Print 32 comment(s) - last by jconan.. on Jan 25 at 1:59 AM

F-35 vertical landing  (Source: DefenseNews)
Jets have significant issues with engines and other componnets

The F-35 Lightning II program can't win for losing. The long running issues with the aircraft have been well documented and have led to delays in the program. Many of the flight issues with the F-35 have centered on the more mechanically complex F-35B STOVL version of the fighter aircraft. A new report has surfaced that highlights some previously unknown problems with the F-35 program.

According to a report compiled by the Pentagon Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, the F-35 aircraft all suffer from various problems with handling, avionics, afterburner, and the helmet-mounted display systems. The F-35A and F-35B variants are specifically said to suffer from "transonic wing roll-off, [and] greater than expected sideslip during medium angle-of-attack testing" according to the report. The report also notes that many of the components being used in the aircraft are not as reliable as expected.

The F-35B has had various issues with subcomponents in the past, specifically the ones that allow the door behind the cockpit to open so the aircraft can get the air needed for vertical landing. The F-35B has made successful vertical landings recently.

One key problem that is common on the aircraft is an issue described as afterburner "screech" reports Defense News. Apparently, the F-135 engine provided by Pratt and Whitney has a problem where airflow causes severe vibrations that prevent the engine from reaching maximum power.

The helmet-mounted display system in the aircraft is also having issues, but the report doesn't delve into this exact problems. The F-35 has no traditional heads-up display like other aircraft flying today - all pilot data is on a display inside the helmet.

Lockheed martin spokesman John Kent said, "The F-35 air system advances Helmet Mounted Display technology to capabilities not flying today on any other tactical platform. With this advancement in technology come challenges that the program is actively managing. The challenges are being worked with the supplier." Kent goes on to say, "While there are no current plans to change suppliers, options are being considered in parallel that mitigate the most stressing issues. Flight testing is proceeding with the HMD installed and used with no safety of flight concerns."

The report also mentions an issue with the aircraft’s onboard inert Gas Generation System that helps prevent oxygen from building up inside the fuel tanks where it becomes a fire hazard. The report recommends a redesign for the system. 

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Amiga500 on 1/19/2011 4:00:03 PM , Rating: 1
I was under the impression that fixes were well underway for most, if not all, of these problems. Indeed, I had thought some were solved at this stage.

(and as most on here should know, I'm no particular fan of the program)

RE: Uhhh....?
By Sazabi19 on 1/19/2011 4:06:59 PM , Rating: 1
Ya, we got robbed in this deal somehow :( We get creappy over-budget (even for govt./military contract) nasty lookin subpar fights, and China gets the J20, wtf America? What is happening to us?

RE: Uhhh....?
By MrTeal on 1/19/2011 4:17:08 PM , Rating: 5
Remember the Mig-25? Might want to hold off on the panic until there's some credible performance figures for the J-20 before declaring that the US military is doomed.

RE: Uhhh....?
By Sazabi19 on 1/19/2011 4:23:13 PM , Rating: 2
Doomed? No, didn't sensationalize it. We have plenty of older jets that will probably perform better to back it up, even if the fleet is aging.

RE: Uhhh....?
By ekv on 1/20/2011 3:31:01 AM , Rating: 2
before declaring that the US military is doomed
It's not so much "doomed" as it is a case of the 'Galactic Empire' in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series. You know, where other things political step in and make the military, even though overwhelming, irrelevant.

RE: Uhhh....?
By dgingeri on 1/19/2011 5:00:53 PM , Rating: 2
We still have the F-22. It is far superior to anything else in the air, and is now even cheaper per plane than the F-35 that was supposed to be the cheap alternative.

I'd equate the F-22 with a 60's Corvette compared to the F-35 being a Pinto.

RE: Uhhh....?
By Goty on 1/20/2011 12:35:11 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention that the F-22 is probably the realistic competitor to the J20, rather than the F-35.

The J20 kind of looks like the F-22, F-35 and F-15 had a really ugly crack baby.

RE: Uhhh....?
By gamerk2 on 1/20/11, Rating: 0
RE: Uhhh....?
By misuspita on 1/20/2011 3:13:38 PM , Rating: 2
I believe that until Artificial Intelligence will be able to pursue a target, avoid incoming threats, perform evasive maneuvers, and withstand unknown situations that appear in-flight, removal of the human pilot from the airplane is a pipe dream.

And you cannot pilot from hundred or thousand miles away. It's just not realistically possible. Not when a split second makes the difference.

RE: Uhhh....?
By jconan on 1/25/2011 1:59:09 AM , Rating: 2
At least there's no problems with unmanned aerial vehicles. They're probably more cost effective to a pilot and a plane combined. Don't have to worry about the lost of the pilot, just launch another UAV e.g. Iron Man 2.

RE: Uhhh....?
By Divide Overflow on 1/19/2011 4:27:22 PM , Rating: 3
Who says that fixes aren't underway or have already been implemented? This undated report is not necessarily up to date with the current status of the program. Large summary reports like the one cited often lag considerably behind current events.

Friggin laser beams
By DoeBoy on 1/19/11, Rating: 0
RE: Friggin laser beams
By Chaser on 1/19/2011 5:05:51 PM , Rating: 1
well at least you don't hate the U.S. We need more patriots and brilliant military experts like you that share your world view.

RE: Friggin laser beams
By mmatis on 1/19/2011 10:25:47 PM , Rating: 2
Lasers do not work particularly well through fog or clouds.

RE: Friggin laser beams
By RubberJohnny on 1/19/2011 11:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
If the laser is powerful enough to take down a plane I very much doubt it will have a problem going through a cloud...

RE: Friggin laser beams
By ikaika on 1/20/2011 12:21:51 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps he meant to say Sharks. With friggin' laser beams mounted to their heads.

RE: Friggin laser beams
By drycrust3 on 1/20/2011 2:02:33 AM , Rating: 3
ZK758: Control Tower, Are we cleared to land?
CT: Roger.
ZK758: Control Tower ... we can't see the runway ... there's some fog on the runway.
CT: Copy. One moment ... (loud buzzing sound) ... how does that look?
ZK758: Copy. Ohhhhhh ... that's good. Just one small cloud between us and you, do you think you can zap that too.
CT: Roger ... (loud buzzing sound) ... how's that look ZK758 ... ZK758 ... ZK758 ...

RE: Friggin laser beams
By Amiga500 on 1/20/11, Rating: 0
RE: Friggin laser beams
By Calin on 1/21/2011 2:31:32 AM , Rating: 1
The military of the U S of A is not used to protect its land - it's used to invade other countries.
Land-based lasers would be nothing in something like the First War on Iraq or Second War on Iraq, or even the War on Afghanistan

Sorry but...
By BitJunkie on 1/19/2011 4:52:53 PM , Rating: 1
This must be the worst blog post I've seen on Dailytech to date:

"Jets have significant issues with engines and other componnets"

Jets don't have issues, they have problems with mechanical reliability, design faults and out of specification performance. Components suffer from higher than expected mean time between failure. People in therapy have "issues", military hardware designed to maintain the freedom of the greatest country in the world does not.

Please go and find your thesaurus or my 10 year old daughter might be able to take over writing articles and opinion pieces for this website.

Carry on.

RE: Sorry but...
By AssBall on 1/19/2011 5:08:59 PM , Rating: 1 ( issue ):

n. problem. In colloquial use, issue has virtually replaced the word problem.

Don't quit your day job, unless you are an English professor.

RE: Sorry but...
By BitJunkie on 1/20/2011 12:52:54 AM , Rating: 3
My Dictionary is better than yours: in this case the Oxford Online.


* an important topic or problem for debate or discussion:
the issue of racism
raising awareness of environmental issues

* (issues) personal problems or difficulties:
emotions and intimacy issues that were largely dealt with through alcohol
I like him, though I have some issues with the guy

* (issues) problems or difficulties, especially with a service or facility:
a small number of users are experiencing connectivity issues

Anyway, you made my point for me by stating that it has, in colloquial use, replaced the word problem. It's a cheap overused word for those with a poor vocabulary and no imagination. Or those with the learning age of a 10 year old.

None of the defnitions above are relevant for an engineering design. They are very relevant for situations where personal preference, opinion or personal inconvenience are concerned.

I have an issue with the use of the word issue so frequently in the cited article. It's out of context and used in the most inappropriate way. It makes the author appear lazy, poorly educated and lacking in creativity. Do you have an issue with that?

RE: Sorry but...
By Josett on 1/19/2011 10:36:46 PM , Rating: 1
People in therapy have "issues", military hardware designed to maintain the freedom of the greatest country in the world does not.

And, that'd be a paralogism.

RE: Sorry but...
By BitJunkie on 1/20/2011 1:22:15 AM , Rating: 3
No, it would be irony.

If all this is true
By Amedean on 1/19/2011 4:46:50 PM , Rating: 2
If all of these modifications are true, we are looking at severe re-engineering that can be years away! It would be INSANE to expect a new engine fitted and tested in 2 years. Good lord all of the backwards engineering just to engineer and wrought the thousands of miles of wires and circuitry. Then after that doing tolerances to determine the thermo-dynamics at engine operating temperatures - good heavens no this is giving me a headache!

RE: If all this is true
By Makaveli on 1/19/2011 6:18:12 PM , Rating: 2
lol maybe they should just cancelled the whole program, make a few more raptors. Then use the rest of the money to pay off some of that god damn debt. It may be a few drops in the ocean but how big does the debt have to be for it to become a problem?

RE: If all this is true
By Smartless on 1/19/2011 6:24:40 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah. From a less educated standpoint, I wonder if that vent behind the cockpit that sucks air into the VTOL is a danger to the pilot if ejecting. Most likely not since the ejection force is so great but just the thought about how much suction that must generate...

As for testing and the retesting, a pity we don't know the whole story because then we could track where this all went wrong instead of speculating. What would truly be a shame is if we finally build it and only order a 100 since it sucks.

We should just get more F-22 now...
By HrilL on 1/19/2011 7:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
Since the price of both planes is almost on par and the F-22 being better for most rolls we should just get more of them and less F-35s.

By HoundRogerson on 1/19/2011 8:17:58 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. With all of the setbacks of the F-35, it IS getting to be equal in cost, so why not buy the plane that works.

OR, nuke the entire planet, thereby removing the human race as a whole, and we won't need to spend anymore money on stuff that doesn't work.

Buy from the Chinese
By AstroGuardian on 1/20/2011 8:28:05 AM , Rating: 3
Maybe it's time to buy ourselves few bunches of those new Chinese fighters. They would probably come cheaper, and we can chip-tune them for best results...

Money Pit
By Shadowmaster625 on 1/20/2011 8:27:26 AM , Rating: 2
Argue all you want that we actually need this garbage. Raise your hand if you're more afraid of Osama or "nucular" weapons than of dying in a car crash caused by some idiot who buys the same propaganda you do.

But one thing you cannot argue is that we need STOVL. That is just a 50 billion dollar money sinkhole inside a trillion dollar money pit.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
Related Articles

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki