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F-35 JSF Hit by Serious Design Problems

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posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 07:46 AM
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www.defenseindustrydaily.com...


On May 3, 2007, during the 19th test flight of the prototype of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), a serious electrical malfunction occurred in the control of the plane. After an emergency landing the malfunction could be identified as a crucial problem, and it became clear that redesign of critical electronic components was necessary. Producer Lockheed Martin and program officials first announced there was a minor problem, and later on they avoided any further publicity about the problems.



before anyone comments i would appreciate it if people read the link - theres alot more than a few lines in the quote:



The F-35C naval variant's Hamilton Sundstrand power generator was mistakenly designed to only 65% of the required electric output. To accommodate the required increase, it will also be necessary to redesign the gearbox for the standard Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, which will be fitted into the conventional F-35A version as well as the naval F-35C. The contract announced by the US Department of Defense in August 2007 says that this engine update won't be ready for use until the end of 2009, which is almost the beginning of low-rate initial production.


so power supply issues , gearbox redesign AT THIS STAGE - with IOC within 2 years this is aweful - the F135 BLOWING UP (october 2007) - the engine is actually in a mess - again read the link


and finally which is totally amazing:


It wants to build 2 fewer prototypes, and skip 800 of the 5,000 planned test flights. This after only 18 successful and 1 almost fatal testflight in half a year's time.




so you have to actually ponder - is the F35 EVEN SAFE - the raptor didn`t face a complete electrical/ engine redesign.


and is the F136 actually the best option now - since the F135 is overheating and exploding less than 2 months ago.




posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 08:49 AM
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umm you need to check yout facts about the stresses that the F-135 was subject to when if blew in the test chamber. To those who don't know what your talking about it would sound as if it failed inflight.

The F-136 is for the B version and not feaseable (from what I understand) for the A or the C so no its not the best option for those airframes. I remeber hearing about a report that I attached to the F-35 testing thread about a minor electrical issue. Are we talking about the same one but its actually much worse?



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 09:46 AM
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reply to post by Canada_EH
 


`i need to check my facts`

the F135 was undergoiung routine tests when:


Latest word is that they are awaiting a proof test of the F135 engine because the powerplant experienced a third stage low pressure turbine blade cracking on the test stand in October. They will proof test the FTE-3 engine and if it passes -- which they expect it to -- flight testing will resume before thanks giving using this engine. The F135 engine runs the highest turbine inlet temperature of any jet engine in the history of aviation -- a whopping 3600 degrees where most fighter engines operate in the 2600 to 2800 degrees range.
The flight control issues have long since been addressed in September; thats not what's holding things up. The AA-1 has out and about been doing ground runs using FTE-1 since October."
Confirmed with a picture on November 14, 2007 from Keith Robinson, local aviation spotter in Fort Worth



i didn`t mention that the aircraft or engine was flying at the time - if that was true it would be all over the news


and the `minor electrical issue` effects 270 sysems including the vaunted electro-hydrostatic actuators which is what caused the high speed landing event in may - the problem is the entire system needs redesigning at increased cost (why i don`t understand - they didn`t get it right first time but they want more money to fix it!!!)

i`ve actually read today another link which states that as the electrical issue was allready reported to the media as `minor` they didn`t feel another report for the far more serious electrical issues was there fore needed....

www.defenselink.mil...


United Technologies Corp., Pratt and Whitney, Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded a $71,503,988 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00019-02-C-3003) for the procurement of F-135 gearbox redesign and re-qualification, and delivery of nine redesigned gearboxes. The gearboxes will be incorporated into F-135 flight test engines being delivered to Lockheed Martin for the F-35 flight test aircraft. Work will be performed in East Hartford, Conn., and is expected to be completed in December 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity


$71 million dollers to fix a problem they caused by not reading the spec correctly.

its madness


are you sure about the F136? i know the USAF/USN want the P&W engine but i haven`t seen anything that says the F-136 couldn`t be used in its place



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 09:57 AM
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What I find quite amazing is that this is exactly why the X-35 program happened.


All these problems were supposed to be solved between then and now, as they were meant to be the dem/val aircraft!



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 10:27 AM
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The point of the F136 was for competition to the F135 to bring costs down, so it would interchangeable across all 3 versions

www.defenseindustrydaily.com...

Edit: link didn't work



[edit on 4-12-2007 by deckard83]



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 07:07 PM
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reply to post by Harlequin
 


My statement on fact check was in response to clearing up the fact on it being on the test stand. Sorry fact may have been the wrong choice of word. The F-135 issue is as I said one that was extremely out of the flight envelope as I was told. The electrical system is completely different issue and I'm in complete agreement that that seem (unconfirmed speculation) to have completely dropped the ball on this "small" issue.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 08:37 PM
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I’m afraid to even say anything at this point, because the same old ATS members will immediately accuse me of US bashing, instead of looking into the real issue criminal mismanagement of most expensive fighter projects in worlds history.

The problem is SYTEMAIC, simply because major issues are repeatedly swept under the carpet decade after decade, all while even conceptually irrational equipment is pushed into production.

It’s called Military Industrial Complex LOBBY in Washington DC, and their job is to bribe and weasel their way through our government in order to defraud the American tax payer.

Here’s the long standing reality, to which American citizens chose to turn a blind eye to;


On January 17 1961, Eisenhower gave his final televised speech from the Oval Office. In his farewell speech to the nation, Eisenhower raised the issue of the Cold War and role of the U.S. armed forces. He described the Cold War saying: "We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose and insidious in method..." and warned about what he saw as unjustified government spending proposals and continued with a warning that "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."


articles.gourt.com...


Eisenhower coined the very term “military-industrial complex”, and among COUNTLESS of other major flops, problems with F-22 and F-35s are simply not out of the ordinary, in fact they are simply to be expected.

F-16s wire chafing caused repeated crashes which resulted in needles deaths of US pilots.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but as of today, more F-16 pilots were killed do to catastrophic malfunctions then hostile enemy fire.

It took over a decade for the families of those pilots to clear the names of their husbands and sons, and that they had to prove in COURT in a class action law suit which proved that those crashes were not caused by pilot error, but in fact were caused by repeated short circuiting which took out entire instrument panel and FBW system.

Osprey is major another disaster waiting to happen, especially since it already killed and injured its crews in peace time crashes.

Now Osprey is fielded in Iraq, and if they will fly anywhere close to where the action is, we’ll be watching them burn on CNN real quick.

No autorotation means uncontrollable descent and certain death if one of the engines fails or is damaged by enemy fire, end of story.

Just of the top of my head, M60 (both MG and tank), F-111, F-16, M-16, M1 Abrams, M2 Bradley, Osprey, Paladin, Striker, “uparmored” HUMVEE, M92, the list goes on…



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 12:30 AM
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Originally posted by iskander
I’m afraid to even say anything at this point, because the same old ATS members will immediately accuse me of US bashing, instead of looking into the real issue criminal mismanagement of most expensive fighter projects in worlds history.


Well let me give it a shot here. I'm going to respond to your post and try to do it in a nice a way as i can and in return if you could refrain from posting a one liner telling me I don't know what I'm talking about that would be great.


It’s called Military Industrial Complex LOBBY in Washington DC, and their job is to bribe and weasel their way through our government in order to defraud the American tax payer.

Here’s the long standing reality, to which American citizens chose to turn a blind eye to


I'm not goign to pretend that I know the ins and outs of the US goverment system but I do understand it and its functions. I'll agree that there is double motives behind approving a large number of programs and that they are spending tax payer money faster then its coming in. And do americans turn a blind eye to it? well we are generalizing but yes in the large amount of Americans there is a undeserved trust they put in the people not the system that is failing them




Eisenhower coined the very term “military-industrial complex”, and among COUNTLESS of other major flops, problems with F-22 and F-35s are simply not out of the ordinary, in fact they are simply to be expected.


I'm fully aware of Esienhower's final speach and have watched it a number of times. I think part of why I agree with what he is saying is that he was the most resent president with any true military experience and understanding of the system. He saw the missile crisis and where it was headed and the spending on the military and the fact that it was important enough for him to put it in his speach says alot about how serious he thought it was.
I think you hit something on the head here though. Problems are to be expected in the F-35 yes. But the issue for a number of people is how big of a problem is inexcuseable. So on the OP subject is the F-35 program crap because of this problem? Well for me I think that a mistake this big and this costly is very similar to the V-22 and I think we will see the same controversy surrounding the project even more so now. I'm not going to say the plane is crap since its untested but the project facing some big problems like the A350 has had recently.


F-16s wire chafing caused repeated crashes which resulted in needles deaths of US pilots.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but as of today, more F-16 pilots were killed do to catastrophic malfunctions then hostile enemy fire.


We also fly less combat missions in these planes then we did with the F-86 etc. I think the same statement can be made for many planes that doesn't mean the planes and their programs are crap though. If deaths can be limited then I'm all for it its just a matter if the companys really do put the pilots safety first sometimes in these "modern" projects.


It took over a decade for the families of those pilots to clear the names of their husbands and sons, and that they had to prove in COURT in a class action law suit which proved that those crashes were not caused by pilot error, but in fact were caused by repeated short circuiting which took out entire instrument panel and FBW system.

What does FBW control? Well if it puts imputs from the pilot to the controls and it fails its going to look like the pilot failed. BUT You are right that the fact that it took decades to clear the pilots names is too much, but thats goverment right?. The Russians, British etc have all denied or harassed these types of things since day one.


Osprey is major another disaster waiting to happen, especially since it already killed and injured its crews in peace time crashes.
Now Osprey is fielded in Iraq, and if they will fly anywhere close to where the action is, we’ll be watching them burn on CNN real quick.


No one will argue the hazards of test flying or the fact that the V-22 development was a hard one. The plateform is much improved though now and the tech used for it the orginal and the current have large difference. In my opinion its much to early to say matter of factly that the plane will fail in combat. But you can have your opinion but its not a fact.


No autorotation means uncontrollable descent and certain death if one of the engines fails or is damaged by enemy fire, end of story.


If you look at the number of helo crashs in Iraq and etc you will see that less and less of the time that autorotation comes into play since its rockets that blast off the blades and or structual failure of the airframe due to the damage as well. Is it nice to have AR to back you up incase? Yeah it is.


Just of the top of my head, M60 (both MG and tank), F-111, F-16, M-16, M1 Abrams, M2 Bradley, Osprey, Paladin, Striker, “uparmored” HUMVEE, M92, the list goes on…

Are we listing failed projects or projects that the military industral complex is good examples of? The Complex is a discussion on its own I think but pointting to it as a link for the failings or main issue of the F-35 program isn't that far fetched but when TMIC has gripped many nations of the world and people are given AK-47s instead of food by Warlords you see how bad it has become.

I do Actually look forward to what you have to say iskander as I don't think I have been bashng here or even completely disagreeing with you in what you have had to say just been giving my take on some of the issues you raised.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 03:01 AM
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Another fact was discovered via a military employee of one of the European air forces, who works within the JSF project team, and is a liaison person for several air forces. He says that flying in 2012 with the JSF may be safe and the JSF can be used as a plane to fly around. But, the several software modules for weapons system integration will not be ready. Ground attack capability is the priority, so early-build F-35s will primarily be "bomb trucks" until the additional software modules can be tested and loaded. Air superiority capabilities will be restricted, and completed only after 2015. This means that full multi-role capability is possible by 2016 at the earliest, if and only if no major problems occur in development and testing of the weapon systems software.



big quote - bolded is mine


but there saying that the F35 will be a bomb truck *only* for at least another 10 years - and 6 years after its introduced into service!

i know there are many critics of this project - but to not be multi role for 16 years after the contemporaries (typhoon, rafale, griffon, various migs and su`s) is a pretty poor show - in the next few years there will be advances that will make the LO factor (which really is the only selling point) near useless - and hanging bombs of the wings will negate that as well!

great so the aircraft is stealthy - a wing full of bombs isn`t.

edit for spelling

[edit on 5/12/07 by Harlequin]



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 03:37 AM
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All of the above kind of ties in with my own thread over which type the UK should opt for IF the budget should prove too tight for both. If the situation plays out as reported then the Typhoon would be the only choice for the RAF in the timescale.

However, should both prove affordable as planned at least the RAF only wants the F-35 as a bomb truck, The FAA however is kind of depending on some A2A capability as well.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 07:43 AM
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Here's a thought regarding this whole debacle:

This will obviously fortify the position of those who want an export version of the F-22 to become available to US allies. Australia's new government has again called on the US to allow them to purchase the F-22. (source: New Australian Government Wants to Consider F-22s: AW&ST, Dec 2, 2007 )

This on the heels of Japan's renewed calls for an export version of the F-22.

Also, IMO, the current F-15 groundings are obviously being capitalized on by those DoD folks who want more F-22's for the USAF, that said, here's a tin hat conspiracy theory to consider...

What if LockMart & the Military Industrial Complex is more interested in near term profit as opposed to long term, and therefore has sabotaged their own program in order to expand domestic sales of the F-22 as well as cause Congress to reconsider an export version of the F-22?
As the old saying goes... "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush".

Near term profit goals can currently benefit the nation's economy thus making the Bush administration appear to be stronger on economic issues -
Thoughts anyone?



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 09:32 AM
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reply to post by bios
 


Well anyone can make a conspiracy work and the F-15 A/D failure and crashs being linked to more F-22s and it for export. I know PM has posted a story on this. Now I don't take what they say as always 100% true but tech and specs are usally harder to fudge since their are plenty of USAF personel who understand the airframes and if the issues are true or fease able.

www.popularmechanics.com...


13 hours worth of testing is required per airplane before it can pass inspection, with results reported back to Air Force headquarters. Each bolt to be twisted, every panel to be removed and each line to be checked is listed in detail. In the case of the F-15 investigation, Crosson says, specific attention is being paid to the hydraulic system lines, environmental control systems that regulate the cockpit, and structural frames called longerons.


So we are dealing with at least the first inspection was base level and every airframe. It wouldn't be that hard to find any airmen that would be willing to talk about the inspections or what they can. Also from what was said about the reground due to 2 airframes that had further longeron cracking. (is 2 a large number out of well over 250 airframes)


The longerons require four hours to examine after the jet has been prepared by removing panels to gain access, according to Lt. Col. Al Porter, deputy maintenance group commander for the 366th Fighter Wing. “The maintainers are looking for any cracks in the upper and lower longerons or any other structural deficiency, including any problems around fastener holes or the fasteners themselves,” he says.


Out of interest who owns PM?

Oh and the economic issue. Bush needs any help he can get. The sooner he is out the more likely the US tax payers will get the real story about how bad off it is. But a F-22 deal wouldn't in all honesty make the big difference. A lil help but the big help would be the re-evaluation of the Iraq- Afgan missions and money spent their.

[edit on 22/08/06 by Canada_EH]



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 10:10 AM
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13 hours inspections per airframe x 250 airframes is 3250 hours or 135.6 days of pure inspections - thats nearly 4 /12 months of constant inspections - add in weekends where they won`t do them (honestly can you say engineers wont want there precious weekend off) so add another 1000 hours for weekends off (and an average of 30 days per month) we are now up to 6 months of pure inspections.


the fleet hasn`t been inspected yet so finding 2 - and i would hazzard a good guess that those 2 are in the first 50 or less.


so a conspiracy could say they knew the F15 frames are shot - in an effort to get more F22`s they let them fall from the sky.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 10:27 AM
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Sorry reply to my own post :

www.defensetech.org...

the AA-1 F35 was suupposed to fly again yesterday but the flight was aborted to due continuing (*apparantly*) fixed issues with engine - a few comments from `witnesses say a catastropic failure was closely averted.


edit:

is it true that as of now the F35 is $233M per airframe?

edit 2:

www.defense-aerospace.com...

it appears at first glance that the Netherlands are VERY concerned over the end cost - that so far , the aircraft will be `significantly` more expensive to purchase , let alone operate , than other `off the shelf now` solutions.

given the noises SAAB are making to denmark over the JAS-39N , and belgium talking about the typhoon - i must ask , is the export`s of the F35 in trouble?


i ask , because i have heard a rumour that Royal Navy personel have been visiting the French Naval airstation at Landivisiau - which of course is the home to squadron 12.F.

the above is only a rumour i have heard though.

[edit on 5/12/07 by Harlequin]



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 10:39 AM
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reply to post by Harlequin
 


Well in actual truth the 15 doesn't even really impact the 35. Its the F-16 and its service life that is the plane that is the USAF wants to phase out and as it leaves bring in the 35.
With the way that the 16 is ageing and the fact that the USAF was worried about the 35 not being able to be ready on time months ago. Now with this update to the news on the electrical system we may see fallout.

“We obviously are carrying a lot of heavyweight weapons” on the F-16, Forsythe noted, and “using the airplane quite a bit.” The F-16 was expected to fly about 250 hours a year, on average, but those deployed to combat have averaged 300 hours per year or more. Put another way, that means the most heavily used Falcons are aging at the rate of five years for every four in service.

Initially, the F-16 was expected to have a 4,000-hour service life, which at 250 hours a year translates to a 16-year life. Falcon STAR will help the F-16s reach a service life of 8,000 hours, or 32 years.

However, for planning purposes, the Air Force expects to withdraw the last F-16 from service in about 2025. By that time, under current plans, the Air Force will have about 620 F-35s. By comparison, the Air Force today, including active and reserve components, has about 1,300 F-16s.


www.afa.org...

more info on the F-15 and other USAF aircraft aging.
www.afa.org...

Also I havent seen news of any of the F-35 issues on flight global or the JSF homepage (less likely i know) but anyone else have any hard links?


[edit on 22/08/06 by Canada_EH]



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 10:56 AM
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One really has to wonder about the 'transparency' between the US military, the US manufacturers and what is released to the public (and customer nations).

As a supplier of military hardware, purely from observation, one has to doubt the reliability of US technology and industry.

Currently, we have.....

F-22s with premature corrosion problems, and not available to allies.
V-22s that can't fly with their particle separators because they start engine fires (those in Iraq have already been modified - all others are restricted until new particle separators are kitted and fitted - with consequent engine life reductions) - and this after all the years of testing that the aircraft has undergone.
F-35 with 'major' (at least cost-wise) modifications required for engine gearboxes (as pointed out above - after all the testing and development associated with the X-35 program), implying further delays and further cost over-runs, and
F-15s (which constitute the major component of the North American continental air defense system) grounded because they have been over-optimistically lifed and are suffering structural failure. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia have also grounded their F-15 fleets pending inspections. Begs the question - how over optimistic is the airframe life of the F-15E - that is, even though they are younger, is the same problem there and how far short of their planned life will the problem surface?
F-16s being used up faster than expected due to greater combat usage, exacerbated by further increased usage to cover for the grounded F-15s - and due to the increased usage there is already concerns about whether they can be kept in service until the (now inevitably) delayed F-35s take their place.

...and, apparently nothing in the wings to cover the failure of any of these programs. Be thankful you have the Canadians there to protect your airspace from those 40 year old Russian (low tech, but reliable) bombers!

Don't take this as US bashing, but, honestly - If you were in the market for military equipment, wouldn't you be asking yourself - is the US a reliable source of equipment? Can anyone reasonably expect that any customer country will entertain ever buying F-15s again - If you think so, check the history and demise of the DC-10 as a saleable product and the consequences that followed for MDD.

As an aside (it should probably be under another thread), if Australia's new government wants to buy F-22s instead of F-35s, then exactly what would we be buying to replace our aging (and as the previous Defense Minister said - no longer maintainable) F-111 bomb trucks with. F-22s might be a good solution to replace F/A-18s, but it is hardly a bomb truck! In the light of the F-15 structural problems, I can't imagine that you could give away a squadron of them to us - F-15Es or otherwise.

And finally, I have to say - The manufacturers don't give a rat's rectum about pilot's lives - they are only interested in getting the contracts and the money - unfortunately that's the way American business philosophy works!

The Winged Wombat

[edit on 5/12/07 by The Winged Wombat]



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 05:34 PM
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I'll just keep saying it. F-18E/F is the best strike plane out there for the $. Kill the F-35 before we spend 200 billion on that flying compromise.
Sure it's stealthy... as long as it's only carrying two bombs.

Buy lots more F-22's, F-18E/F's as replacement bomb trucks. Problem solved.
Hell I'd be pleased as punch if they killed the JSF and split the money between more F-22's and reopening the B2 line.

750 F-22's
150 B2's
350 F-18E's

Same price

You tell me if you're getting your money's worth on that turkey.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 05:48 PM
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reply to post by Harlequin
 


It's not the engineers doing the inspections. It's the airmen and sergeants that maintain the aircraft normally that will be doing them, so they can bring them in on weekends, and work around the clock doing inspections.



posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 11:51 AM
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www.reuters.com...


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - United Technologies Corp (UTX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Wednesday it had fixed a blade failure in its engine powering the first Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) F-35 fighters.


small steps



posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 12:13 PM
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This thread and that article are misleading on some points and biased, I'll address it in detail when I get home. However in the meantime, look up the testing history of the Tomcat, Hornet and the Eagle, or any new major weapons systems. The only difference is, people did not have internet back then to pointlessly speculate and misinform people.



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