Skip to comments.New Report Details What 31 US Air Force Pilots Who Flew the F-35 Really Think
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 Martins 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-35As 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 instructorand graduate of the Air Force Weapons Instructor Course of Top Gun famesaid 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-35As 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 ...
from a grunt...what does removing the restrictions actually mean ?
Lack of maneuvering capability has been a big down on the F-35 by it's trolls
One of the the best turning aircraft in the world is the F-16 (F-22 excepted) it has amazing initial turning and it can sustain that rate for longer than most
The red line for the F-16 turn rate is 28 degrees per second in a very small area of the flight envelope as is shown by the diagram below.
The F-35 currently has the turn rate training wheels set to the red line for the F-16 of 28 degrees per second for F-16 parity, but it can do much more
The F-35 has superior sustained turn rate capability over the F-16 in many areas of the flight envelope and will be able do much more when the training wheels are removed.
So much for the story that the F-35 is non maneuverable pig.
BTW the obsolete Mig 21 can really give the F-16 a nasty surprise it the F-16 tries to engage it below 400 knots. Everything is relative and all designs are compromises.
28 degrees sustained, with a higher AOA instantaneous capability is pretty f’ing good for a “bomb truck.” Add in the all aspect sensors, stealthy targeting sensors, and jamming capabilities of its radar and you have a pretty awesome machine.
Well, when I was in the USAF, it was top gun for navy, and red flag for af.
Doesn’t seem so.
US Air Force
Since 1949, the United States Air Force has operated a similar training program at the United States Air Force Weapons School (formerly called the “United States Air Force Fighter Weapons School” and the “Aircraft Gunnery School”), and conducts large-scale tactical training exercises (see Red Flag) at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Whereas the Navy’s Top Gun program is 9 weeks long, the US Air Force Weapons School program is five and a half months long. The program includes nearly every type of aircraft in the Air Force inventory as well as courses focused on intelligence, command and control, space and cyber operations.
I am at NAS Fallon on a regular basis. Never seen anything other than Navy F-18’s of all versions and the F-16’s opponent squadron there.
WTH does that really mean? That they'd pick the F-35 in 51% of possible dogfight scenarios?
Geeze louise, even Amazon provides the actual numbers that form the approval %ages.
But given how the A-10 is having trouble with
being too old (1972), the older OV-10 (1965) would have an even steeper uphill battle to bring back than that to keep the A-10.
Having only seen the public data, and flown a mock up sim about six years ago, my biggest concern concern, as a pilot, would be taking in all data available. My other concern is that with the lack of a HUD the helmet mounted display needs to be extremely accurate to avoid spatial disorientation issues. The Navy is working on a new flight control regime for landing the Super Hornet that would mitigate those issues, if applied to the Lightning II.
The Navy needs both, but that number stuck out to me as being a bit high. I have been out the business for 5 years, though.
Reading thru that “Pace-Finletter MOU 1952”, I can smell politics at every move, and not for the benefit of America. Many thanks for the backgrounder on it.
Lots to lose if they don’t comply.
The flight computer will only allow a maximum "G" load or roll rate... probably until all the planes are fielded and software updates are done.
If the balloon goes up, the software limits will be lifted and all of a sudden the pilots will be GLOC (G Loss Of Consciousness) or doing 3 rolls a second or spinning about the yaw axis to turn into the enemy. (I'm being facetious but you get the idea)
does this mean it will be able to go faster @ 28 degrees ? or turn even tighter ? turn longer ? the wings shear off ?
Don’t know what the G-limit is on the airframe but it will be pushing it.
Lies! All lies! This aircraft is a gold plated pig and will never amount to anything. Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?
You forgot the sarcasm tag./s
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