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Big-ticket F-22 Raptor jet fighter has never seen battle
Anchorage Daily News ^ | August 13th, 2011 | W.J. HENNIGAN

Posted on 08/14/2011 11:58:36 AM PDT by skeptoid

It's the most expensive fighter jet ever built. Yet the F-22 Raptor has never seen a day of combat, and its future is clouded by a government safety investigation that has grounded the jet for months. The fleet of 158 F-22s, including those in Alaska, has been sidelined since May 3 after more than a dozen incidents in which oxygen was cut off to pilots, making them woozy. The malfunction is suspected of contributing to at least one fatal accident, in Alaska. At an estimated cost of $412 million each, the F-22s amount to about $65 billion sitting on the tarmac. The grounding is the latest dark chapter for an aircraft plagued by problems and whose need was called into question even before its first test flight.

(Excerpt) Read more at adn.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: aerospace; defense; defensespending; f22; usaf
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Still no indication that the OBOGS/contamination problem has been identified.

. . .and there's this gem:
Corrosion has also been an issue with the plane's radar-evading skin, which, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said, is "difficult to manage and maintain, requiring nearly twice the number of maintenance personnel as anticipated."

The plane takes about 3,000 people to maintain, the Air Force said. The service calculated that for every hour in the air, the F-22 spends 45 hours undergoing maintenance.

1 posted on 08/14/2011 11:58:38 AM PDT by skeptoid
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To: skeptoid

The best plane possible made with parts manufactured in China. . . .. oops


2 posted on 08/14/2011 12:02:18 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire but I swear I didn't see him in the rearview mirror.)
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To: skeptoid

We have been killing people with OBOGS for years. I knew a guy that got killed in a hornet from it. I know another guy that almost got killed by it. In order to avoid the hazards of handling liquid oxygen, it was replaced with a system that has little or no warning when it goes bad and starts pumping poison gas into the mask.


3 posted on 08/14/2011 12:02:28 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: skeptoid
The service calculated that for every hour in the air, the F-22 spends 45 hours undergoing maintenance.

How many man-hours of maintenance go into each hour Ozero appears in front of a teleprompter?

(Also, which of the two is more valuable to national security?)

4 posted on 08/14/2011 12:02:49 PM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: skeptoid

Damn I thought William Proxmire was dead. Proxmire never met a weapons system he liked. For an example he hated the F-14 Tomcat and listed all the problems he possibly could to show that it was a waste of money.

It was not a waste of money, just as the F-22 is not a waste of money.


5 posted on 08/14/2011 12:04:29 PM PDT by Artemis Webb (Perry 2012! A Conservative who can win!)
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To: skeptoid
The latest entry in the Service History section of the Wikipedia Raptor page says:

In July 2011 the investigators began to suspect a second scenario in which the pilots were poisoned by carbon monoxide generated in the fighter's engines, while warming the plane up inside the hangars.[187] F-22 pilots have been tested and found to have also inhaled other chemicals from the OBOGS, including oil fumes and propane.[188][189]

6 posted on 08/14/2011 12:05:13 PM PDT by skeptoid (The road to serfdom is being paved by RINO's, and Lisa Murkowski is their mascot.)
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To: skeptoid

I can’t address the rest of the statements in the article, but I can tell you flat out that the headline itself is false... The YF-22 and the YF-23 were both tested years ago in the sandbox, before the decision as to which one would “make the cut” was made. The YF-22 was chosen... I can’t say if it was a mistake or not, but the headline is indeed wrong.


7 posted on 08/14/2011 12:07:09 PM PDT by Raven6 (What we need: More people that can shoot like Tennesseans and fight like Texans!)
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To: skeptoid

You don’t show your cards until your opponent calls you. You want to see the F22 in combat, put your money on the table.


8 posted on 08/14/2011 12:08:50 PM PDT by RC one (whatever.)
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To: skeptoid
This article is so chockful of distortions, I'm starting to think that this paper is the NY Times of Alaska, only more rabid.

First off, 45 man-hours of maintenance per hour of flight time is pretty good. F-18's require 18-20 man-hours, and they're not useful for getting into heavily-defended airspace. Second, a fleet of 158 aircraft is definitely going to require thousands of maintenance people. This paper is definitely fishwrap at best.

9 posted on 08/14/2011 12:09:52 PM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: skeptoid

Corrosion is a big issue; it wasn’t addressed properly during design. Plus the aircraft is just too dang expensive. Remember the Sherman vs. the Tiger? Mass produced cheaper weapons will win the war.


10 posted on 08/14/2011 12:10:29 PM PDT by Java4Jay
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To: Zhang Fei
. . . I'm starting to think that this paper is the NY Times of Alaska, only more rabid. . . . .

It is a little left-leaning alright, but in this instance, the story originated at the Los Angeles Times (according to the byline at the source.

11 posted on 08/14/2011 12:14:52 PM PDT by skeptoid (The road to serfdom is being paved by RINO's, and Lisa Murkowski is their mascot.)
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To: skeptoid

I am pretty sure that is 45 maintenance man hours...

Though a lot, many of those people are working at the same time, so the availability of the plane is much better than 1/45th


12 posted on 08/14/2011 12:22:01 PM PDT by donmeaker (e is trancendental)
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To: BipolarBob

Kelly Johnson ain’t here no mo!


13 posted on 08/14/2011 12:23:08 PM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Zhang Fei
. . . . fleet of 158 aircraft is definitely going to require thousands of maintenance people. . . . ..

I was thinking the 3,000-man maintainence group referred to the number of personel required at a Raptor base regardless of the number of assigned a/c.

Also, while looking for more info, I came across this:

Are those in fact HUGE ten bladed ceiling fans in the overhead?

14 posted on 08/14/2011 12:26:27 PM PDT by skeptoid (The road to serfdom is being paved by RINO's, and Lisa Murkowski is their mascot.)
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To: Java4Jay
Corrosion is a big issue; it wasn’t addressed properly during design. Plus the aircraft is just too dang expensive. Remember the Sherman vs. the Tiger? Mass produced cheaper weapons will win the war.

The Sherman and the Tiger had the same range. The F-22 has superior range in the sense that it can see (on a radar screen) and hit the enemy before the enemy even knows it's there. The analogy is between having a pistol and having a knife. This is why defense establishments worldwide are spending so much money trying to catch up - being able to eliminate the enemy before he even sees you is a war winner.

15 posted on 08/14/2011 12:26:41 PM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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Or just maybe ‘battle’ has not seen the F-22.


16 posted on 08/14/2011 12:29:10 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Your Hope has been Redistributed. Here’s your Change!)
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To: skeptoid

(yes the name is legit)

http://www.bigassfans.com/industrial


17 posted on 08/14/2011 12:30:09 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: skeptoid

Pardon my french:

http://www.bigassfans.com/commercial


18 posted on 08/14/2011 12:32:30 PM PDT by Typelouder
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To: skeptoid; nascarnation

Be careful when you ‘google’ Big A%% Fans.....


19 posted on 08/14/2011 12:36:07 PM PDT by Typelouder
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To: Java4Jay

“Plus the aircraft is just too dang expensive. Remember the Sherman vs. the Tiger? Mass produced cheaper weapons will win the war.”

Yes we should learn from history. Remember the cold war? Where we had fewer weapons but they were much better.


20 posted on 08/14/2011 12:36:34 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: nascarnation

My 357 hasn’t killed a man yet but I have no doubt it will work as advertised when called upon


21 posted on 08/14/2011 12:37:55 PM PDT by jneesy (Under Reagan we had Johnny Cash and Bob Hope under Obama we have niether cash nor hope)
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To: skeptoid
Yet the F-22 Raptor has never seen a day of combat,

Do the geniuses at the Anchorage Daily Rag want there to be more combat, or do they just want us to risk our best assets on it, whether they're needed or not?

22 posted on 08/14/2011 12:41:46 PM PDT by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
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To: skeptoid
It is a little left-leaning alright, but in this instance, the story originated at the Los Angeles Times (according to the byline at the source.

The LA Times is way more left-wing than the NY Times. Weirdly enough, it used to be more conservative, but those days are long gone, thanks to massive immigration (into CA) from the liberal states, as well as from abroad.

23 posted on 08/14/2011 12:47:43 PM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Typelouder
"Be careful when you ‘google’ Big A%% Fans....."

Mostly Chicago Bears sites?

24 posted on 08/14/2011 12:52:54 PM PDT by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
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To: nascarnation
A-a-h-h, . . . S-o-o-o!!

Never had seen a 24-foot Powerfoil X before!

I see there's an official BigAssFans Whoopee Cushion available.

25 posted on 08/14/2011 12:55:00 PM PDT by skeptoid (The road to serfdom is being paved by RINO's, and Lisa Murkowski is their mascot.)
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To: Hunton Peck

No, Steelers....


26 posted on 08/14/2011 12:59:48 PM PDT by Typelouder
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS
P-38, U-2, F-104, Blackbird. I'm sure I missed a few.

Quite an engineer.

27 posted on 08/14/2011 1:00:16 PM PDT by Former Proud Canadian (We .. have a purpose .. no longer to please every dictator with a vote at the UN. PM Harper)
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To: Java4Jay

“Remember the Sherman vs. the Tiger? Mass produced cheaper weapons will win the war.”

Poor analogy. The Tiger was designed as an offensive strike weapon and had kill ratios of greater than 10:1 in that capacity. The defensive nature of its combat with Shermans was a use it was not designed for.


28 posted on 08/14/2011 1:00:41 PM PDT by Rebelbase (Rick Perry, Democrat Chairman for Al Gore's 1988 TX Presidential Campaign)
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To: driftdiver

The Cold War; we never went into battle, we just outspent the enemy.

Plus.. the ‘countermeasures’ are cheaper.


29 posted on 08/14/2011 1:02:32 PM PDT by Java4Jay
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To: Artemis Webb
Damn I thought William Proxmire was dead. Proxmire never met a weapons system he liked. For an example he hated the F-14 Tomcat and listed all the problems he possibly could to show that it was a waste of money.

The pols were also against the F-15 and the F-16.

They wagged their tongues how the venerable F-4 was good enough for future wars and we could just push the development of any new fighters into the "future."

They nearly killed the B-1 until Reagan pushed it through and even then they only built 100. It was a great nuclear capable bomber and has even been admirable in a conventional form. We should have built more of them.

30 posted on 08/14/2011 1:11:11 PM PDT by OldMissileer (Atlas, Titan, Minuteman, PK. Winners of the Cold War)
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To: skeptoid

“The service calculated that for every hour in the air, the F-22 spends 45 hours undergoing maintenance.”

I’m guessing much of that is maintaining the RCS. It takes a lot of work....


31 posted on 08/14/2011 1:14:54 PM PDT by RFEngineer
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To: skeptoid

Wow!So what.The F-22 has never seen battle.Maybe we should start a war to try out our new toys.These People are out of their minds.Every new Aircraft or ship or weapons system has had troubles in the development stage even well after it went into production.

The history of military equipment development in the U.S. is loaded with such incidents.

The Air Force will determine what the Problem is with the Life Support systems and they will be repaired.


32 posted on 08/14/2011 1:20:22 PM PDT by puppypusher (The World is going to the dogs.)
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To: Java4Jay

wrong on both counts


33 posted on 08/14/2011 1:23:25 PM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: skeptoid
"...whose need was called into question even before its first test flight..."

Okay. Count me as someone who sees this title as fatuous, as it implies that the F-22 isn't worth having because it has never seen combat. The nuclear missile submarine had never seen combat, but it was damn sure worthwhile during the Cold War. The M1 Abrams had never seen combat for eleven years after deployment, likewise the Tomcat for about fifteen years.

When we get into a shooting war with an opponent who really wants to go toe to toe with us to contest something, and has capable aircraft in large numbers, there will be a lot of hand-wringing and wailing on why our kill ratio is only about one-to-one or two-to-one, and we get attrited to the point our troops on the ground are left with no air cover.

We depend on air superiority for the success of our armed forces. For our ground troops, our ships at sea, and nearly every single thing you can relate to.

We have been spoiled, because we have had adults in charge most of the time who understood this necessity, and worked towards maintaining it. We have had air superiority in every single engagement of any kind from the end of WWII up until today.

If we do not maintain control of the skies and cede that to our next enemy, we will see American blood shed in ways we have not seen since WWII.

We won’t be able to supply and transport our troops by air. Helicopters are sitting ducks for the enemy if they control the air. We won’t even be able to medieval.

Our supply columns will be destroyed, as will our tank formations. Our ships at sea will suffer the same fate.

In the same way that nearly the entire food chain from livestock down to corn is dependent on water, military power is dependent on air power. Without it, you cannot have and project military power.

So, this stuff is going to get cut. And when the rules of war have to be re-learned and re-written with NEW American blood, people will be looking for scapegoats, as to why we sent our troops into combat without the tools to get the job done. And none of the people responsible, those that made the cuts in the government, and those that agitated for it (including many here on Free Republic), and those dickweeds who wrote this article will be nowhere to be found.

As a matter of fact, those dickweeds that wrote this article will be the ones who are screeching the loudest about the situation when Americans die.

34 posted on 08/14/2011 1:30:28 PM PDT by rlmorel ("When marching down the same road, one doesn't need 'marching orders' to reach the same destination")
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks skeptoid.
The fleet of 158 F-22s... has been sidelined since May 3 after more than a dozen incidents in which oxygen was cut off to pilots... suspected of contributing to at least one fatal accident... $412 million each, the F-22s amount to about $65 billion sitting on the tarmac.



35 posted on 08/14/2011 1:32:36 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: rlmorel
"...We won’t even be able to medieval MEDEVAC."

DAMNED auto spell checking.

36 posted on 08/14/2011 1:33:44 PM PDT by rlmorel ("When marching down the same road, one doesn't need 'marching orders' to reach the same destination")
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To: puppypusher

Geez. Remember the handwringing about the Abrams? They said it would never work, that it would be a disaster, that the desert would destroy and degrade its capabilities.

Funny. You NEVER HEARD ANOTHER PEEP FROM A SINGLE DAMNED ONE OF THEM after Desert Storm.


37 posted on 08/14/2011 1:37:17 PM PDT by rlmorel ("When marching down the same road, one doesn't need 'marching orders' to reach the same destination")
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To: skeptoid

“At an estimated cost of $412 million each, the F-22s amount to about $65 billion sitting on the tarmac.”

This is somewhat misleading. Since the buy was cut from 650 planes to 158, the sunk engineering costs are only spread across that many, and are counted into that price. The real cost to build a new F-22 is around $150 million per plane. The F-35 is rapidly catching up in price, and is a much less capable airframe.

The F-22 is a great plane, other than the issues cited. It’s hard to understand why we’re having trouble building reliable breathing systems in 2011. As to the coatings problem, it seems to me that the way to go might be to put on a thin protective coat, as long as it can be removed easily and quickly. Maintain a few frontline planes at full levels, and seal the others to preserve the stealth coating and avoid maintenance costs.

As to the “haven’t seen combat issue”, we could always send them to bomb a few camel jockeys. That’s the only combat role the super hi-tech B-2 bombers have seen...all 19 of them that we have left.

Don’t worry, sooner or later we’ll be up against a first-tier opponent and the F-22s will prove their worth.


38 posted on 08/14/2011 1:37:28 PM PDT by PreciousLiberty
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To: rlmorel
I agree with everthing you just said.

I also have a very strong hunch there are lots of untried ways to cut costs while maintaining the force.

39 posted on 08/14/2011 1:39:20 PM PDT by skeptoid (The road to serfdom is being paved by RINO's, and Lisa Murkowski is their mascot.)
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To: skeptoid

I don’t disagree with that statement at all. The procurement process is a huge millstone around the neck of military spending.


40 posted on 08/14/2011 1:41:34 PM PDT by rlmorel ("When marching down the same road, one doesn't need 'marching orders' to reach the same destination")
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To: Zhang Fei

I don’t know about current man-hour rates, perhaps a little perspective is in order. In a former life I flew SH-2F’s, we had older H-2’s, in fact one had a BUNO beginning in 139. Our average was in the 40-50 man hour range, they were old and tired and required significant maintenance. H-53’s during that time had similar numbers even though they were considerably bigger. As an aside, there was a saying in Marine H-46 squadrons that when you add 4 H-53’s for a cruise you double your maintenance. The idea with new aircraft is to get lower cost of ownership with a lower man hour rate. If this is true of the F-22, that is not good.


41 posted on 08/14/2011 1:42:12 PM PDT by phormer phrog phlyer
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To: skeptoid

... and probably never will.


42 posted on 08/14/2011 1:42:12 PM PDT by flowerplough (Pelosi on Republicans: "They want to destroy food safety, clean air, clean water, ...")
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To: PreciousLiberty

To me, it boils down to this: Strength and resolve deter aggression, while weakness and indecision invites it.


43 posted on 08/14/2011 1:44:16 PM PDT by rlmorel ("When marching down the same road, one doesn't need 'marching orders' to reach the same destination")
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To: Rebelbase

Indeed.

10 Abrams tanks would destroy 500 Sherman tanks in short order.


44 posted on 08/14/2011 1:48:09 PM PDT by ltc8k6
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To: Java4Jay
Corrosion is a big issue; it wasn’t addressed properly during design. Plus the aircraft is just too dang expensive. Remember the Sherman vs. the Tiger? Mass produced cheaper weapons will win the war.

You can include the T-34 tank from the Soviets as well. I always argued that we need more of an F-5 (well, F-20 to be more up to date) type vs F-22. Perhaps we can see a middle ground with an updated F-15 wit the F-15SE Silent Eaqle, either or, you have more proven technology with various tweaks to update it.
45 posted on 08/14/2011 1:52:22 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (General James Mattoon Scott, where are you when we need you? We need a regime change.)
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To: Former Proud Canadian
P-38, U-2, F-104, Blackbird. I'm sure I missed a few.

I'm sure a few are still classified...

46 posted on 08/14/2011 2:01:06 PM PDT by null and void (Day 934. The mob is decisive when the law is not.)
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To: Java4Jay
"Remember the Sherman vs. the Tiger?"

Yep, and the Tiger had at least a 10-1 kill ratio over the Sherman. If you were driving a Sherman or part of the crew you spent every moment avoiding Tigers. YOU HAD NO CHANCE.

The cost of these aircraft are NOT the issue.

Over the life of these aircraft we will spend a hundred times their cost in maintenance, fuel and manpower. The platform itself is cheap.

47 posted on 08/14/2011 2:07:30 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: phormer phrog phlyer
"...The idea with new aircraft is to get lower cost of ownership with a lower man hour rate..."This is only valid for a system with no increase in capability. This is a system that is so far ahead of the current capabilities that the adage is completely irrelevant.

I had the privilege and opportunity to spend several hours with a recently retired Air Force pilot. He had 28 years in (USMC, Air Force and ANG) and retired in protest over the recent homosexuality issues in the military.

When I visited him, he had on his wall about every plaque and certificate you could imagine that could be bestowed on a fighter pilot. Top Gun school, you name it. He had extensive combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said had flown everything in the inventory from A-4 Skyhawks to the F-15 (Mostly F-18 and F-16) but not the F-22.

When I asked him if he had ever flown against F-22's, and if so, what was it like, he looked at me and said:

"Flying against the F-22 was like being a baby seal."

This guy was, from all accounts, Sierra Hotel as a fighter pilot, and he said that not only was it not even close to being close, but "Any pilot not flying an F-22 who tells you he waxed an F-22 is simply full of crap."

48 posted on 08/14/2011 2:11:30 PM PDT by rlmorel ("When marching down the same road, one doesn't need 'marching orders' to reach the same destination")
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To: ltc8k6

A Tiger would be toast against an Abrams. The cost is worth it, if the end product is superior.


49 posted on 08/14/2011 2:24:24 PM PDT by JimC214
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To: rlmorel

That says it all... thanks


50 posted on 08/14/2011 2:31:05 PM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
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