Originally posted by jetsetter
The problem is that this news shows up no where. It is the same as you with the JASSM. You were the only one that said it was crap. All other
sources said is was performing well and now the US Airforce just ordered full high rate production. Hundreds will be built.
Shows up no where? Are you insane? You should crack open a copy of Aviation Week or Flight International sometime. It's all they talk about! The
F-35 design review was originally scheduled for this past April, but has been delayed until spring 2005 because of the weight problems. Although the
subsequent schedule still anticipates the aircraft entering service in 2010, most people in the program are convinced that the delays in design
reviews and first flight will likely push that date back as well.
Check out the following sites for additional information.
House Rpt.108-187 - DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS
The JSF's preliminary design review (PDR), scheduled for completion at the end of March 2004, remains open due to the identification of a number of
items requiring corrective action, many of which are considered critical. The most significant critical design items that remain open are
associated with weight of the aircraft at PDR.
The aircraft weight estimates presented at PDR exposed 'uncertainties' in the ability of the program to meet schedule and threshold requirements.
The most extreme of the weight issues is with the STOVL variant, which is approximately 1,200 to 1,500 pounds over the PDR target weight
nearly the Initial Operating Capability (IOC) target weight. The historical growth in aircraft weight is 4 to 6 percent from PDR to IOC. If the
weight cannot be constrained at PDR, the STOVL variant could be as much as 2,000 pounds over the required weight at IOC--the weight of one of its
At the end of the March PDR meeting, the Department made a decision to hold the PDR open for the vehicle systems, mission systems, airframe, and air
systems, pending completion of a Blue Ribbon Action Team (BRAT) review. Until design impacts can be identified and the baseline program adjusted to
the BRAT review, JSF is constrained from moving to the next design phase.
Critical design review (CDR) scheduled for the 3rd quarter of 2004 and first flight scheduled for the end of 2005, have not yet been rescheduled.
The Committee believes it most likely these milestone events will indeed be rescheduled and recommends a $45,000,000 reduction to the JSF
based on its judgment that these milestones will not occur as planned in fiscal year 2004.
Air Force Association
article from March 2004
"My two biggest concerns are weight—because that’s one of the drivers for performance—and software," Hudson told Air Force Magazine in January.
Every additional pound limits performance
, but contract specifications primarily are directed toward achieving certain performance requirements
for each individual system, not toward maintaining a specific weight for those systems.
"The empty weight of this airplane is about 27,000 pounds—it's a pretty good size airplane," Hudson said. That is without weapons or gas. "When
you put 18,000 pounds of gas in it, two 2,000-pound bombs, two air-to-air missiles, ... you are up to about 50,000 pounds at takeoff or around the low
40s at maneuvering weight," he added.
Hudson projects that the Air Force's CTOL version will be "about 1,400 pounds heavy" when it becomes operational. He said that the Navy's CV
aircraft probably will also be about 1,400 pounds beyond its target weight and the Marine Corps' STOVL version about 2,200 pounds overweight.
Those extra pounds translate into reduced capability in a key performance parameter—combat radius.
The KPP requirement for the Air Force’s CTOL
combat radius is 590 nautical miles. At its target weight, said Hudson, that version of the strike fighter would actually have a radius of about 660
nautical miles. However, he said, "If we’re at the 1,400 pounds heavy figure, we're at about 640 [nautical] miles."
All these current program challenges led the Office of the Secretary of Defense late last year to direct a slow down—beginning with the Fiscal 2005
budget—in the F-35’s development program.
The delay has forced the program office to move funds from production accounts into development. That
means fewer aircraft will be built in this decade than originally planned.
[Edited on 1-6-2004 by aerospaceweb]