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F-35 can’t land on aircraft carriers

Design flaw could have ‘major consequences’


 

A design flaw in the F-35 Joint Fight Striker makes the plane unable to land on a an aircraft carrier, the British Telegraph newspaper reports, citing leaked Pentagon documents. The flaw caused eight simulated landings to fail, the newspaper reveals. A Pentagon report, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Concurrency Quick Look Review, noted that the “arrestor” hook on the back of the place used to stop the prevent it from overshooting into the sea while landing was too close to the aircraft’s wheels. The flaw could warrant major revisions to the jet’s structure, the report warned. Canada plans to purchase 65 of the jets between 2016 and 2022.

The Telegraph


 
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F-35 can’t land on aircraft carriers

  1.  “Canada plans to purchase 65 of the jets between 2016 and 2022.”  And no amount of evidence will deter the Harper government from making this blunder — can’t land on air craft — can’t communicate or refuel in the North — but it’ll look good in photo-op fly-bys.

  2. Does Macleans spell check articles?

    What does this mean?  “back of the place used to stop the prevent it from”

    Maybe you should hire some professional writers.  

  3. just so long as it can retrieve Peter MacKay from fishing trips.

    • If this thing can retrieve MacKay from a boat with that hook as it flies by.. I hereby withdraw all my objections to it — so long as I get to see it in action.

      You don’t even have to let him know ahead of time that it’s happening.

      In fact.. I’d prefer you didn’t..

  4. This article is beyond misleading.  The problem is limited to the F-35B, the possible replacement to the Harrier jet.  The problem is because of the unique engine in the B model.  The reason this article is misleading is that Canada is only purchasing the F-35C model which has a traditional engine and is not affected by this design flaw.

    • Since when did the B get a tailhook. @_X  It’s the C model that has the tailhook–and the C that failed–every–simulated carrier landing (on the safety of land even).

  5. It’s not like Canada has any aircraft carriers that this would be a problem.  We haven’t had one in decades.

    That said, the F-35 is still a waste of money. 

    • True, but someone (read: purchasers) will have to pay the extra development costs nonetheless. You can bet as much as possible will be passed along to non-US purchasers (i.e. us)

  6. Why worry about this.Canada dosn’t have a aircraft carrier

  7. To his credit, I believe this related news was first published over on the popular F16(dot)net blog site a week ago by a contributing blogger named Eric Palmer.  He was apparently citing a DoD quick-look report released last November.

    With respect to how exactly the flawed F-35C variant affects Canada (which btw was still ordered by the USN in the FY12 budget with seemingly little concern over the matter), it’s probably relevant to the fact that overall annual build rates could be reduced in the future if at least one variant is eventually suspended from production.  That and the general bad-press and bad-politics it gives to any Govt considering the already over-costing, technically challenged and increasingly delayed fighter jet.

  8. This is old new already (as in November) and only applies to the F-35C (carrier version) which Canada is “not” purchasing. Canada is purchasing the F-35A model which does “not” have a carrier arrestor hook. Once the F-35C’s tail hook is redesigned it will be fine.  A note to Macleans, if you are going to do F-35 coverage please at least try to stay current with the
    F-35 program so that you are reporting news not history.

  9. The F-35A, which Canada is buying, is not a carrier aircraft and therefore has no arrestor hook. This article is far more significant for the British given that they intend to purchase the carrier borne version of the fighter (F-35C) for their future Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

  10. What people are missing is that a fair chunk of the plane order is for the Naval variant. If the plane is found to be unable to complete it’s primary task – takeoff AND land on an aircraft carrier – then several hundred units are at stake in the production run. If this results in cancelation, then the unit prices for the remaining models will go up, not insignificantly because the Naval variant is 1/6th of the total order. Interestingly, while the arrestor hook has obvious interest to the british, Wired’s read the whole report and found that there’s no less than 13 major trouble spots with the new planes, including:

    The Helmet mounted display system does not work properly.The fuel dump subsystem poses a fire hazard.The Integrated Power Package is unreliable and difficult to service.The F-35C’s arresting hook does not work.There are classified “survivability issues”, which have been speculated to be about stealth.The wing buffet is worse than previously reported.The airframe is unlikely to last through the required lifespan.The flight test program has yet to explore the most challenging areas.The software development is behind schedule.The aircraft is in danger of going overweight or, for the F-35B, too nose-heavy for VTOL operations.There are multiple thermal management problems. The air conditioner fails to keep the pilot and controls cool enough, the roll posts on the F-35B overheat, and using the afterburner damages the aircraft.The automated logistics system does not work properly.And the lightning protection on the F-35 Lightning II is uncertified, with areas of concern.

    • Don’t forget the F-35 program is developing three aircraft simultaneously no just one so more issues then usual are bound to come up. Also please bare in mind that the F-35 flight test program has another six years to go.The whole point of a test flight program is flush out problems with aircraft systems.  By the looks of it the F-35 is performing really well compared to other historical fighter test flight programs, most other previous fighter test programs have suffered a major incident during test flight.  (See youtube for the F-14, F-16, F-22 test flight incidents.)

      • Don’t forget the F-35 program is developing three aircraft simultaneously no just one so more issues then usual are bound to come up.
        No. It’s developing 3 variants on a common airframe and propulsion for the express purpose of limiting such design issues. For the record: “we expect the airframe will break down sooner than required” is a rather huge one.

        The suspicion that the stealth coating melts off at supersonic speeds? Also rather daunting.

        Also please bare in mind that the F-35 flight test program has another six years to go.
        The plane was supposed to be delivered a long time before now. It also was supposed to start to be delivered to customers in 2016. Note the was: do not expect this to happen. The way things are going production is going to be pushed back again. Already you have Hawkish folks like McCain down south getting antsy about the current “keep testing while going to production” continuously running up costs every time they need to stop to roll in a new fix..

        The whole point of a test flight program is flush out problems with aircraft systems.
        You don’t say…

        most other previous fighter test programs have suffered a major incident during test flight.
        “We haven’t killed anyone yet!” is not a valid metric for success: especially when the report also points out that increasing restrictions on the testing process has prevented stress testing and, as folks like to say, “pushing the envelope”.

        To be honest, this is increasingly sounding like a R.101 project given how willing the people at the political level seem to be to ignore what’s really going on.

  11. What people are missing is that a fair chunk of the plane order is for the Naval variant. If the plane is found to be unable to complete it’s primary task – takeoff AND land on an aircraft carrier – then several hundred units are at stake in the production run. If this results in cancelation, then the unit prices for the remaining models will go up, not insignificantly because the Naval variant is 1/6th of the total order. Interestingly, while the arrestor hook has obvious interest to the british, Wired’s read the whole report and found that there’s no less than 13 major trouble spots with the new planes, including:

    The Helmet mounted display system does not work properly.The fuel dump subsystem poses a fire hazard.The Integrated Power Package is unreliable and difficult to service.The F-35C’s arresting hook does not work.There are classified “survivability issues”, which have been speculated to be about stealth.The wing buffet is worse than previously reported.The airframe is unlikely to last through the required lifespan.The flight test program has yet to explore the most challenging areas.The software development is behind schedule.The aircraft is in danger of going overweight or, for the F-35B, too nose-heavy for VTOL operations.There are multiple thermal management problems. The air conditioner fails to keep the pilot and controls cool enough, the roll posts on the F-35B overheat, and using the afterburner damages the aircraft.The automated logistics system does not work properly.And the lightning protection on the F-35 Lightning II is uncertified, with areas of concern.

  12. What people are missing is that a fair chunk of the plane order is for the Naval variant. If the plane is found to be unable to complete it’s primary task – takeoff AND land on an aircraft carrier – then several hundred units are at stake in the production run. If this results in cancelation, then the unit prices for the remaining models will go up, not insignificantly because the Naval variant is 1/6th of the total order. Interestingly, while the arrestor hook has obvious interest to the british, Wired’s read the whole report and found that there’s no less than 13 major trouble spots with the new planes, including:

    The Helmet mounted display system does not work properly.The fuel dump subsystem poses a fire hazard.The Integrated Power Package is unreliable and difficult to service.The F-35C’s arresting hook does not work.There are classified “survivability issues”, which have been speculated to be about stealth.The wing buffet is worse than previously reported.The airframe is unlikely to last through the required lifespan.The flight test program has yet to explore the most challenging areas.The software development is behind schedule.The aircraft is in danger of going overweight or, for the F-35B, too nose-heavy for VTOL operations.There are multiple thermal management problems. The air conditioner fails to keep the pilot and controls cool enough, the roll posts on the F-35B overheat, and using the afterburner damages the aircraft.The automated logistics system does not work properly.And the lightning protection on the F-35 Lightning II is uncertified, with areas of concern.

  13. Maybe Canada is going to buy or build an aircraft carrier or seven? Maybe Mr. Harper is interested in rebuilding Canada’s military to the vaunted and respected force that it was before PET gutted it. With our President on the fast track to gut our military, we are going to need a strong and capable ally to help defend both our countries. Just thinkin………

  14. These things are basically useless, and costly beyond any justification.

  15. Ha Ha Ha … the closer this jet gets to becoming a  reality, the more the competence of Peter McKay is exposed.

    Solid, sound business decisions on behalf of Canadian citizens, that really should be some sort of a factor in a political party don’t you think?

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