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The F-35 thread, Mk II

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The F-35 thread, Mk II

Old 25th Apr 2024, 19:51
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Oregon Air National Guard Kingsley Field

Please forgive me if this been mentioned on here but I thought it was odd that last year's CAF decision to change 173rd Fighter Wing from intended Boeing F-15EX FTU to being Lockheed Martin F-35A FTU. Well one squadron will be the actual FTU within the wing the squadron was F-15C/D FTU...

https://www.173fw.ang.af.mil/News/Ar...ning-squadron/

AFAIK Eglin, Luke and Hill in effect have F-35A FTUs?

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Last edited by chopper2004; 25th Apr 2024 at 20:15.
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Old 25th Apr 2024, 22:55
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LM solve problem of how to fly F-35 TR-3 trials……


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Old 26th Apr 2024, 07:18
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Today, America prizes air superiority in its approach to warfare, but there's a growing sentiment among many within the defense apparatus that dogfights, or close-quarters air-air combat are things of the past

Given that dogfights are increasingly unlikely I find it difficult to be persuaded that small expensive agile fighters - F35 - are needed.

Surely larger less agile ( cheaper ) still stealthy aircraft carrying more weapons and sensors -and able to stay on task for much longer - could win the over the horizon air battle and thus achieve air superiority ?

They could also keep further away from the ever more sophisticated ground to air defences?

Hopefully great minds are worrying about this ( and the Question of whether drones can replace manned aircraft ) but with money short and an increase in defence spending looming the more discussion on defence expenditure the better.

I fear that inter service rivalry ( Navy Carriers for instance ) and selfish interests still influence important and costly decisions.


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Old 28th Apr 2024, 01:12
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STOP ME if'n I'm droning: RAF stealth fighter jet's 290mph near miss with drone at 14,500ft 28 Apr 2024
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/austr...ft/ar-AA1nMOb3
"Drone was being flown at more than 36 times the legal height for the devices - An RAF stealth fighter came within just 300ft of smashing into a drone being flown illegally over Norfolk, an official report has revealed. The incident, which occurred at 14,460ft, is believed to have been at the highest altitude ever recorded for a near miss between an RAF aircraft and a drone...."
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Old 28th Apr 2024, 01:18
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USAF preparing its F-35 pilots to carry out basic maintenance and refueling chores
Posted on April 27, 2024 by alert5
https://alert5.com/2024/04/27/usaf-p...es/#more-99323
"The US Air Force recently conducted a training exercise focused on Independent Pilot Off-Station Procedures (IPOP) for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on Apr. 1st, the exercise aimed to equip F-35 pilots with the skills necessary to operate in austere environments with limited support personnel.

Pilots from the 422nd and 59th Test and Evaluation Squadrons (TES) participated in the IPOP training. The exercise curriculum included practicing basic maintenance procedures, such as post-flight inspections, and refueling techniques. By mastering these skills, F-35 pilots can potentially extend the operational range of their aircraft and improve mission flexibility, particularly when deployed to locations with limited ground crew support...."

LOTS of JPGs with captions here: https://www.nellis.af.mil/News/Artic...at-nellis-afb/
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Old 28th Apr 2024, 04:14
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Originally Posted by SpazSinbad
STOP ME if'n I'm droning: RAF stealth fighter jet's 290mph near miss with drone at 14,500ft 28 Apr 2024
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/austr...ft/ar-AA1nMOb3
"Drone was being flown at more than 36 times the legal height for the devices - An RAF stealth fighter came within just 300ft of smashing into a drone being flown illegally over Norfolk, an official report has revealed. The incident, which occurred at 14,460ft, is believed to have been at the highest altitude ever recorded for a near miss between an RAF aircraft and a drone...."

Well as George Carlin used to say a ‘near miss’ is a hit
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Old 28th Apr 2024, 09:09
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Originally Posted by SpazSinbad
USAF preparing its F-35 pilots to carry out basic maintenance and refueling chores
Posted on April 27, 2024 by alert5
https://alert5.com/2024/04/27/usaf-p...es/#more-99323
"The US Air Force recently conducted a training exercise focused on Independent Pilot Off-Station Procedures (IPOP) for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. Held at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on Apr. 1st, the exercise aimed to equip F-35 pilots with the skills necessary to operate in austere environments with limited support personnel.

Pilots from the 422nd and 59th Test and Evaluation Squadrons (TES) participated in the IPOP training. The exercise curriculum included practicing basic maintenance procedures, such as post-flight inspections, and refueling techniques. By mastering these skills, F-35 pilots can potentially extend the operational range of their aircraft and improve mission flexibility, particularly when deployed to locations with limited ground crew support...."

LOTS of JPGs with captions here: https://www.nellis.af.mil/News/Artic...at-nellis-afb/
Not sure why Nellis thought this was news, as far back as the 70s (maybe before that) it was a basic requirement for all NATO crews that you had to be signed off for turning your own aircraft.

I remember doing the annual servicing certificate on the F4, always a pain, but I used to insist the nav emptied the toilet.
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Old 28th Apr 2024, 21:54
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"the exercise aimed to equip F-35 pilots with the skills necessary to operate in austere environments with limited support personnel."

Self-preservation.
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Old 29th Apr 2024, 09:52
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Polish F-35A low viz roundel

https://theaviationist.com/2024/04/2..._RfE6sKPUjN-Ay

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Old 29th Apr 2024, 10:00
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Originally Posted by chopper2004
Is it a roundel if it's not round?
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Old 29th Apr 2024, 15:45
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Originally Posted by Davef68
Is it a roundel if it's not round?
Dave
Well, the article does actually say 'The traditional Polish Air Force’s equivalent of a “roundel”, will be replaced by a low-visibility counterpart' and 'The low-visibility checkerboard (the Polish equivalent of a roundel)......'

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Old 1st May 2024, 05:14
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Looks like LM quality control is going the way of Boeing….

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2024...-tool-in-wing/

Marine unit found metal shavings in F-35 fuel, plastic tool in wing

Metal shavings in contaminated fuel, incorrectly assembled parts, and a plastic scraper protruding from a wing fold were among the faults discovered in five new F-35C Joint Strike Fighters delivered to a U.S. Marine Corps fighter squadron in California in 2023, according to a memo obtained by Defense News.

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 311, or VMFA-311, at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego discovered an array of problems with its Lockheed Martin-made F-35s that ultimately required more than 700 hours of work to fix and wasted more than 169,000 pounds of fuel, the Jan. 7 memo said.

On Dec. 7, for instance, a plastic scraper was discovered protruding from the wing fold of one of the squadron’s jets, after the jet had flown, the memo noted. The 5.5-inch scraper was discovered during a post-flight inspection on the jet and fell to the ground…..

The memo was written by VMFA-311 commander Lt. Col. Michael Fisher, who described a pattern of “persistent aircraft delivery discrepancies and premature component failures occurring at Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 311.” Fisher’s memo was approved by Col. William Mitchell, commander of Marine Aircraft Group 11.

“F-35 readiness continues to plague the Marine Corps and degrade our ability to be the nation’s stand-in force,” Fisher wrote. “The number of failed components, expended man-hours and lost sorties is unacceptable to maintain a baseline level of proficiency and consistency at the operational level. An F-35 ready room and maintenance department needs to believe in the quality and production of each F-35 aircraft.”…..

The quality problems and foreign object debris discovered in these five F-35s snarled the Marine Corps’ effort to stand up VMFA-311, nicknamed the Tomcats, as its second F-35C squadron. The jets had total flight hours ranging between 14 and 157, according to the memo, which was sent to the commanding general of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Maj. Gen. Michael Borgschulte……

Marine Aircraft Group 11 received the F-35s directly from Lockheed Martin’s factory, and VMFA-311 then conducted acceptance inspections.

All five jets had fuel contaminated with Krytox, a high-temperature lubricating grease, the memo said, and three jets also had metal shavings in their fuel. The jets had to be defueled and refueled two or three times to get the fuel quality up to an acceptable level, with the jets that had metal shavings requiring an extra defueling cycle, the memo added.

Fisher, the VMFA-311 commander, wrote that this meant the squadron had to dispose of more than 169,000 pounds of contaminated fuel.

The seals and segments on multiple jets were not installed correctly, the memo said, and needed to be removed and reorganized.

And multiple parts in the jets — including power and thermal management system controllers, electronic units, and an electric-hydrostatic actuator on a jet’s trailing edge flap — failed, forcing the squadron to remove and replace them, the memo added.

One jet’s left main gear brake assembly also failed, another fighter’s panoramic cockpit display failed and yet another jet’s backup oxygen system bottle was leaking, the memo stated. All components also needed to be removed and replaced.

“This is not an all-inclusive list and other component failures have occurred since this report,” Fisher wrote…….
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Old 1st May 2024, 11:56
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I think that the term "quality escape" will be used in the memo to LM.
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Old 1st May 2024, 12:05
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Marine unit found metal shavings in F-35 fuel, plastic tool in wing

IIRC didn't the RAF once find a set of stepladders in a V - Bomber fuel tank?
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Old 1st May 2024, 12:38
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
Marine unit found metal shavings in F-35 fuel, plastic tool in wing

IIRC didn't the RAF once find a set of stepladders in a V - Bomber fuel tank?
Yeah, but that was for the austere airstrip maintenance.
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Old 1st May 2024, 14:34
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A Sea Vixen once had a series of unexplained fuel transfer problems. When all else had failed to trace the snag, they (allegedly!) opened up the tank and found a cut-off Pusser’s chair.

Mog
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Old 14th May 2024, 05:40
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https://www.defensenews.com/congress...ys-wears-thin/

House lawmakers aim to cut F-35 buy as patience with delays wears thin
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Old 15th May 2024, 02:01
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Looks like LM quality control is going the way of Boeing
A rivetting dolly was found in the wing of one of our S-2's, well, it was a product of the Grumman Iron Works.
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Old 17th May 2024, 05:13
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New GAO report dropped about the F-35 program (short&#129525

1/ Besides the known software issues, supply chain issues are also contributing to the TR-3 delays (hardware wise).

2/ The deliveries of TR-3 equipped “combat training-capable” aircraft are expected to start next month.

3/ Contractors are delivering both aircraft and engines later than scheduled. Although engine delivery delays aren't hurting production yet thanks to the presence of an engine inventory buffer, lack of spares and engines contributes to the poor MC rate for the fleet.

4/ A new technical risk was identified, which is the F-35C's landing gear drag brace experiencing more force during landings than it was designed for. The risk is mitigated by more inspection while LM and part suppliers are analyzing a permanent solution.

5/ Currently, there are 70 or more newly built F-35 sitting in a storage due to delays with the TR-3. When the "combat training-capable" version is released next month, LM and the DOD plan to certify 20 aircraft on avg per month with TR-3 (includes both parked and new production).

Here's the link to the full report:

https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-24-106909
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Old 19th May 2024, 13:33
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Not that this will be in the least controversial but considering the latest catalog of disasters from the GAO, it's timely.

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