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F-35 soars again  (Source: Lockheed)
GE Aviation sees hopes of second engine for F-35 dashed

The F-35 Lightning II is one of the most expensive weapons program ever and has been plagued with cost overruns and delays since it launched. New details on the generator failure that caused an emergency landing and the subsequent grounding of the F-35 fleet have been unveiled.

Defense News reports that the generator failure that affected test aircraft AF-4 has been determined to be the result of an improper maintenance technique that goes along with a new generator layout in some of the newer F-35 fighters. Once the problem was traced to the new generator layout in newer aircraft, the F-35s using the older generator layout were cleared to resume flight operations.

The earlier aircraft that resumed flight operations included three F-35As and four F-35Bs. Defense News reports that the maintenance procedure has now been revised and that the full fleet of F-35s are now back to operation.  The aircraft with the older generator layout resumed flights on March 14. The cause of the generator failure in the test aircraft was traced back to an excess of oil inside the generator.

The excess oil circulation inside the generator after maintenance caused the generator to overheat and fail. Lockheed claims that the loss of flight time has not impacted the test flight schedule. The F-35 program is still ahead of its flight schedule for the month.

The F-35's have taken back to the air, but AMD Online reports that the second power plant for the F-35 has officially been killed. We reported in February that the House was set to vote on the bill to kill the second engine.

The stop work order was announced last Thursday. GE Aviation in Ohio was developing the second engine.



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About time...
By sorry dog on 3/28/2011 12:13:46 PM , Rating: 5
The second engine was only about politics, and actually hurt the development by diverting resources away from other parts of the system.

...and I don't why so many bag on this plane for not being good enough. It's going to be a game changer... we're not sending F22's to Libya because their capability is not really needed, but I'm sure if we had F35's ready, they would have been in high demand. In fact they probably could take on some the B2's target load.




RE: About time...
By Sazabi19 on 3/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: About time...
By DigitalFreak on 3/28/2011 1:00:51 PM , Rating: 5
You are an idiot.


RE: About time...
By Sazabi19 on 3/28/11, Rating: 0
RE: About time...
By gamerk2 on 3/28/2011 1:13:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In fact they probably could take on some the B2's target load.


B2's are too expensive to really use outside the initial parts of an invasion; theres a reason why the aged B1 has dropped more tonnage in the war on terror then every other airplane/drone put together.

Likewise, the JSF lacks the capacity to carry some of the largest weapons in the US Arsenal while remaining stealthy at the same time; that role remains reserved for the B2.


RE: About time...
By Iaiken on 3/28/2011 1:19:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In fact they probably could take on some the B2's target load.


Sorry Dog, but do you really think that?

B-2A - 60,000lb payload
F-35C - 3000lb internally + 15000lb externally

For them to retain their limited stealth, you would need 20 F-35C's for each B-2A that you wanted to supplant and they would be limited to 6 500lb bombs.

If you didn't care about stealth, it would still take 3 F-35C's and you still wouldn't be able to carry individual ordinance larger than a pair of 2000lb bombs externally and several 1000lbs in addition to the internal capacity. This means you cannot carry the abundance of 2000lb bombs that would be required for the hardened targets that the B2 was likely after. In this case, you'd be better off sending in a B1 with it's 180,000lbs of guided munitions payload.


RE: About time...
By Smartless on 3/28/2011 3:12:40 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Plus the F35 was designed to be a best in the world multi- role aircraft. It will be awhile before the plane sees active duty with pilots experienced in its capabilities. Besides, Libya is a short-sighted opponent with coalition help. Weapons like the F35 are a deterrent against countries like Russia or China. What if China decides to elevate its border disputes with its neighbors like Japan, India, or Tibet? War-mongering aside this aircraft better be at least as good as we paid for.


RE: About time...
By Iaiken on 3/28/2011 4:07:54 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Weapons like the F35 are a deterrent against countries like Russia or China.


The fact that you think Russia would ever want to attack the US frightens me far more than the remote possibility that they actually would...


RE: About time...
By ekv on 3/29/2011 4:41:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
the remote possibility that they actually would
Granted still remote. However ... you've seen the latest aircraft under development by them. Perhaps you've even seen the latest tv commercial by CAGW ["...now they work for us"].

There are implications and consequences for having a perceived bumbler in the White House. Whether he is naive or not is besides the point here. It is the perception that counts. Just sayin'


RE: About time...
By Iaiken on 3/29/2011 12:52:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
However ... you've seen the latest aircraft under development by them.


So let me flip that on you so you can see how absurd that statement is. Are they not supposed to develop advanced weapons, if so, then perhaps the US is not supposed to either?

It's circular reasoning that ends in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We think: "They are going to develop newer advanced fighters, so we need to develop newer advanced fighters."

Meanwhile they think: "They have developed newer advanced fighters, so we need to develop newer advanced fighters."

Which results in us thinking the same ad infinitum. I don't think either side can stop, I don't think either side should stop because it gives people purpose. Americans get to feel "we're the good guys" the Russians get to feel "we're the good guys". It simply can't stop until both sides recognize that they are just "guys", neither good, nor bad, just different.


RE: About time...
By ekv on 3/29/2011 4:05:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So let me flip that on you
So you haven't seen the latest aircraft under development by them.

I understand the argument you're making re: "circular reasoning". I won't be so hostile as to label it a standard-Liberal-canard, though be assured I am not a mad-man.

If you think about it, my point was, the U.S. still has a position of leadership. What isn't being addressed is how tenuous that position is and how easily it is being squandered. I have a gut feeling that some camel jockey sees this and is emboldened. Or instead of a camel jockey, some Chinese General with a triple PhD in economics, law and cyber-warfare. Take your pick.
quote:
It simply can't stop until both sides recognize that they are just "guys", neither good, nor bad, just different.
If we can't be the good guys then we're going down the wrong road. Stop. Turn around. Head the right direction. Not easy, but better than a mere illusory sense-of-purpose.


RE: About time...
By Iaiken on 3/30/2011 11:02:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
standard-Liberal-canard


You'll find that I have a much more astute view. My point is not to say that the US or the Russians are wrong, but rather to say that they can have reasons that don't fit in with traditional lines of thinking. Afghanistan taught both nations valuable lessons in the futility and expense of attacking even small nations, let alone large ones.

The problem is, the old concept of winning and losing doesn't really fit in modern warfare.

Hypothetical: If the US leaves Afghanistan and they have a civil war that causes them to fall back into Taliban control, the US loses, Afghanistan loses. If the nation holds a referendum to become an Islamic republic, the US loses and Afghanistan loses in the eyes of the American people.

Even when you go back to the Soviet-Afghan war, I would argue that both the US lost and Afghanistan lost. When the US refused to arbitrate a Soviet withdraw and to oversee the installation of the democratic government that the moderates wanted, they left the door open for the bloody civil war that followed.

The Taliban that won the civil war were largely just as foreign as the Russians. They came from Pakistan, Chechnya, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Saudi, Iraq, and so on, the only difference being that they were Muslims oppressors who believe that participating in freedom and democracy is against Islam. A haven for Islamic extremism was born and the US lost because they had to come back later to deal with the problem.

quote:
So you haven't seen the latest aircraft under development by them.


I've seen it, but I have a different outlook on it than you do. If you look at a lot of what the Russians offer in the way of future military tech, they are mostly what I'll call "capability denial" systems. Many are defensive systems that deny the US access to it's most vital capabilities, such as air superiority. Even the new fighter has a place in these newer integrated air defensive systems.

The aims of these systems are ultimately to generate revenue for Russia through their sale to nations that feel a US invasion is possible, or even inevitable. In this regard, the US plays the part of the bogey man and the Russians go into the business of building night lights so they can sleep soundly.

The real beauty of this system is that the US will always find a way for their offensive capabilities to outstrip them. Thusly, they will need newer and better systems to deny those expanding capabilities. It's a race condition from which the Russians benefit greatly and the other participants lose financially.

quote:
If we can't be the good guys then we're going down the wrong road. Stop. Turn around. Head the right direction. Not easy, but better than a mere illusory sense-of-purpose.


Again, I was merely pointing out what my life experience has taught me on the subject. I see this as a problem for both sides, however, I cannot offer up a solution because I am just one person and this is something that both groups have to come to grips with as nations, that each person within those nations will have to come to terms with.

How can one expect the people of either nation to come to similar conclusions? You can't. It's feels good to think that our side is good and that by extension we're participants in good things and therefor good ourselves. We are used to it and as you've stated, it gives people a sense of purpose. Even if they do, then what?

Definitely not easy...


RE: About time...
By ekv on 3/31/2011 3:16:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You'll find that I have a much more astute view.
And if I don't? I mean, just suppose for a second, that's all it'll take, just suppose that it's not really an astute view at all. You just think it is. Suppose I think you're just a typical over-confident American, all bluster and no brains, wouldn't it be my responsibility to knock that chip off your shoulder? Take you down a notch or two?

Hypothetical: my nickname is Dr. Dr. Dr. Firesale. I helped write the book on asymmetric warfare. You can define "is" however you want to, so long as you're working for me. Maybe not today, nor tomorrow, but soon. And I'll fly commercial all the way to Washington to prove my point.

http://www.cagw.org/

And you don't even know HOW to call me an enemy ... because, after all, I'm just trying to edumacate you, right? It's all relative. The only bad guys are easily spotted, since they're the absolutists trying to point out who the "enemy" is. Etc.

Not. 8)


RE: About time...
By Iaiken on 3/31/2011 10:08:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You'll find that I have a much more astute view.


I don't think I really communicated my meaning with regard to astuteness...

What I meant was that I have a view of the Russians being much more astute than we typically give them credit. Not that I see my own personal point of view as being more astute. I freely admit that I am often wrong and that I could be wrong here. I also do my best to remind myself that; as an individual, I simply cannot know what is best for anyone other than myself.

My apologies if I was not clear on the matter.


RE: About time...
By ekv on 3/31/2011 1:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I simply cannot know what is best for anyone other than myself.
Not exactly frightening, but it does raise the question ... What am I supposed to do with that statement? What am I supposed to make of it?

I suspect Russian or Chinese or, hell, Libyan leadership for that matter doesn't really hold to such a statement. Nature abhors a vacuum. I don't care for our leadership being imposed on me, much less theirs.


RE: About time...
By FITCamaro on 3/29/2011 10:38:15 AM , Rating: 2
Yes because the US and Russia are the best of friends, always have been, and always will be.

/rolleyes


RE: About time...
By Iaiken on 3/29/11, Rating: -1
RE: About time...
By FITCamaro on 3/29/2011 2:47:20 PM , Rating: 2
Russia and the US coexist because they have to for now.

They are not friends and never have been. They are just as against us putting anti-ballistic missile systems in Western Europe as Iran is.

Look at when Russia attacked Georgia. Were we agreeing with them? No.

If anything, Russia is getting more hostile than peaceful.


RE: About time...
By Iaiken on 3/29/2011 3:32:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If anything, Russia is getting more hostile than peaceful.


So would you then say that they are an enemy that needs to be vanquished?

If so, I feel sorry for you...


RE: About time...
By ajfink on 3/29/2011 4:33:04 PM , Rating: 2
As I recall, Russia was actually thumbing a rather corrupt government in the eye and defending ethnic Russians from persecution.

Just as the US or EU can be justified in military action, so, too, can Russia.


RE: About time...
By Iaiken on 3/29/2011 5:32:08 PM , Rating: 2
I am not sure if could have laughed harder when George Bush Jr. said:

"Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century."


RE: About time...
By SunTzu on 3/28/2011 5:02:10 PM , Rating: 2
Remember that outside of the early phase of a war, ground support is the most common job. You dont *need* a 60k pound payload, when all you need to do is loiter and place a few JDAMs where they're needed.


RE: About time...
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 3/28/2011 6:05:41 PM , Rating: 5
The A-10 for that job, to hell with the F-35.


RE: About time...
By eZEKIEL on 3/28/2011 6:30:10 PM , Rating: 2
unfortunately the A10 has several limitations compared to F35:
-not stealth
-no litening pod (older targeting)
-top speed <400kts
-combat range of <250nm
-flown by AF (which presents many other limitations i.e.carrier/sourcing)

so no, not really


RE: About time...
By CharonPDX on 3/28/2011 8:37:29 PM , Rating: 2
Already in use in Lybia.

I'll be sad to see the A-10 go. It really should have all its inventory transferred to the Army, since it is used entirely as a tactical Army ground support aircraft.

Selling points:
-Operates low-and-slow, is *VERY* quiet. Excellent for use against lower-tech ground troops.
-Uses very cheap ammunition, aimed by the best smarts around - a human pilot.
-Fuel efficient allows long loiter times
-VERY resilient. Can operate with large portions of the wings and stabilizers destroyed.


RE: About time...
By ekv on 3/29/2011 4:48:18 AM , Rating: 2
We need an A-10 replacement.

Start with the gun, like Fairchild did originally, and build from there. Triple redundancy, lots of shiny new avionics, etc.

[And tell General Charles A. Horner to shove-it-where-t-s-d-s]


RE: About time...
By mmatis on 3/28/2011 8:58:06 PM , Rating: 2
The second engine would have enabled at least PART of the F35 fleet to keep flying in the event of an engine problem with ONE of the two powerplants. With this decision, ANY significant problem with the ONE remaining source GROUNDS THE ENTIRE FLEET. And engine problems are more common, and harder to solve, than hydraulics or airframe or avionics problems. Hell, the whole reason for United Launch Alliance is to give the US assured capability to launch satellites if ONE of the two EELVs (Delta IV and Atlas V) gets grounded. But what the hell. We don't really need a fighter jet anyway. We'll just use lightsabers to gain air supremacy.


RE: About time...
By sorry dog on 3/28/2011 11:32:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sorry Dog, but do you really think that? B-2A - 60,000lb payload F-35C - 3000lb internally + 15000lb externally For them to retain their limited stealth, you would need 20 F-35C's for each B-2A that you wanted to supplant and they would be limited to 6 500lb bombs.


Yes, I really think so. The B-2 flies from an air conditioned hanger in Missouri while the F35 would likely come from a much more logistically friendly hangar...so once the B2 has entered the target area the flight of F35's delivered their ordinance 4 hours ago and are back at base...and then the B2 probably needs 300 maintenance hours and RAM repair since it just did a 24 hour flight...and there's only 20 of those hanging around so any substitution of the workload for lower hour airframes would be a good thing. The F-117's which also carried 2 2k pounders didn't seem to suffer from a shortage of targets and doubt the F35 will either.

As for the GE engine, another engine would increase supply chain complexity by at least a factor of 4 and if engine development problems are so common then you would have doubled the chance that at least part of the fleet would be grounded at some point. And to this point the engine has been one of the brighter spots of the F35 development.


RE: About time...
By FITCamaro on 3/29/2011 10:36:40 AM , Rating: 2
You don't know what you're talking about.

The second engine was about international partners wanting to be able to choose which engine they wanted. A US designed engine(P&W) or a European designed engine(GE/Rolls Royce).

Now I'll say that if our European partners want their own engine, they should provide the funding to develop and support it.


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