Print 35 comment(s) - last by ekv.. on Mar 31 at 1:09 PM

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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RE: About time...
By Iaiken on 3/29/2011 12:20:37 PM , Rating: -1
So you're denying that Russia has changed for the better with regards to US interests? You're also passive-aggressively asserting that that these nations are enemies and always will be. That one is good and the other is evil?

Personally, I really don't know what to tell you. If the US insists upon viewing Russia as 'the enemy', then that is what Russia will become because they will reject that assertion. The US thinks they are a force for good, but in reality it's just a nation capable of both good and of unspeakable evil.

Now hindsight is 20-20 and when you look back on it all, you realize that these changes have long been forthcoming, but largely ignored by US politicians to their own benefit.

Even at the end of the Nixon administration there was meaningful progress towards coming to terms with this to the benefit of both nations with Détente. Gorbachev had realized (long before they had entered Afghanistan) in his own words that "we can't go on living like this any longer". This was a specific recognition of how damaging the idea of "us vs. them" along with the fear and uncertainty that came with it had been to both nations.

However, much of this progress by Kissinger was ignored by the government after Nixon left office. Not simply ignored, but instead undermined by convenient fictions that were created by the neoconservatives who would soon take powerful positions in the Reagan administration (specifically Rumsfeld, Cheney, Perle, Wolfowitz and Pipes).

Suddenly the concessions of Détente were being ignored and the economic collapse of the Soviet Union was just a clever ruse. The CIA's facts had no place in this new administration and soon Team B (headed by a neoconservative) was set up and the outcome of their findings were a foregone conclusion. Some of their assertions were completely absurd, ranging from anti-ballistic laser beam weapons to non-acoustic means of detecting the US submarine fleet. For Team B, the very absence of evidence of these items existence was proof enough of their existence.

When we look through soviet histories on the subject now, we find that the CIA was right and that Team B had spun an elaborate fantasy to support their prescribed conclusion. The Soviet economy was collapsing, none of these technologies espoused by Team B existed, their air defenses were in disarray and the politicians who would soon take power were reformists who wanted the Soviet Union to become a socialist representative democracy. All of this was on file and available to the government at the time and they simply chose to disregard it.

To take things further into the realm of absurdity, the neoconservatives then bought into a book called 'The Terror Network'. This book asserted that the Soviets were behind global terrorism and William J. Casey (head of the CIA at the time) was hooked. The problem is, the CIA had made it all up. They demonstrated to Casey that the books author had mistakenly rounded up CIA black propaganda by showing him the mission files that corresponded to each example in the book, but they were dismissed. The US government was now buying their own manure and the only people who had produced it had been fired or resigned.

Enter Afghanistan. At the end, the Russians had come to the US and told them that they wanted to leave and they wanted the US to arbitrate then handover of power. Perle basically told them to go f*** their hat and that the freedom fighters would work that out for themselves once the Russians were gone. Gorbachev immediately sent a secret message to Reagan through the KGB that explicitly stated (paraphrased) 'Allowing the Mujahideen to take control of Afghanistan will not produce democracy. Instead, the most extreme forms of Islamism will rise up and triumph.' This warning was ignored.

The problem that Gorbachev pointed out was that the Mujahideen was no longer primarily made up of Afghani irregulars, but of foreigners from Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and others. Many of these were extremists specifically let out of prisons in their home country and shuffled off to the jihad with the fondest hope that they would be killed in the fighting.

One of these criminal extremists was Ayman al-Zawahiri, who would later become mentor to Osama bin Laden. His Islamist ideas had come to dominate the Taliban (mostly non-afghans at the time) forces that would later take power in the coming civil war. These ideas were completely contrary to the political ideas of the moderates lead by Abdullah Yusuf Azzam. When Azzam was assassinated, his non-terrorist ethos for affecting change died with him.

How'd that all work out for the US anyway?

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
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."

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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