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The F-35: Mediocre at Everything and Expensive as Hell


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#61 Traveler

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:32 AM

Interesting thread. At least as far as I can understand. My last electronics was when I designed my own Ham radio transmitter. Still have the thing in my basement. Was such an idiot, I reversed PS polarity. Couldnt figure out why the scope response was downward. Until I touched both the scope and transmitter and closed an 800VDC circuit. blew me backward off the chair and down the hallway into the computer room. Thank god it wasn't AC.
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#62 George Rowell

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:14 PM

View PostTraveler, on 18 June 2019 - 09:32 AM, said:

Interesting thread. At least as far as I can understand. My last electronics was when I designed my own Ham radio transmitter. Still have the thing in my basement. Was such an idiot, I reversed PS polarity. Couldnt figure out why the scope response was downward. Until I touched both the scope and transmitter and closed an 800VDC circuit. blew me backward off the chair and down the hallway into the computer room. Thank god it wasn't AC.
KT66 and 6L6 sort of ring a bell.. I still remember the physics masters call ham sign G3BHF. Never made a TX but did make an oscilloscope centered around a WW2 tube era, the BP3. Loooong time ago. That teacher would be 120 yro now.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#63 Rich T Bikkies

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 02:18 AM

View PostGeorge Rowell, on 18 June 2019 - 08:14 PM, said:

KT66 and 6L6 sort of ring a bell.. I still remember the physics masters call ham sign G3BHF. Never made a TX but did make an oscilloscope centered around a WW2 tube era, the BP3. Loooong time ago. That teacher would be 120 yro now.

I'm struggling to synthesise a constructive comment on this thread . . . wait a moment . . . Ah! "This could all be worse: it might have been economics!". Sorted.
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#64 George Rowell

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 03:56 AM

View PostRich T Bikkies, on 19 June 2019 - 02:18 AM, said:

I'm struggling to synthesise a constructive comment on this thread . . . wait a moment . . . Ah! "This could all be worse: it might have been economics!". Sorted.
To be honest with you Bikkie, if you understand this you have got to be long in the tooth anyway. Much older than that flattering photo you display.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#65 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 07:04 AM

View PostGeorge Rowell, on 18 June 2019 - 08:44 AM, said:

I recently looked into FPLAs to build a pulse metal detector, mainly to control an external high speed A/D after coming up against the inadequacies of the internal AD's on the cortex M4. The biggest name in metal detectors uses FPLA's too. My whole life I have been fighting that damned noise floor, but it is mentally rewarding too.

That noise floor is why JESD204. Yes, I have fingerprints on that standard.
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#66 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 07:07 AM

View PostGeorge Rowell, on 18 June 2019 - 08:14 PM, said:

KT66 and 6L6 sort of ring a bell.. I still remember the physics masters call ham sign G3BHF. Never made a TX but did make an oscilloscope centered around a WW2 tube era, the BP3. Loooong time ago. That teacher would be 120 yro now.

I never did do much with tubes -- my father taught radio to airmen in WWII and told me not to waste my time on them. He was right, transistors in small numbers and large have been paying the bills for 50 years now.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#67 George Rowell

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 07:41 AM

The transition from tubes to transistors was already made when I started work, but what a mix. There were GET1, XA101, OC70 but also BFY90 and 2N3866. They are still available today 50 yrs on. Enjoyed my time at GEC but I will always remember the jelly. I ordered sweet and one of the canteen staff plumed my jelly down and it was swaying. The guy on the left said that's due to Young's modulus and the guy on the right said it had got a high refractive index too. The waitress started looking worried and offered to replace it with another. Happy stupid days.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#68 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 08:03 AM

View PostGeorge Rowell, on 19 June 2019 - 07:41 AM, said:

Enjoyed my time at GEC but I will always remember the jelly.

Huh. How's 'bout that -- I worked for GEC (in the guise of Marconi Instruments) in the mid '80s.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#69 George Rowell

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 08:20 AM

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 19 June 2019 - 08:03 AM, said:

Huh. How's 'bout that -- I worked for GEC (in the guise of Marconi Instruments) in the mid '80s.
GEC Hirst Research Center Wembley. Ha. But a decade and some earlier than you.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#70 LFC

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 01:58 PM

Looks like they can't keep this boondoggle in the air at any reasonable rate of readiness.

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The fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters flying in the critical operational testing phase is struggling to stay airborne, which could delay the troubled program’s great leap forward into mass production.

As I recently reported for the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), a document from the program’s test force shows that the fleet’s test aircraft, housed at California’s Edwards Air Force Base, have netted an average 11 percent “fully mission capable rate”—the key measure of how often an aircraft can perform all of its assigned missions—since the process began last December.

To put this into context, the Pentagon’s former operational testing director, Michael Gilmore, has said the fleet needs an 80 percent availability rate to successfully complete the combat-testing phase.

The F-35, by the way, is already the most expensive weapons system in history. As of March, its acquisition price tag was $400 billion. However, the cost of operating and maintaining the fleet over the next several decades stands at an estimated $1.45 trillion.
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The 17-year-old program reached an important milestone when, after many delays, officials started the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) process on December 5, 2018. This is the phase in which the completed product is put through its paces in realistic combat scenarios to determine whether it can fulfill its intended role and is suitable for pilots’ use.

This is supposed to take place after the former design phase. But because the F-35 program hasn’t actually finished the design process, the program effectively created extra obstacles to successful completion of this legally required testing phase. That the test fleet struggles even to get off the ground only compounds these challenges.

The 23-aircraft fleet had a bad start, with a fully mission-capable rate of just 11.5 percent in December, and the situation has only worsened since. The “IOT&E Aircraft Readiness Rates” chart obtained by POGO shows that the fleet’s June 2019 fully mission capable rate was just 8.7 percent. Sure, it was an improvement over May—because then it was an even more dire 4.7 percent.

The chart shows three categories: fully mission capable, “partially mission capable,” and “non-mission capable.” Partially mission capable (commonly called “mission capable”) aircraft can perform at least one of their missions; non-mission capable is self-explanatory. Fully mission capable status is an especially crucial metric of readiness for multi-mission programs like the F-35.

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#71 andydp

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Posted 21 August 2019 - 02:05 PM

The chart shows three categories: fully mission capable, “partially mission capable,” and “non-mission capable.” Partially mission capable (commonly called “mission capable”) aircraft can perform at least one of their missions; non-mission capable is self-explanatory. Fully mission capable status is an especially crucial metric of readiness for multi-mission programs like the F-35.



In my "limited to the Army" knowledge of these terms: "Partially Mission Capable" can mean not having a radio in a vehicle that is supposed to have one. Not sure what system in an aircraft would make it partially capable, but with the thousands of component parts anything could hamper the mission. A missing radio in a Jeep would not be too big a disadvantage. There's always portable radios.


Not having a radio/commo in a plane would be a BIG problem. I would be curious to know what is rendering them "partially" capable


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#72 Traveler

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:38 PM

F-35 seems to be not quite so bad. But still a cluster.
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#73 LFC

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 12:55 PM

View PostTraveler, on 22 August 2019 - 12:38 PM, said:


It still sounds like it's outrageously expensive to buy and maintain while not being ready for prime time. Right now they've gotten it to the point where it can fly and, if everything goes right, perform well but as the article says the independent testing hasn't been completed yet. Maybe one day it will get there but everything about this project sounds like a classic case of how not to do things.

Quote

Yet even as the program plows forward, unresolved technical issues have continued to emerge. In June, my colleagues and I at Defense News reported that the plane still faced at least 13 severe technical deficiencies during operational testing, including spikes in cabin pressure, some rare instances of structural damage at supersonic speeds and unpredictability while conducting extreme maneuvers — all problems that could affect the pilot’s safety or jeopardize a mission’s success. At the same time, the F-35s already delivered to squadrons have introduced new complications: On military bases around the United States, the high cost of operating the aircraft, a shortage of spare parts and a challenging new approach to updating the jet’s crucial software code have program officials and military leaders urgently looking for solutions. Still, they assure the public that nothing will prevent the program from moving forward. It’s a stance that breaks with the advice of the Government Accountability Office, which advised that all serious problems should be resolved before transitioning to full-rate production.

With the critical problems that once dominated both headlines and congressional hearings seemingly resolved, the F-35 may not be the high-profile problem child it once was. But the Pentagon’s efforts to play down new complications raise questions about whether America’s most controversial warplane is actually ready to move into its next phase and what kind of new problems might surface in that transition.

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"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

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#74 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 22 August 2019 - 01:13 PM

View PostLFC, on 22 August 2019 - 12:55 PM, said:

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Still, they assure the public that nothing will prevent the program from moving forward.

I've been on projects like that. The schedule has nice little boxes like "pre-production," "qualification test," and "release to production." And sure enough, they did "pre-production" and followed it with "qualification testing" that failed beyond miserably, and then it went to "release to production."

As a matter of fact, it was a project like that that's the reason I retired early.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO





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