Facepalm of the week: LockMart suggests flying without fuel for better performance.

Always be wary when someone starts throwing numbers around.  Its a great way to sound intelligent while obfuscating the facts.  Terms like "25% more effective" do not mean diddley-squat unless we know what that the thing is that that "25%" more effective than.  It is all about context.  Is it "25%" better than it used to be?  Better than a standard baseline?  Better than a half rotten herring?  We need to know what.

Dave Scott, Lockheed Martin's "director of international customer engagement" for the JSF, recently had an interview in Japan where he discussed the F-35, PAK FA, and J-20.  He dismissed both the J-20 and PAK FA as true "Fifth Generation" fighters.
"Scott said the essential element of fifth-generation fighter aircraft lies not only in their stealth capability but also in the integration of the sensor fusion that allows a boost of 5%-10% to its thrust, 5% to its military rating and 25% to its fuel efficiency. These factors combine to increase its combat radius by 25%-30% and durability by 30%-40%."
Okay.  First of all...  How the hell does "sensor fusion" improve the F-35's engine power and fuel efficiency?  The sensors are supposed to monitor what is happening outside the aircraft and present it to the pilot in easy to understand icons on either the HMD or MFD.

Second of all...  Where does he get those numbers from?  Did they test a F-35 without sensor fusion as a baseline?  How can they say it improves durability "30%-40%"?  Have they torn down two separate F-35s to find that the one with "sensor fusion" has a lot less stress fractures?  Are F-35s developing cracks in the bulkheads due to a software issue?  Was the engine fire caused by accidentally downloading malware?

Mr. Scott does come up with a surefire way of improving the F-35's controversial air-to-air performance.  His suggestion is mind-boggingly simple:  Since fuel is heavy, simply put less of it into the aircraft!
"Scott referred to a report by AFRL that claimed the F-35 is able to outperform its rivals effortlessly by reducing 30%-70% of the fuel load"
"$10 bucks worth?  You can forget about me checking the oil or wiping the windows."

 After over 100 years of aviation, I find it amazing that someone finally came to the realization that aircraft perform better when they are carrying less fuel.

Then again, there is the fact that aircraft need that fuel to fly to their destination, maneuver, and then fly back home...  But that's just fancy technical stuff.  A F-35 carrying 30% of its total fuel capacity should have just enough fuel to take off and maybe land afterwards.  Who cares about range, loiter time, or hitting that afterburner?

Just imagine how well the F-35 would do without any fuel at all!


  1. Wow Best fighter for the Canada LOL

  2. It just gets better! I hope they get paid well to say this.

  3. Yeah maybe he is thinking Kamikaze, a win situation for LM selling more aircraft but not for the pilot. But wait maybe LM can do an unmanned version but of course there is a need for some more money for that version :)

  4. Rafale won against the F-22 this way

  5. Just wondering... what would have happened if it was a F35 and no a CF18 that was struck by lightening in Alberta?? Did they ever address the lightening problem?

    Pilot OK after CF-18 struck by lightning in Alberta: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/pilot-ok-after-cf-18-struck-by-lightning-in-alberta-1.1930201#ixzz38WepNaOm"

  6. Not that I've heard. Given the amount of publicity that problem has gotten, I'm sure a fix would be well publicized.

  7. Actually, I think this sentence from the Washington Post says it all:

    "The F-35 was designed to evade not just enemy fighters, but political accountability as well."


  8. There lies, dammed lies and statistics.

  9. Another Faceplam is Lockheed martin test pilot taking about sustained turn rates for the F35. Telling people that it can do 9g turn while the pentagon downgrade from 5.3g to 4.6(f 35A) and 5g to 4.5g(f-35b)



  10. That 9g is based on instantaneous turn rate, not sustained turn rate.

    So it is true... From a certain point if view.

  11. Yeah, with out cannon is even more maneauverable, and with out Aim-9X

  12. I would be scared out of my wits to fly that thing! That incident sounded scary enough in a CF18, but flying around in a F35 that could explode at any second due to lightning strike would take a braver man than I.

    Not to mention that it also tends to explode on the runway for no good reason. The incident report about the fire is getting played down for sure. Some reports describe just an "engine fire" other reports say "the engine caught fire then blew out the top of the plane" these are two very different things!

    To be honest it sounds like a terminal flaw that can't get fixed.Having the most powerful single engine ever produced may not be something to brag about. Installing a super powerful engine is an attempt at compensating for the design flaws. That is why suddenly were hear reports of changing the design to install two engines in F35A instead of just one.

    But surprisingly when I think about it, a two engine F35 does not sound all that bad! Why not just install engines from the super hornet into an f35A?

  13. Its true? From a certain point of view?

    This site reports the F35 as having the worst instantaneous run rate as compare to all modern western fighters


    2) instantaneous turn rate = Rafale > Gripen > Typhoon > F-22 > F-15 > F-16 > F-18 > F-35


  14. Maybe more refueling in the air by non stealth tankers, just half a tank please. Is Lockheed Marlin developing a new fuel for this bird? Propane powered?

  15. Gripenn does exceedingly well and this is the C model.

  16. Yes the F35 never was and never will be about what the aircraft can do. Its more about the collapse of the economy. People are desperate for good jobs. So on a personal level I totally understand where they are coming from. But on a national level its doing more harm than good. The flip side is the average citizen does not "feel" threatened by foreign powers. So who really cares if its any good or not? Same thing in Canada average Canadian "feels safe" so this will never make it to the "political radar"! Haha no pun intended there.

  17. The F35A has a gun, the F35C, a radar noticing gun pod (navy). That is why the Super Hornet will have to save its hide.

  18. After 12 years and billions wasted you obtain an airplane less capable than the ones was supossed to replace.....

  19. Someone, again, thinks the war in the sky will go a curtain way and it always comes back to a dogfight and basic flying.

  20. Been scouring the net for a more credible news source. Want China Times is not really a good source. It has less credibility than a tabloid.
    Anyone who can give a better link?

  21. From http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/pentagon-lowers-f-35-performance-bar-381031/
    DOT&E 2012 report refers to Block 2A.

    The so-call reduction performance in 2012 is line with the above "Block Plan: Capabilities / Transition Plan" table.
    At Block 2A, the G numbers are 5.5 / 4.5 /4.5. <------ Year 2012
    At Block 2B / 3I, G numbers are 7 / 5.5 / 7.5.
    At Block 3C(3F) stage, G numbers are 9 / 7 /7.5.

    Like the F-16, F-35A obtains it's 9G rating at Block 3C(3F) stage which is superior to any F-18 variants.

    F-35A Block 2B was cleared for Mach 1.6, 50degree AoA and 7 G i.e. it's on schedule.

    From http://breakingdefense.com/2014/06/gen-mike-hostage-on-the-f-35-no-growlers-needed-when-war-starts/3/

    General Mike Hostage On The F-35 vs F-16
    The F-35, he says, *has “at least” the maneuverability and thrust and weight of the F-16.* The F-35 is to the F-22 as the F-16 is to the F-15.

  22. www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/FY2013/pdf/dod/2013f35jsf.pdf

    "The program redesigned the On-Board Inert Gas Generation
    System (OBIGGS) to meet vulnerability reduction and
    lightning requirements. The program is currently planning
    the tests for FY14 to ensure that the system is able to
    maintain fuel tank inerting throughout all mission profiles.
    The system should protect the F-35 from threat-induced or
    lightning-induced fuel tank explosions"

    JSF program includes redesigns and testing in FY14.

  23. DOT&E 2012 report refers to Block 2A.

    View http://s619.photobucket.com/user/SpudmanWP/media/F-3520Master20Plan.jpg.html
    The so-call reduction performance in 2012 is line with the above "Block Plan: Capabilities / Transition Plan" table.

    At Block 2A, the G numbers are 5.5 / 4.5 /4.5. <------ Year 2012
    At Block 2B / 3I, G numbers are 7 / 5.5 / 7.5.
    At Block 3C(3F) stage, G numbers are 9 / 7 /7.5.

    F-35A obtains it's 9G rating at Block 3C(3F) stage.

    *Let establish F35's year 2013 engine improvements.*
    From Feb 2013, read
    Adds 5 percent on top of 43000 lbf i.e. 45150 lbf. This improvement has 5 percent fuel efficiency increase from USN's Fuel Burn Reduction (FBR) programme.

    From Sep 2013, read http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/pratt-amp-whitney-and-afrl-start-testing-on-adaptive-fan-test-390994/
    Pratt has another engine update for F35 i.e. another 10% increase in thrust e.g. 49665 lbf thrust AND 25 percent fuel efficiency increase.

    Year 2016 for engines with higher 10% increase in thrust power AND 25 percent increase in fuel efficiency.

    It's a no brainier that F-35A would have acceleration issues if the year 2013's engine upgrades are missing-in-action during the year

    2012. The *Block Plan: Capabilities / Transition Plan* road map has indicated this.

    F-35A's power-to-weight ratios with 9000 lbs of fuel and 2000 lb six AIM-120 type A2A missiles.

    Empty weight: 29,036 lbs (240-4 build)
    Combat Load: 40,036 lbs

    Thrust: 40,000 lbf
    Power-To-Weight: 0.999 : 1 <---- old.

    Thrust: 43,000 lbf
    Power-To-Weight: 1.074 : 1 <---- current, before year 2013 upgrades.

    Thrust: 45,150 lbf** (Feb 2013 engine update, 5 percent higher thrust)
    Power-To-Weight: 1.128 : 1 <----

    Thrust: 49,665 lbf**(Sep 2013 engine update, 10 percent higher thrust)
    Power-To-Weight: 1.241 : 1 <----

  24. Air Forces Monthly had an article, "The Big Fight", about the Advanced Tactical Leadership Course (ATLC) in its April 2010 issue.

    The successive article (same issue), "Justifiably Proud!", was an interview with Lt. Col. Fabrice Grandclaudon, Commander of EC 1/7.

    "AFM: You apparently said 'the Rafale rubbed F-22 - the most modern fighter of the USAF. During six encounters the F-22 hit its goal only once'. The 27th FS doesn't remember the engagements that way and say the F-22 scored several victories against Rafale. Did you offer DACT to the Raptors and did they decline?

    *I did not say we 'rubbed them', I said that there was only one shot claimed (ie a simulated kill) for the six that were set-up. I read in a recent issue of Air et Cosmos that it was two. As far as I am concerned, one or two shots of six Basic Fighter Manoeuvres (BFM) encounters is a victory for the F-22 but not an overwhelming one. Not like the one we claimed against the Typhoons after combat in Solenzara, Corsica during September (9 set-up: 8 to 1 for the Rafale*). The other set-ups versus F-22s were terminated for combat deck, an un-decisive situation or lack of fuel. We never shot them down, but we hope to do so soon since we are quite good opposition for them, and it is in the pilot's spirit not to give up!*

    Like almost every nation, we offered Beyond Visual Range DACT, of course, but the F-22 was only authorized to do BFM 1v1 Within Visual Range (WVR) versus foreign countries (except the UK, with whom they did not fight even in the BFMs). I wish we could have done so, but we didn't - which bring me back to Air et Cosmos, where its information about BVR engagement with AMRAAM in stealth mode is wrong: besides the fact that we did not even fly BVR vs F-22s! *F-22 was fitted with some specific device to increase their radar signature.* It enabled us to have contact with them during work ups for example. But that's not the point here."

    1. "one or two shots of six Basic Fighter Manoeuvres (BFM) encounters is a victory for the F-22" .

    2. "We never shot them down" on another setup.

    Note that F-22s has to increase it's RCS for the training.

    In a real combat, F-22A's specific device to increase their radar signature would be turned off and Rafale's pilots would have comparably inferior situation awareness than F-22's pilots since Rafale's pilots wouldn't be aware of F-22A's specific location i.e. it's another F-22's mass (simulated) killing of F-15s type scenario.
    Without F-22A's RCS booster, Rafale's pilots wouldn't be able to locate the F-22s for training.


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