F-35A Lightning II

Week Four: Ninth Anniversary Fund-Raising Drive for Behind the Black

The fourth week of my annual anniversary fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black has begun.

I once again must thank the many readers and listeners who have generously donated this month. Right now there is a chance this will be the best fund-raiser ever, though only if a lot of people donate during the month's last ten days. If you want to help me continue my reporting, you can give a one-time contribution, from $5 to $100, or a regular subscription for as little as $2 per month.

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An evening pause: In honor the various space related engineering daring-do today, let’s watch a modern fighter jet show off at an air show.

Hat tip Danae.



  • Max

    A brief capability/ history overview.

    A new coworker, fresh from the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, did not think highly of it. Too much bucks for the bang. 1.2 billion to make, over $30,000 an hour to fly. This was only the second crash which is good.

  • Zed_WEASEL

    Originally it was the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter). A cheap STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) strike aircraft to replace the AV-8 Harrier, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-18 Hornet and A-10 Warthog in the light strike role with some stealth capability. Not unreasonable except it is hard to picture the F-35 in the close air support role like the A-10.

    Unfortunately they gold-plated the aircraft design and give it more roles than originally intended. The F-35 is not really suitable for air-superiority or combat air patrol. It is a strike aircraft masquerading as a fighter.

    The F-35 could be compared to the F2A Brewster Buffalo. Don’t think the sortie availability is anything great. With the high man-hours and inadequate line replacement units needed to maintain along with not enough Smart munition stockpile.

    The damn thing couldn’t even be use as a standby Navel interceptor since it is only goes subsonic with not enough air to air missiles. The USN is going to keep the F-18 Super Hornet around for a long time.

  • Zed_WEASEL wrote: “The F-35 could be compared to the F2A Brewster Buffalo.”

    If that’s the case, then based on the Wikipedia article for the F2A, we should sell F-35’s to the Finns.

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