Black Owl 3
designed to vertically take off and land. However, it can’t do this without cracks appearing in the
airframe and other structural damage due to the fact that vectoring the nozzle down for verticalflight puts immense stress on certain crucial parts.
Other flaws are unique to the complexity of the materials and technology used. Duringone of the tests where an F-35 made its first flight at maximum speed, mach 1.6, the JSF teamreported the flight as a success. What they failed to mention during their reports was that the F-
35 had landed with “peeling and bubbling” from certain sensitive stealth coatings on the tails and
damage to thermal panels
that couldn’t handle the air fri
ction of mach speed. The advancedhelmet that provides the all around image through IR cameras to the pilot lags 130 millisecondsbehind sightline movement and blurs when the pilot turns his head fast, which is something oftendone in combat.
The current U.S. Navy strike fighter is the Boeing built F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block II, which has not only proven to be extremely reliable, but has been able to participate in everyconflict since its service began and proven to be effective and flexible throughout the entirety of its use in the U.S. Navy. The Super Hornet Block II now has a price of $66.9 million (unit cost)
,which means that for every one F-35C the Navy purchases it could also purchase 3.5 SuperHornets for the same price. For every one F-35B the U.S. Marine Corps purchases it could alsohave purchased 4.4 Super Hornets for the same price. Not only is the Super Hornet cheaper topurchase, but it is also much cheaper to operate. The Super Hornet costs $18,900 per hour to fly
“New Cracks Stop Vertical Landings on Some F
” Flightglobal.com. Published November 18,
2011. Accessed February 29, 2012. <http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/new-cracks-stop-vertical-landings-on-some-f-35bs-365059/>
U.S. Department of Defense
, February 2012. Retrieved: April 10, 2012.