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Stunning F-35 Shots

These stunning photos have been hand-picked as a little tribute to one of the most awesome fighter jets ever built – the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. Initial fielding of this single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters is currently scheduled for 2016. (www.flightstory.net) さらに...

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I understand the value of single-engine fighters like the F16: agility. But for the Navy? Isn't their doctrine more toward BVR engagements. I'm sure the STOVL version is considerably heavier, and having that second engine would be pretty comforting on those cold nights patrolling the North Sea, etc. Any numbers on in-flight engine failure rates for the Tomcat and Hornet? I wonder how the aviators feel about it. It's a stunning-looking aircraft, though.
That's an impressive looking air brake. Any info on how effective it is? I realize other surfaces also contribute to braking. I'm just wondering how much of a contribution that scoop on the top has.
Gentlemen, with all due respect, you are going to find after a little research that the scoop that you see sticking up on top is not a speed brake. That cover is opened up to allow the massive airflow that is necessary to flow through the vertical lift fans to lift an aircraft of this weight. That opening will need to be covered once the aircraft transitions to forward flight to make the airframe slick for speed and this "scoop" as you call it is that cover.
Thanks. That makes much more sense. It sure doesn't look like it would be strong enough to even be held open like that at speed.
In looking for video of this in action, I found this amazing video.
This video is a flight simulator video that that does not represent the flight characteristics of this aircraft. It's phoney!
It's from Battlefield 2.
Thank God, thats an expensive plane!!
Isn't it about time to retire "stunning" and give it a well deserved break? Also, "Initial fielding of this...fighters" could use subject-verb agreement. I can appreciate enthusiasm for a subject, but after reading "Pilot had a sorted past" and now this, I would recommend a little proofreading as well.
You sound like my High School English teacher. If the grammar in the articles posted here really irritates you to the point that you have to actually post a comment about it, you're on the wrong website. Get a grip!
Your high school English teacher did pretty well by you, but would probably wish you'd pointed out that in "Initial fielding of this . . . fighters is" there is no disagreement between subject (fielding) and verb (is), but rather between the adjective (this) and noun (fighters). It's your Mother Tongue, so speak it well, eh? Cheers!!
she shure is a perty lil beast tho ain't she?

Here is an F35 video that tells the story of the aircraft.
I'm just lookin at $. It don't seem like the raptor is that old. They were working on this thing before the F22 ever went on active duty. Ain't no wonder defense $ are out of control, reardless of how pretty it is. IMHO
Its a different plane thean the raptor ...the F-22 is an air superiority fighter that is not made for air to ground attacks...

The F-35 is a joint venture made to be exported as well...the F-22 will never be exported

The F-22 was developed and built years ago and has been operational for a few years now

The F-35 will be replacing several aircraft and the savings on operational costs will be huge

2 totally different planes for different uses
It's still hard to justify the $ and albeit they are 2 different planes. Like I said this thing was on the board before the raptor ever went on AD. Wrongheaded thinking in here somewhere. The only thing was that they stopped production on the raptor before they built as many as they had originally planned and the F35 may meet the same fate when final costs are looked at. It will be interesting.
Im actually glad they stopped making the raptor... once you have enough to take out the world I think your good to go...

The F-35 took a lot of things they learned from the raptor in regards to new stealth

The f-35 is on the same path the F-16 was on when it was born...same things were said then and Im betting the same outcome will happen...

I doubt they will end up producing as many as planned for the US inventory as I think we are seeing a shift to a complete UAV world...

looking at the hypersonic weapons in development makes me worried that the F-35 will have a short life for the USA...that's my biggest fear with the costs we dumped into this project
Well, that's my whole beef Mike, not really against the F35 but at all the thinking going into it, and some of that is not wrongheaded, as these programs take years to develop but this world is changing so fast. You mentioned the UAV's and I agree. Sometimes, as in business and the market changes, you just have to cut your losses, in this case on development, and go to something else. As an example, UAV's and their useage have long been recognized. We don't have and endless supply of $. Maybe we need to stop one program and go to another rather than trying to do both. Government doesn't seem to have the capability to do that. Maybe we can't here for various reasons, but I doubt if anyone has ever thought of it or considered it given the attitude that the $ teat won't never run dry.
The F-35 is a joint venture with several countries and will be sold to many others as well... I believe we will be making some money back on this project for once. At least that is what my hope is.

I agree that as fast as the world is evolving it is impossible to chase technology around and not get burned at some point...
I don't think it looks that pretty. It looks like it's from the Cold War.
what other aircraft in today's inventory do you think look like they came from the cold war?
I first thought "air brake" when I looked at that scoop, but being an engineer, I gathered more information (looked at the other pictures) and quickly realized it was an air inlet for vertical flight. Anyway, an air brake would hinge in the front and lift in the back.
I thought he was popping the canopy in the first photo off the carrier. Now it all makes sense.
Id hate to be under this thing when its dropping bombs!!!
Steve, I hear you. Not sure I would want to be under ANYTHING dropping bombs :)
way too expensive
compared to what? ... If you look at true operating costs with the savings factored in for the fact its replacing 3 aircraft your statement is invalid. Not to mention the fact that this plane will be sold on the market and taxes will be paid on those sales...

in all reality the Lightning will be a bargain when we look back in 40 years
Very nice! Thanks!
It would be nice if Canada would some day again develop their own fighter as was done with the Arrow. I need to read more about this bird before forming any opinion on whether or not it will be suitable for Canadian operations. It won't be the first single engine jet we have had though.
Now Alistair, what would all these fine union folks do for work down here if they did something like that.LOL
lol, yeah.... i guess they would just have to strike and let our Canadian Gov't (if it were bold enough) put out an RFP for a CANADIAN fighter. Though i digress... it would never happen. :(
That would be nice for us (Canada) to develop our own craft but after the demise of the Arrow, all our good engineers went to the USA an put a man on the moon amongst other things.

This plane is intended to replace the CF-18 as a fifth-generation stealthy strike fighter. I do not believe Canada is receiving any of the STOL versions that the US Navy and Marines are going to use. The CF-18's need to be replaced soon because as good as they are, they are getting almost 30 years old. The other advantage of the F-35 is the similarity in airframe within the three versions that will be used by various NATO countries so maintenance and parts should be more straight forward and cheaper because they are all similar (Like Westjet only using 737's because training and parts are all the same).

Someone asked why the F-22 was developed since the F-35 was on the table and the simple answer is the F-22 is replacing the F-25 as an absolute air-superiority fighter designed to knock anything out of the sky in order for the rest of the air fleet to come in and do their jobs. Though the F-35 will be a great fighter, think of the difference as the F-22 replacing the F-15 and the F-35 replacing the F-16's and F-18's.
Whoops, there is no F-25. That should be F-15. Sorry for the typo.
great points... Great to see others understanding the cost savings and the fact that the F-22 is a air superiority fighter and the F-35 a ground attack aircraft.

The F-22 has been misunderstood now for years... people think its a failure because they stopped producing them (which is crazy because we have enough operating to take out pretty much any air force) and that the F-35 is replacing it...
I would love to fly a plane like this. Sadly it is only to be logged as SEL. :)
It might be able to devastate and enemy, it will most certainly devastate our budget.
Upfront costs are huge but long term it will be one of the best purchases by the military...when the F-16 was produced people went nuts about the costs... Looking back it was one of the best purchases ever.
smoki 0
This is a brief run down on the F-35 program with which I am somewhat familiar. Sorry for the length. The photos appear to be a mix of at least two of the 3 variants of the F-35, the Joint Strike Fighter development program awarded to Lockheed Martin (LM). For sure the F-35B STOVL variant primarily intended for the Marine Corps is shown operating (being tested) from the deck of the USS WASP, an LHA operated by the US Navy specifically for carrying and deploying a combined Marine Air Ground Force. The large door opened aft of the cockpit exposes the intake of the forward lift fan (driven by drive shaft linkage to the low pressure turbine) which in combination with vectored tail exhaust/thrust controls pitch while two wing posts provide lateral control all of which combine for either short takeoff performance (below wing borne flight) or vertical hover and landing thus the STOVL acronym for "short takeoff and vertical landing." The B variant is the most complex design of the 3 variants and the one that has become the most demanding in terms of DT&E. Initial production has been delayed by SecDef Gates for two years (almost one year ago now) to work out the problems with a threat to cancel the B variant though that may be a hollow threat since there isn't any competing design out there. The most recent program manager for the Corps, Major General Heinz, was fired. The B variant is the only one that can come closest to achieving a thrust to weight ratio equal to or in excess of 1 in a combat configuration. It was initially too heavy, at 2000 lbs over weight but LM was able to make the necessary modifications to get the weight down.

The F-35A is the least complex in terms of airframe/engine marriage and does not have the added weight nor the internal fuel sacrifice imposed by the B variant with its forward lift fan. It is designed for CTOL or conventional takeoff and landing for the USAF. It like the Navy's variant, the F-35C, does not have the lift fan so that area of the airframe is smoothed over as shown in the photos.

The F-35C is designed for U.S. Navy Carrier ops. The C model has 8 feet longer wingspan a section of which folds for carrier deck ops, carries more internal fuel, has longer range and the heaviest max gross weight at 70,000 lbs. On a side note, the Navy recently successfully tested what may in due course replace the age old and time tested steam catapult system with an EMALS or Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System which enables gradual acceleration buildup (less stress on the airframe and avionics), a wider range of launch weights, no requirement for desalinization of sea water for the steam catapult, fewer mechanical parts thus less weight and far more efficiency than the 5% efficiency of the steam catapult system.

All F-35 variants have an internal weapons bay and external hard points for weapons carriage and/or carriage of pods/tanks. All carry the AMRAAM and ASRAAM air defense missiles. None have conventional cockpit mounted HUDs which has been replaced by helmet mounted displays for flight/fire control. All variants are FBW with electro-hydraulic control, are of low observable (stealth) technology and have the most sophisticated avionics ever put into an airframe which includes voice recognition software for commanding the aircraft and its fire control systems. Software development has become so complex and demanding that it will likely be a work in progress for some time after initial fielding. All variants possess both air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities and all variants carry a 25mm internal GAU-12 cannon which was developed for the AV8 Harrier II. It is among the most expensive if not the most expensive military tactical aircraft development program ever. There's been lots of jawboning about cost and schedule overruns but there's nothing else out there on the drawing boards for the foreseeable future. The F-35 is it. While the U.S. market is for 2400 airplanes several other countries intend to buy it including the Israelies with their unique variant, the F35I, in terms of fire control systems and weapons carriage. The program has been around since 1996. By taking so long to complete development, test and evaluation of the F-35 the services are looking at having to extend the lives of the teen fighters, i.e. 15, 16, and 18 or accept some gaps.

The designation F-35 was a surprise to everyone not least of which was LM who had been referring to it as the F-24 in succession of the F-22. The "Lightning II" designation is in keeping with the revolutionary history of its WWII predecessor the P-38 Lightning. I'm personally partial to the "Pursuit" designation for Fighters.
Your high school English teacher did pretty well by you, but would probably wish that you'd pointed out that in "Initial fielding of this . . . fighters is" there is no disagreement between subject (fielding) and verb (is), but rather between an adjective (this) and noun (fighters). Cheers!


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