As for Boeings JSF version....ugly, most assuredly, but that being said at least it had flown & completed its contract requirement qualifications WAY BEFORE Lockheeds “dream machine” EVER had flown (about 2 years earlier!) Here at Pax River Md. where they are flight testing it, it is common knowledge it is a “plagued project” by many who work there whom I know personally.
You mean the same X-32 that in it's STOVL B version couldn't demonstrate STOVL flight and supersonic flight in the same sortie because it was too heavy? The same X-32 that was a delta wing in prototype but couldn't meet all payload and performance requirements, so Boeing proposed a conventional wing-tailplane version that was never built in flyable prototype?
For what it's worth, I wasn't for either JSF version and once the F-35 was selected, it was obviously over promised and oversold, just like almost every program is.
Once anything is selected, we then find out how many mods. and Rev. letter changes does it take to turn whatever the military initially buys into what it was initially promised.
And then someone or some politician comes along and changes the original requirements, adding more delays, mods and revisions. That's the process.
This is especially true with something as complex as a cutting edge F-35, where all the state of the art electronic and mechanical systems, along with the airframe and subsystems take that same path to get to the initial specs and/or to the revised specs.
When you then add politics to all phases, from the initial criteria through to the final product, along with a dumbed down population and an even dumber media creating our opinions for us, here we are bitching about what a dog the F-35 is. Where else would we be?
I doubt it would have been different with the Monica, except for it's sheer fugliness would have added to the negative impressions easily created by the msm.
None of this is new or unique. I read an interesting article on the Dornier Do 335 Pfeil (Arrow) that explained how it was a victim of a similar process.
And that is the way we build them today, but it's definitely not the way Kelly Johnson's Lockheed did things.
Sadly, those days appear to be long gone.