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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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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.


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