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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 29th Jun 2014, 16:59
  #4681 (permalink)  
 
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Would they fit in an AN-225?

Much cheaper and easier.................
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Old 29th Jun 2014, 18:19
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32klb empty... The B-52H was designed to lift >25klb on each side (two Skybolts and pylon) so maybe that would be the way to go. No GRB-36Js in flying condition, sadly.
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Old 29th Jun 2014, 19:39
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LowObservable wrote:
Hence the northern route and around 10 tankings per aircraft.
Direct from Pax River to Fairford, routing up the Eastern seaboard to Bangor and thence across the Pond from DOTTY no further north than 57N is over 3000 nm, so around 7 hours flight time with a tanker.

My wet finger guess is that each F-35B (assuming they have 6300 kg / 133885 lb max fuel) would require a minimum of 6 refuelling brackets, with average wind conditions....
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Old 29th Jun 2014, 20:38
  #4684 (permalink)  
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SNAFU.......

Marine, Air Force JSF Flights Stalled; AETC Puts F-35A Under Lock, Key

WASHINGTON: The F-35A struck by fire as it took off from Eglin Air Force Base has been secured and is under armed guard in a secure hanger and the Air Force and Marines are not flying their versions of the Joint Strike Fighter program until they know more about the fire’s causes.

“We will resume flying once we know more about the cause of the F-35A fire that occurred at Eglin AFB earlier this week,” Capt. Richard Ulsh, a spokesman for Marine aviation, said in an email.

The 33rd Fighter Wing, responsible for F-35 training at Eglin Air Force Base, said Wednesday morning that its “commander has decided to continue the temporarily (sic) suspension of F-35A flights at Eglin in the interest of safety as we continue to investigate the cause of the mishap.” First Lt. Hope Cronin said in an email to reporters that “We have no further information regarding the nature or extent of the damage” yet.

The fire-damaged plane, under the control of Air Education and Training Command, has been secured as if it were a production aircraft and this was a problem unlikely to affect the rest of the F-35 fleet. This is the first time all the commands and services have grappled with a potentially serious flight incident and it seems pretty clear from what I’ve heard that no one is sure what the protocols are for a plane that is both in the test phase and in low rate production — call it the curse of concurrency. The difficulty is that AETC’s conduct — which appears to be exactly by the book and is designed to ensure that no one else can influence the investigation — means that neither the other services nor the Joint Program Office know much about what has happened to the aircraft.

Compounding this is the fact the Frank Kendall, head of Pentagon acquisition and the one man who could untie this knot with a single memo, is on vacation. Meanwhile, the JPO and the Air Force’s 33rd Fighter Wing, the Marines and the Navy know almost nothing about what happened to the aircraft. It sounds as if someone at Kendall’s office of acquisition, technology and logistics (ATL) may need to ensure that data, photos and other information from the aircraft is shared by AETC so that if there is a systemic issue that may affect the fleet everyone can know it as quickly possible.

Readers who may be wondering why you haven’t seen the word grounded should know that grounding has a specific meaning for the military and these aircraft have not been grounded — yet. Grounded means the plane won’t fly until further notice or the specific conditions that led to the plane being banned from flight is found and fixed. So far they’re expecting to get the planes back in the sky as soon as they have some idea as to the fire’s cause.

A congressional aide who follows the program said today that Hill staffers had received little new information from the services or the Joint Program Office about the plane’s condition. The assumption is that a problem with the F135 engine, made by Pratt & Whitney, caused the fire. And the engine’s core is the likeliest place for such a problem.

The program does not yet have an initial damage assessment. My understanding is detailed photos of the aircraft have not yet been received by the authorities.

Authorities are choosing subject matter experts to staff the Safety Investigation (SIB) and Accident Investigation boards (AIB) to identify the accident’s causes and any measures need to protect the fleet and its pilots.

The SIB should convene “within days” and is expected to produce an assessment within 30 days.The AIB, said a program official, will begin “its investigation as soon as it can do so without interfering in the SIB investigation.” It should be done in 60 to 90 days. Unless there are classified or personnel issues most of the reports should be released.
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 06:03
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A few points:

The breaking Defence article shows B's and C's at Pax River in 2011 rather than A's at Eglin. Am I being picky in wondering why they can't get the right aircraft and if the picture is representative of the rest of the article?

LO - to say the jet seldom lands anywhere but Fort Worth is plainly BS given the number of aircraft based at Eglin, Pax River, Nellis, Hill, Edwards and Yuma. I agree however that I am sure there is significant pressure on the program to get the aircraft to the UK.

The A and C have a different back end to the F-135 (obviously) so maybe that's a factor in what is flying and what isn't? I have no actual knowledge of the event but I'm sure it's being looked into appropriately.
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 07:09
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WO -

The aircraft has very seldom landed anywhere except Fort Worth, the flight-test and training centers and its main operating bases.

I wasn't trying to say that it had only operated at FW.
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 08:52
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According to AW&ST 23rd June, the four B'ees will be accompanied by two KC-10s and are "expected to refuel around 10-12 times each during their crossing." I assume this (perhaps rather large) number of tankings reflects a prudent requirement to top-off regularly to ensure they will always be within some kind of diversion range.

The party "will be joined by a C-17 and at least one Marine Corps KC-130J in support." I assume the KC-130Js will inter alia provide tactical tanking and airborne security detail during the UK flying.



LFH
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 09:07
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I wonder if there will be any warships that just happen to have large enough decks in strategic spots in the Atlantic.
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 09:11
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Lord,

What do you mean by

"and airborne security detail during the UK flying."
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 09:37
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500N

I imagine that if one had to drop in somewhere off-schedule, one might want some chaps to be able to drop in quick, to be able to look after it properly.


LFH
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 09:47
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BEagle....

10-12 tankings according to the Brit pilot in Aviationweek......

Priming JSFs For Transatlantic Trip | Farnborough 2014 content from Aviation Week
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 09:53
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Lord,

Thanks, I should have thought of that.

Last edited by 500N; 30th Jun 2014 at 15:39.
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 12:40
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On reflection: I think the operation is likely to go off as planned.

What we won't know for a long time, if ever, is to what extent this was the result of luck or planning. I'd have thought that before you did something like this, it would be good to perform (literally) a dry run over a Pax-Eglin-Fort Worth circuit, and I am not sure this has been done.
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 15:38
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Looks like the "B" is flying and the 4 jets were at Pax River as of friday evening ready for the flight over the pond. Link below points to a "A" specific problem. Seems the A shed a few engine parts in the recent fire.

Agree there is a lot of pressure to get this deployment and display in the UK done properly. Imagine a whole host of engineers and spare parts on hand in that C-17.

Hope the show goes well! I've had the pleasure of seeing the B fly, and the sound on take off is most impresssive! Pretty normal sound when slow- can't hear the lift fan over the jet.

LO the "B's" have flown to and from Yuma a few times, and just did an over 8 hour flight to get ready for the UK deployment. So yes this is pushing the envelope, but they have dome some long cross countries.

UPDATE 3-U.S. Marines resume F-35B flights; F-35A engine parts found after fire | Reuters

Last edited by sandiego89; 30th Jun 2014 at 15:44. Reason: spelling
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 15:55
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According to the mentioned article above:

Priming JSFs For Transatlantic Trip | Farnborough 2014 content from Aviation Week

The Brit pilot is not quoted as saying:
"...The F-35s are expected to refuel around 10-12 times each during their crossing, flying direct from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland to Fairford..."
that is a reporter (of three) claim.

Meanwhile there is a claim by a reporter that:
"...Until June 4, the longest flight in an F-35B was just 5.8 hr., so Marine Corps pilots from Yuma, Arizona, carried out a series of endurance sorties up to 8.5 hr. long in preparation for the overwater flight...."
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 18:31
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is there any chance that this abortion of a journey, requiring 45 refuellings to get 4 tactical fighters across the Atlantic, will spur on the development of external tanks for the F-35?
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 18:47
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There are claims that external tanks will gain less than 10% extra mileage on top of what is there already. You should chide the Israelis as they have claimed to be intending to develop some form of external/conformal tanks for their F-35i variant. Have not seen anything about this though for a few years - I guess they like to keep things under wraps.
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 18:52
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Spaz

I suppose they might need them to get to Iran
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 19:54
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What would be better for the environment, tanking 4 F35s support from a C17 and a C130 etc or sending them over on the USS Wasp? At least if the Wasp was anchored somewhere there would be fewer complaints about the noise.....
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Old 30th Jun 2014, 21:48
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“This won’t be a Typhoon display, we are showing the unique aspects of the airplane, but it is not going to be doing 50 Alphas [angle of attack maneuvers] and [pulling] 9gs, because we don’t have that flight clearance,” Nichols says.

“We are not going to do a vertical landing, because the surfaces that we need to have on the deck to conduct such a landing do not exist at Fairford or at Farnborough. Hovering is possible, however, so the role demo will include some maneuvers that show off the potential of the aircraft, along with some high-speed passes.”
Something to look forward to! Hopefully for most, it will just be enough to see the F-35. What "unique aspects" that the Harrier couldn't do?
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