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#1741 JasonJ

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 1812 PM

The B model has issues, but hilariously it seems to be avoiding the worst problems of the other variants. Wonder why?


Even if gun pod is more reliable than the A model version, what's really needed is good maintance times and reliability for the aircraft itself.

F-35B accumulated flight hours is 45,000 flights, thus short by about 30,000 for the 75,000 goal.

This bit seems to indicate to me that there is still quite a lot of work to be down for nailing down longevity and reliability of the B model:
"The program secured funding and contracted to procure
another F-35B ground test article, which will have a
redesigned wing-carry-through structure that is production
representative of Lot 9 and later F-35B aircraft. Testing of
this production-representative ground test article will allow
the program to certify the life of F-35B design improvements.
The production and delivery dates are still to be determined."

The A model is 25,000 passed the flight hour maturity goal with its 100,000 yet still has availability issues.

It might take 10 years until squadrons of F-35Bs are fully operable, always ready to be scrambled, available for successive training and joint-training, and ready to go when on patrol and at sea training going through high tense areas like the SCS where readiness has to be at least 80% thus if is not, is not serving the role of deterrance.
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#1742 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 08 February 2020 - 1116 AM

Its the nature of the beast that anything that is truly reliable is probably obsolete. :D

 

Im not going to be a naysayer of the F35. There are a few modern combat aircraft, most notably the F15, that had truly horrible reliablity when it came out but was eventually solved. In the Tomcat if anything it got worse as it got older, but nobody tends to remember that now.


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#1743 JasonJ

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 0620 AM

Well I don't want to be a naysayer on the F-35 either. It'll get around that corner eventually.

 

Eight JASDF F-35As returning to Misawa Base after training.


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#1744 JasonJ

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 0703 AM


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#1745 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 14 February 2020 - 0558 AM

Good interview with an F117 pilot on the Fighter Pilot podcast.

https://www.fighterp...-117-nighthawk/


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#1746 CaptLuke

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Posted 23 February 2020 - 1950 PM

 

It's interesting that the F-35A's internally mounted gun continues to fail accuracy specifications, while the "B" and "C" models' gun pods meet the standard. Historically, it's been the other way around for many aircraft.

 

Probably due the gun pods having different (lower) standards of accuracy?

 

 

 

The problem is bad design/manufacture of the internal gun mount and associated structures; here are the two pull quotes from the report:

 

"Investigations into the gun mounts of the F-35A revealed misalignments that result in muzzle alignment errors. As a result, the true alignment of each F-35A gun is not known, so the program is considering options to re-boresight and correct gun alignments."

 

Units flying newer F-35A aircraft discovered cracks in the outer mold-line coatings and the underlying chine longeron skin, near the gun muzzle, after aircraft returned from flights when the gun was employed.
 
IIRC, the alignment issue, and its fixes, are unchanged from last year's report, meaning that not only no progress has been made on the gun alignment issue but also that there is a new issue with newer F-35A models cracking, presumably from the gun blast.  The USAF response to the new issue has been to forbid firing the gun (for training) on production Lot 9 and newer aircraft.
 
Oh, also the Armor-Piercing High-Explosive (APEX) round failed air to ground testing for fuze problems . . . 

Edited by CaptLuke, 23 February 2020 - 1951 PM.

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