Skip to comments.Lockheed's F-22 Raptor Gets Zapped by International Date Line
Posted on 02/26/2007 2:47:19 PM PST by SubGeniusX
Six Lockheed F-22 Raptors have Y2K-esque glitch of their own over the Pacific
Lockheed’s F-22 Raptor is the most advanced fighter in the world with its stealth capabilities, advanced radar, state of the art weapons systems and ultra-efficient turbofans which allow the F-22 to "supercruise" at supersonic speeds without an afterburner. The Raptor has gone up against the best that the US Air Force and Navy has to offer taking out F-15s, F-16s and F/A-18 Super Hornets during simulated war games in Alaska. The Raptor-led "Blue Air" team was able to rack up an impressive 241-to-2 kill ratio during the exercise against the "Red Air" threat -- the two kills on the blue team were from the 30-year old F-15 teammates and not the new Raptors.
But while the simulated war games were a somewhat easy feat for the Raptor, something more mundane was able to cripple six aircraft on a 12 to 15 hours flight from Hawaii to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. The U.S. Air Force's mighty Raptor was felled by the International Date Line (IDL).
When the group of Raptors crossed over the IDL, multiple computer systems crashed on the planes. Everything from fuel subsystems, to navigation and partial communications were completely taken offline. Numerous attempts were made to "reboot" the systems to no avail.
Luckily for the Raptors, there were no weather issues that day so visibility was not a problem. Also, the Raptors had their refueling tankers as guide dogs to "carry" them back to safety. "They needed help. Had they gotten separated from their tankers or had the weather been bad, they had no attitude reference. They had no communications or navigation," said Retired Air Force Major General Don Shepperd. "They would have turned around and probably could have found the Hawaiian Islands. But if the weather had been bad on approach, there could have been real trouble.”
"The tankers brought them back to Hawaii. This could have been real serious. It certainly could have been real serious if the weather had been bad," Shepperd continued. "It turned out OK. It was fixed in 48 hours. It was a computer glitch in the millions of lines of code, somebody made an error in a couple lines of the code and everything goes."
Luckily for the pilots behind the controls of the Raptors, they were not involved in a combat situation. Had they been, it could have been a disastrous folly by the U.S. Air Force to have to admit that their aircraft which cost $125+ million USD apiece were knocked out of the sky due to a few lines of computer code. "And luckily this time we found out about it before combat. We got it fixed with tiger teams in about 48 hours and the airplanes were flying again, completed their deployment. But this could have been real serious in combat," said Shepperd.
And that is why they test the things. Its simple but mulitply simple by a million and things get pretty darn hairy.
wow. Another reminder that the most complicated war machines can be brought down by dumbassed errors.
Every new system has glitches. It is the same, although with less disaster potential, with new car models or anything else.
Well, "The fancier they make the plumbing..."
what's next? The new daylight saving time zapping them?
I haven't seen any of those blue screens since 1998.
Regarding the F22..
Seems like something somebody at the programming and systems level should've caught long ago, even before construction of the first F-22.
heck - possibly not the first time. There is a story about the F16 flipping to inverted flight after crossing the date line from years back. Don't the varsity of the story, but it's certainly been told a number of times.
That sir was beautiful
This is so stupid it's almost funny.
"Who would have though that a state-of-the-art stealth jet could be so complicated?"
Bill Gates will be releasing the NEW & IMPROVED RAPTOR F-22.1b pretty soon.
[comes with a free Zune, from what I understand...]
You don't have Vista yet do you?
But I'm sure you will under....
Wait till they cross the equator the first time & they transition from polywogs to shellbacks...
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