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New Report Details What 31 US Air Force Pilots Who Flew the F-35 Really Think
The National Interest ^ | August 6th, 2016 | John Venable

Posted on 08/06/2016 9:39:08 AM PDT by Mariner

Air Force Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, this week declared the F-35A fighter jet ready for combat. While many pundits and politicians have questioned the worth of this jet, the only people who know the ground truth are the pilots themselves.

A total of 174 U.S. pilots currently have been trained to fly Lockheed Martin’s F-35A Lightning II. The Heritage Foundation recently interviewed 31 of these former F-15C, F-15E, F-16C, and A-10 pilots. Each expressed a high degree of confidence in the F-35A, their new fifth-generation platform.

Here are nine insights gleaned from those conversations:

1. Even with developmental restrictions that limit the F-35A’s responsiveness and ability to maneuver, every U.S. fighter pilot interviewed would pick the F-35A over his former jet in a majority of air-to-air (dogfight) engagement scenarios they could face.

2. A former F-15C instructor pilot said he consistently beat his former jet in mock dogfights.

3. A former F-16C instructor—and graduate of the Air Force Weapons Instructor Course of “Top Gun” fame—said the jet is constrained on how tight it can turn (G-limited) now. But even so, the rudder-assisted turns are incredible and deliver a constant 28 degrees of turn a second. When the Air Force removes the restrictions, this jet will be eye watering.

4. Three former F-16CJ Wild Weasel instructor pilots, those tasked with attacking surface-to-air missile sites, said a single F-35A can find and attack SAM sites faster and more effectively than three F-16CJ fighters working together.

5. The F-35A’s radar effectively can shut down enemy fighter and surface-to-air radars without those adversaries becoming aware they are being electronically attacked. Coupled with stealth, this jet is all but invisible to enemy radars.

(Excerpt) Read more at nationalinterest.org ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; airmen; lockheed; usaf
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It appears the pilots like these aircraft.
1 posted on 08/06/2016 9:39:08 AM PDT by Mariner
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To: Mariner

The fact that pilots like it carries great weight in the planes favor.


2 posted on 08/06/2016 9:42:41 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS
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To: Mariner
...deliver a constant 28 degrees of turn a second. When the Air Force removes the restrictions, this jet will be eye watering.

from a grunt...what does removing the restrictions actually mean ?
3 posted on 08/06/2016 9:45:03 AM PDT by stylin19a
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS

In this day and age would it matter? Think about all the other interests Eisenhower warned us of. Remember the C5A?


4 posted on 08/06/2016 9:45:21 AM PDT by DIRTYSECRET (urope. Why do they put up with this.)
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To: stylin19a

Well it means you can go from semi to full auto as in ROE


5 posted on 08/06/2016 9:48:47 AM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: Mariner

I keep reading about this being a good replacement for the A10 among other things. Part of the beauty of the A10 was it’s ability to take hits and make it back home.

Is the F35 going to be able to take major damage and still limp back home?


6 posted on 08/06/2016 9:49:27 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (He wins & we do, our nation does, the world does. It's morning in America again. You are living it!)
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS

“The fact that pilots like it carries great weight in the planes favor.”

I agree. Those with the hands on experience will know.


7 posted on 08/06/2016 9:50:29 AM PDT by Parley Baer (")
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To: stylin19a

I would imagine it means they have computer controlled governors on them that keeps pilots from flying themselves unconscious.


8 posted on 08/06/2016 9:55:49 AM PDT by Dogbert41 (All the days of my life were written in your book before there was one of them!)
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To: Mariner
Are they allowed to say what they really think, without fear of retribution?
9 posted on 08/06/2016 9:56:29 AM PDT by carriage_hill ( Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading.)
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To: Mariner

All positive and nothing negative makes the article suspect. Although reading between the lines, the F35 probably isn’t as good as the A10 in high threat situations.


10 posted on 08/06/2016 9:56:50 AM PDT by Moonman62 (Make America Great Again!)
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To: Mariner

ummmm...Top Gun is Navy, not Air Force...


11 posted on 08/06/2016 9:58:13 AM PDT by ImaGraftedBranch (by reading this, you have collapsed my wave function. Thanks, pal.)
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To: DoughtyOne

The F35 is designed to fight a modern adversary, it will never effectively replace the A-10 in close combat support.


12 posted on 08/06/2016 9:58:38 AM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: DoughtyOne

Just as important with the A10 is its ability to fly slow and keep a hardened target buttoned up for a longer period while troops advance on it.

The A10 was my bestest friend.

How slow can the F35 fly to make a prolonged run?


13 posted on 08/06/2016 9:58:55 AM PDT by MrEdd (Heck?Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: DoughtyOne

It is not a single purpose low and slow like the A-10 with heavy armor. It can do air to ground precision support roles now done with helicopter gun ships and the A-10 but it is not a helicopter or A-10.

Pilots that fly it that I have spoken with see the future growth of the platform and like all pilots like to fly the newest.


14 posted on 08/06/2016 9:59:34 AM PDT by KC Burke (Consider all of my posts as first drafts. (Apologies to L. Niven))
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To: Moonman62

Define “high threat situation”.


15 posted on 08/06/2016 9:59:45 AM PDT by Rokke (www.therightreasons.net)
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To: ImaGraftedBranch
"ummmm...Top Gun is Navy, not Air Force..."

Are Air Force pilots now attending Navy "Top Gun" school? Anyone?

16 posted on 08/06/2016 10:05:22 AM PDT by A Navy Vet (I'm not Islamophobic...I'm Islamonauseous. Plus LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ...nauseous.)
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To: Rokke

Interesting comments after this article about the A10 vs F35.

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/10-versus-f-35-what-head-head-showdown-wont-answer-16423


17 posted on 08/06/2016 10:07:53 AM PDT by Moonman62 (Make America Great Again!)
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To: Parley Baer
“The fact that pilots like it carries great weight in the planes favor.”

The REAL factor is: Can we afford this aircraft, and how many can we procure at the price?

18 posted on 08/06/2016 10:08:15 AM PDT by The Sons of Liberty ("We re going to raise taxes on the Middle Class!" - HRC Aug 3, 2016)
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To: Moonman62

Then again how will it perform against a S-400 or the upcoming S-500 AA systems?

How does the plane’s light ammo load out in a dogfight compare to a Russian air supremacy fighter after all the missiles are expended?

How long will the plane last in combat after the AWACS is shot down?

Of the 174 only 31 responded or less than 18%. Does that low response make the survey valid?

How many pilots that responded have a positive view because their evaluations for promotion are due?


19 posted on 08/06/2016 10:16:53 AM PDT by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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To: Mariner

“graduate of the Air Force Weapons Instructor Course of “Top Gun” fame”

I’m glad they clarified that. I always thought that Top Gun was Navy, with the uniforms and aircraft carriers and all.


20 posted on 08/06/2016 10:17:00 AM PDT by Gamecock (There is always one more idiot than you counted on.)
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