, and Americans just wanted one "invented here" as you argue, then why didn't Boeing go on to build one? Don't you think that if such a market actually existed, then Boeing would have realized that and invested in that capability?

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By DannyH246 on 2/26/2007 1:47:02 PM , Rating: 1
Yes i did, and in the article it also states that BA were making a profit. Also if it was such a money-loser why wouldn't BA sell their Concorde's to Virgin? Surely they should have been happy to get such a liability off their balance sheet?

In any case the comments that you are quoting are from recent history, in 1976 the political landscape was totally different. The princiapal reason why American airlines did not buy Concorde initially was because of the announced American SST project that was rushed out in case America got left behind in the supersonic age, not because of cost.

As to your last point i've already said, why would Boeing want to invest such huge amounts of money when they had most of the market wrapped up with various versions of the 747?

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By TomZ on 2/26/2007 2:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
If BA can't make it work, then why would Virgin have any better luck? Virgin can't change the cost and availability of spare parts, for example.

I'm sure Boeing also noticed the fact that half of the Concordes ever built were never purchased, and were eventually given away to the airlines. Having only covered about 1/2 your costs is not any want to achieve "economic viability." Maybe that's just an American thing, though. :o)

By InsaneScientist on 2/26/2007 10:00:47 PM , Rating: 2

Boeing may not be interested in producing another supersonic passenger plane... but Boeing isn't the only game in town, either. :o)

Take a gander at Lockheed's new toy:

What do you know? I guess the innovations that they make for the millitary actually do trickle down into the consumer marketspace. ;)

It's actually estimated to start flying in 2011. It would be really cool if Lockheed could pull this project through and they started getting popular so they could be mass produced. Maybe we could start seeing supersonic passenger planes for the slightly less wealthy of us. We can hope... :D

By Sahrin on 2/26/2007 1:42:02 PM , Rating: 2
If the Concorde was profitable, it was the fact that its ticket prices were significantly higher than "conventional" flights - it may have been profitable in a strictly limited transatlantic sense, but there would not have been the financial support for the craft were it used more broadly (because the cost to operate is fixed, but when you increase supply, the price (and therefore revenue) must fall.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By Brassbullet on 2/26/2007 1:51:53 PM , Rating: 2
No offense, but are you French? It seems that the rivalry (especially for aircraft) is much higher between US and France than US and UK, even though France and BAe often cooperate on aircraft (case in point: Concorde).

Myself I admit, am not a huge fan of Airbus and given a choice would prefer a Boeing. However, the pro-Boeing mentality doesn't even factor into the Concorde equation.

I would have loved to ride on a Concorde, but the huge price tag and limited use killed it. Right now, its just not worth it to fly that fast. Heck, even the US military rarely breaks Mach 1 because of the huge fuel cost (let alone cruising at Mach 2.06).

Europe wasn't the only one to fail with a SST. Russia built its blantant Concorde rip-off that arguably was superior to the Concorde. However, its hard to have a succesful product when one crashes and burns in front of an audience.

I was saddened when the Concorde took its last flight and that 'Speedbird' no longer could be such a plane, but the market has spoken in regards to the current form of the SST, and one would be a fool not to listen.

By jabber on 2/28/2007 6:36:07 AM , Rating: 2
What really killed Concorde in my opinion? Two factors.

1. A lot of its repeat customers unfortunately died in 9/11.

2. It wasnt fast enough. Now dont take that the wrong way, let me explain. After 9/11 a lot of companies stopped or reduced international travel. They invested instead in video conferencing kit (sales went through the roof after 9/11) and finally realised that no aircraft could keep up with the live video datastreams, lower cost and convenience.

I still think we should have kept a couple running for state use (our Airforce 1 if you like). Would have loved to see the PrimeMinister say to GBush "Race you back across the Atlantic!"

Kiss my vapour trails!

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By ElJefe69 on 2/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By yacoub on 2/26/2007 1:18:34 PM , Rating: 2
but hey it'll be handy for dealing with and rounding up dissenters like you when you don't want to go along with whatever the 'military industrial complex'-led government wants! :D

By ElJefe69 on 3/5/2007 4:39:41 PM , Rating: 2


RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By ZmaxDP on 2/26/2007 2:34:53 PM , Rating: 5
Well, those morons managed to kill several thousand people here in America, and then have managed to kill over a thousand trained soldiers in Iraq, and quite a few in Afghanistan as well.

Personally, I think it is attitudes like yours that have lead us into such a bloody quagmire in the middle east. If you'd had any decent military training you'd realize that the deadliest mistake of all is to underestimate the enemy. You're doing a great job of it. I'd like to see you make a WMD from washing machine parts - I couldn't. Further, if you really want to prove your point I'm sure the readership here would be happy to put together a collection pool to buy you a ticket to Iraq and a handgun. I'd be happy to let you take care of the problem instead of paying for it with my taxes.

Personally, I'd much rather be flying an F-22 around Iraq than walking around with a handgun. But then, maybe I'm crazy.

As for "accomplishing" the goals of war, what are they exactly? To "win" I assume. Unfortunately, that in't a very good "goal" as it is really hard to define how to do so. The problem is that no one knows how to win. As a result, we've got people trying to get out ASAP, people trying to figure out a way to "win," and people why can't see that old tactics just aren't going to cut it.

Personally, I'm in the middle camp. We've got to figure out these strategies sometime, and this isn't a "war" I think we can afford to "loose." Unlike Vietnam, we have to be worried about terrorists attacking our homeland. I wasn't in favor of going to Iraq, but now we're there whether we like it or not.

And, as for the first sentence, I can't vouch for your statistics of the average reading level of Islamic terrorists, but I think it is a moot point. Just like with any other religion, the Koran can be interpreted many ways. Some people choose to interpret their religion in ways that benefit them - Christians are just as guilty of this as Muslims. The problem is that conditions are so poor in many of these countries, and convincing someone with nothing to loose to go martyr themselves is a lot easier than if they had a good life. If we'd put our efforts into improving the living conditions and job prospects of all the incredibly poor people in these countries, terrorism wouldn't be the problem it is today. Of course, no one knows how to do this either, so we're still in the dark on solutions.

Anyway, at least some people are trying, and good for them.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By hadifa on 2/26/2007 7:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
Just like with any other religion, the Koran can be interpreted many ways. Some people choose to interpret their religion in ways that benefit them - Christians are just as guilty of this as Muslims.

Bravo. specially the part that says "Some people choose to interpret their religion in ways that benefit them". I think saying "Some people" is a bit conservative, Don't you think "Most people" would be more accurate?

The problem is that conditions are so poor in many of these countries, and convincing someone with nothing to loose to go martyr themselves is a lot easier than if they had a good life. If we'd put our efforts into improving the living conditions and job prospects of all the incredibly poor people in these countries, terrorism wouldn't be the problem it is today

Unfortunately the poor condition is not the only reason and it goes much deeper than that. Poor conditions and ignorance are only acting as catalyst and fuel.

By ElJefe69 on 3/5/2007 4:42:01 PM , Rating: 2
the people who are poor are NOT responsible for any significant death or damage to our country or its citizens.

it is the wealthy class that, like the poor, hates Christians and Jews and views the West as that. IT is a religous war fought with evil ideas and selfish, repugnant attitudes. We only need their oil, we dont need them. I think we can separate the two aspects one day.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By ElJefe69 on 3/5/2007 4:38:22 PM , Rating: 1
they killed those thousands with 2 airplanes.

yeah, we need 22 raptors to shoot down our own airliners! thats that ticket! yes!

im so willing now to spend more billions on useless machines of war.

By coldwarrior on 3/6/2007 9:54:10 AM , Rating: 2
we dont need more money to get the same perfection result. people on this forum seem to love govt/daddy taking their money from them and blowing it away on useless shit.

Our defense is one of the few things that the government has a responsibility and the constitutional authority to perform. Govt useless s**t is all of the useless social programs designed to win votes that the government has no constitutional authority to perform. The welfare state is so out of control that it is driving business away to lands with cheaper labor and where people are willing to work to eat since their governments don't give them money to live without working. Americanism vs. Communism used to be a mandatory high school course. The liberals removed that course to hide what we have become.

Our US pilots are the very best of the best trained in the world. A US pilot in an F15 can out perform most, if not all foreign countries even with superior fighters. The F22 is far superior to the F15 and with US pilots it will be far superior to anything the world can put against it for another generation. If Lockheed quits making fighters for the free world, we would be dependent on foreign countries for our defense, unthinkable. If our major automakers go under, who will make our tanks, etc.

Our superiority in economy and defense depend on our technological edge. The next world war will not allow us the time to research and build like WWII. Our greatest technological advances have been the result of government funded R&D in the space program and the defense programs. Many people thought the space program was a waste of money but that gave us the beginning of the computer revolution and sattelites for cell phones and television and many other innovations can trace their origins to advances made with the space program of the 60s and 70s.

By futuristicmonkey on 2/26/2007 2:49:16 PM , Rating: 4
Are you going to be the soldier using that handgun? I'd guess that if it came down to a situation like that you'd wish you were flying a few thousand feet above the ground.

Did you know that during the first Gulf War many citizens in Iraq's population centres, near military installations, felt more secure with the skill of the Americans in placing their ordinance than with their _own_ country's soldiers? The American airforce has proven its mettle and skill, over and over again. I'm guessing it's going to make some good returns with this 'excuse'. People just need to give it a chance.

Take your ignorance and bullsh*t elsewhere.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By hadifa on 2/26/2007 6:53:03 PM , Rating: 2
...They love to see non muslims tortured and get what they deserve.

As a matter of fact THEY enjoy torturing Muslims even more! Look at Iraq and the number of attacks on civilians compared to the coalition troops.

They bomb mosques and markets when they are most crowded and believe they will be martyrs as suicide bombers killing innocents.

Islamic terrorist for the most part cannot even read their own Koran

Do not underestimate them. What makes them dangerous is not what they cannot do, but what they are able to and what they believe in.

By the way, many of them memorized the whole holy Koran, but they have no idea about it!

By ElJefe69 on 3/5/2007 4:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
yes that is true, they do memorize it orally but do not read it.

i'll go out on a limb here and say it is a book of death and contradictions that has no ultimate goal except for ingroup dominance and outgroup hatred and bloodshed.


By GoatMonkey on 2/26/2007 11:02:55 AM , Rating: 2
The other option to using advanced technology is sending more people.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By ElJefe69 on 2/26/07, Rating: 0
RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By ajfink on 2/26/2007 12:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
The Raptor would certainly not help in situations like Iraq. The program for it came into being at the end of the cold war, and it's quite apparent.

F-35s would never be sold to Taiwan. It would start a war with China. While Taiwan is in name officially a part of China, there is a lot of old resentment there. That's where the former democratic government fled to after Mao Zedong took control. Taiwan allegedly already has invasion defenses built in, essentially handing them air superiority would probably give them the teeth to fend off an invasion for a while by themselves. Oddly enough, in that case the F-22 would come in quite handy.

By mino on 2/27/2007 4:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
"former democratic government"

Which one? Both Comunists and Kuomintang poclaimed themselves "democratic while none of them actually was. Kuomintang wasa bit better taht it realy intended and said to be pro-democratic at the begining. Hoever this is pretty common for ANY movement when trying to out feudal or dictatorship gov. AFAIK at the time of a final civil war(aftee 1945 Japanese defeat) it was pretty much the same autocratic organization as communists.

They changed many of their ways to pro-freedom after the loss and retreat to taiwan. No question there.
There however was pretty much no democracy in China except the few short-lived episodes around 1910-1920.

I tis natural however, one cannot expect feudal society to be able to adjust itself to parliamentary system whithin years. It takes generations.

By SmokeRngs on 2/27/2007 10:04:29 AM , Rating: 3
the government of this crap country blows away money in order to justify the need for more money. Our military needs more people in it to shoot people in the face on the ground at 10 meters or less. I dont see this 125 million dollar raptor helping anything in baghdad. I do see its development and per unit price as robbing me of my weekly paycheck.

If you think the US is a crap country, then move. You have that choice.

Shoot people at 10 meters? I know a guy that could pick you off from over two miles away. 10 meters doesn't sound too safe now does it?

Money being stolen from your paycheck? Look at the welfare state. That's a much bigger drain than military spending. The military spending gains us something in the form of military superiority and the trickle down of the technologies to other sectors.

It's funny how you think continued advancement is not needed. When is advancement finally needed? When all advantage has already been lost and you have to play catch up? Sorry, at that point it's probably too late.

You either have no clue how the world works or (and I'm betting this is is the real reason) you want to see the US fall from being the economic and military power it is in the world. I won't even bother to speculate on your reasons for that.

By walk2k on 2/26/2007 3:10:51 PM , Rating: 2
"The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain."

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By rippleyaliens on 2/26/2007 6:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
Clearly, you cannot READ. Did you not notice the 241 to 2 Kill loss ratio, with the 2 loss, comming from f-15's..
What this means, is that those jets flying against elite pilots of the ALREADY DOMINANTE F-15, and still smoked them.
In uneducated , wording, those 125million dollar jets smoked the next best fighter jets on the planet.
Not to mention that the F-15 is older than most people here posting.

Why do we need this aircraft? Easy, the United States at this moment, doesnt have the largest airforce on the planet. Even though we are not in a air war, doesnt mean that there is not one comming. Overkill= you have the tools that you need, . Being normal= Man, i wish i had the tools that i need, but dont have.

By mino on 2/27/2007 4:59:12 PM , Rating: 3
Well that ratio says nothing about combat value in a real war.
F15 nor ANY US weapon is designed to shoot down Raptor or Raptor-like craft. It makes sense, there is no enemy stealth project like Raptor, no even a horizon.

However almost any country with a competing military projects from Mirage2000 upgrades up to PAK-FA project makes great strides to be able to engage F-22 successfully.

I is simple, Russians have the best air-defense systems around because they NEED them for the huge territory and to balance superiority (mostly in QUANTITY!) of US naval nad air forces.

US on the other hand have the best fighters to be able to project power to the enemy ground. Simple as that. It does NOT make sense for Russian to make advanced Stealth craft as F-22 as it is MUCH more important to see the enemy than to be invisible when you are above your own country with serious ground support and ability fo fly at the attitude of your choosing as there are no SAM's to worry about...

The only real test to Raptor superiority to even 4+ gen planes would be to attack Russia or France _maybe_ even China or India for that matter.

I believe everyone understands we should never know the reall capabilities of F-22 for that matter.

Other use for F-22 is to threaten and colonize (or "democratize" is the word now?) _technologically_ weaker countries like Iran or NK.
I implify technologicaly as I am pretty sure any G8 country is able to develop and build F-22 class craft. The only reason they do not is that it's not economically feasible for many of them (maybe except Russia) and most importantly _not_neccessary_.
Currently the single country with ability of power projection is US. Simple as that. What the others invest mostly is therefore to inhibit this US advantage and AFTER the have achieved that, they _might_ consider building such a capability on their own.

By jabber on 2/28/2007 6:43:43 AM , Rating: 2
Would be interesting to know the effect on that ratio if the pilots involved knew that the missiles and weapons being used were real.

I guess pilots would fly/behave differently if they knew that that there was more than just a radar lock tone to watch out for.

RE: Why do we need such high-tech planes?
By crazydrummer4562 on 2/27/2007 12:49:43 AM , Rating: 3
Dude let's just go back to good ol' biplanes! They won't get picked up on radar because many of them were made of CANVAS! Brilliant! They'll be so slow that the other planes won't be able to slow down enough to target them, they'll just blow right by!


By mino on 2/27/2007 5:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
Thumbs UP!

By h0kiez on 2/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: ...
By Scabies on 2/26/2007 10:56:34 AM , Rating: 2
yes, and im sure the air war skirmish was not in askala, unless thats some place in the New Mexico / Idaho desert.
Alaska, mayhaps?

RE: ...
By Scabies on 2/26/2007 10:58:14 AM , Rating: 2
But then again, due to the lack of instruments, attitude could be very important...? Perhaps its attitude/altitude,all-of-the-above-and-belowitude

RE: ...
By Brandon Hill on 2/26/2007 10:58:20 AM , Rating: 5
RE: ...
By TomZ on 2/26/2007 11:37:07 AM , Rating: 5
The morale of the story is, if you read something that doesn't make sense to you, use google to quickly find out if it is a mistake/typo or just something that is beyond your current knowledge. I have learned a lot this way.

RE: ...
By brinox on 2/26/2007 11:03:13 AM , Rating: 2
as brandon hill posted, atitude refers to the aircraft's orientation about the horizon, specifically pitch and roll angles.

altitude is the distance separating the aircraft from sea-level which is a function of atitude and time (to be technically in-line)

RE: ...
By Brassbullet on 2/26/2007 2:20:01 PM , Rating: 2
No, attitude is a word, and a very important one if you happen to be a pilot. My guess is you aren't and don't know what you are talking about.

Although altitude is also important to know, attitude, especially in poor weather, can be especially hard to judge without instruments. You may think you are flying level but in reality are rapidly approaching the ground. When that ground is an ocean like in this case, it can be hard to seperate ground from cloud, and you might not realize you are flying towards it until it is to late.

The increasing amount of consumer computer tech in military hardware may very well lead to a whole new era of electronic warfare. Imagine a virus that would open the weapon bay doors on an F-22 exposing you to enemy radar or such, it is a big concern, and, as this situation demonstrates, although the US military goes to great lengths to lock down its systems, mistakes can and will lead to exploits.

I don't think so...
By cornfedone on 2/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: I don't think so...
By TomZ on 2/26/2007 11:42:36 AM , Rating: 2
I'll admit, the story doesn't sound realistic to me either. I find it hard to believe there is so little safety, redundancy, etc. in that system that a simple bug could take out all the on-board computer systems as reported.

RE: I don't think so...
By nomagic on 2/26/2007 11:53:26 AM , Rating: 2
"The aircraft experienced a software problem involving the navigation system en route from Hickam to Kadena. For operational security reasons we will not discuss specific aircraft systems or locations," said USAF.

Anything else is speculation. We dont know what actually happened.

RE: I don't think so...
By daniyarm on 2/26/2007 12:17:10 PM , Rating: 2
Planes NAV and other computers are independ of ECUs (engine control unites) and FBW (fly-by-wire) systems. If all other computers shut down you'd still be able to fly the plane. Reason for this is that most ECUs and FBW systems have nothing to do with dates, therefore they would not be troubled by this time issue. Although I'd like to know how they passed FAA and DO-178B certification.

RE: I don't think so...
By ElJefe69 on 2/26/2007 12:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
most of these pilots could fall asleep while flying and actually, fighting. I would assume though that they can actually fly these things manually as well. that isnt the most outrageous idea really.

RE: I don't think so...
By stromgald on 2/26/2007 8:06:22 PM , Rating: 2
It's a fly-by-wire aircraft so manual flying is out of the question. The design is inherently unstable and extremely difficult to fly without computer assistance. Considering the distance they had to cover and the time required, I doubt the FBW system went down for very long, if at all. Those things probably have two or three backups for the FBW system. It's just about impossible for even the best pilots to fly an unstable aircraft for hours without crashing.

I agree with the above poster that more than likely only the NAV system and attitude control instruments went down. In which case, they would've gotten lost and could've been disoriented enough to crash if they tried to fly too low.

RE: I don't think so...
By Triring on 2/26/2007 9:27:16 PM , Rating: 2
It's probably the main chronometer that went down which is hooked up with the GPS which is hooked up with the altimeter and the laser-gyro compass.
Once the clock goes out it can't time the signals of the GPS which gives readings of longitude, latitude and height.
In other words they were probably using cheapo clocks to time the most sensitve equipement.

RE: I don't think so...
By Lifted on 2/26/2007 12:17:49 PM , Rating: 2

"all of their computer systems crashed"

A fly-by-wire aircraft doesn't fly too well when all of the computer systems are down. Everything is electronically controlled including the flight surfaces, thrust and landing gear.

So, how did it fly/land?

RE: I don't think so...
By DeathSniper on 2/26/2007 4:03:34 PM , Rating: 2
The article states "multiple computer systems crashed", as did the quote from the USAF. Nowhere did it state that all the computer systems went down.

RE: I don't think so...
By Lifted on 2/26/2007 7:02:14 PM , Rating: 2
Then he changed the wording after my comment as I made a copy/paste directly from the article.

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