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F-35Bs at March... what a bizarre flying machine!


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To my admittedly retro and jaundiced way of thinking, this is one of the most useless CAS machines ever fielded.  How could you possibly operate an airplane as complicated as this from near the forward edge of the battle area?  If you fly it in from the safety and support of a boat, how long can its legs and time overhead be?  The airplane is only so big and much of its internal space is filled with extra motors and actuators and plumbing and stuff, so there can’t be much room left over for gas and ordnance.  And if you hang stores under its wings, what happens to stealth?  Never understood the Marines logic when they bought this thing.  There’s not an infantryman on the ground anywhere on this planet that wants his/her air support to show up with one bomb and no gas.

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Look what happened in Vietnam. They used the latest, hi-tech, multi-million-dollar jet bomber against four guys sitting under a tree. Once they realised all this great tech-gear was often out of its depth, they started pulling WW2 gear out of the Arizona bone-yards and that did the job with less fuss and often better results. Technology certainly has its place, but it's just part of a much bigger equation. 

 

Chris.  

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2 hours ago, Oldbaldguy said:

To my admittedly retro and jaundiced way of thinking, this is one of the most useless CAS machines ever fielded.  How could you possibly operate an airplane as complicated as this from near the forward edge of the battle area?  If you fly it in from the safety and support of a boat, how long can its legs and time overhead be?  The airplane is only so big and much of its internal space is filled with extra motors and actuators and plumbing and stuff, so there can’t be much room left over for gas and ordnance.  And if you hang stores under its wings, what happens to stealth?  Never understood the Marines logic when they bought this thing.  There’s not an infantryman on the ground anywhere on this planet that wants his/her air support to show up with one bomb and no gas.

And yet aside from stealth, your description could equally apply to the AV-8B and that aircraft had a very good record doing CAS.  

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1 hour ago, Confusionreigns178 said:

Look what happened in Vietnam. They used the latest, hi-tech, multi-million-dollar jet bomber against four guys sitting under a tree. Once they realised all this great tech-gear was often out of its depth, they started pulling WW2 gear out of the Arizona bone-yards and that did the job with less fuss and often better results. Technology certainly has its place, but it's just part of a much bigger equation. 

 

Chris.  

Depends on what aspect of the Vietnam air war you are talking about.   For CAS in the South, pretty much anything would get the job done.  Up North, things didn’t really go our way until we started using all that “great tech-gear”.  F-111’s, Laser-guided bombs, better radars and missiles (and tactics) so we could take out MiG’s from beyond visual range, etc.   By 1973, we had beaten down the world’s most effective air defense system.   The reason was due to technological advancements, not dumbing down our aircraft.   

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A pair of them came over my house about 1500-2000' AGL the other day, on a long final to DM, and even at a low power setting, they rattled my entire house.  Stealthy they may be, but it's a moot point when you can hear them coming 50 miles away.

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Ugly looking plane to my old eyes.  On top of it's poor looks and bland colour scheme, it's stunted in length and eaten too many pies which shows around it's middle.  Sits nicely alongside the Gannet or Heyford in looks terms.   That said, it's an aircraft so has to be loved and built !

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35 minutes ago, Shoggz said:

Putting all the technical stuff to one side, I think it's a great looking aircraft. It's quite an airshow performer too. Saw a superb display at Duxford a couple of years back. (In formation with a P-51D for some of it!)


Really? Every display I've seen I was utterly unimpressed :(

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36 minutes ago, Shoggz said:

Putting all the technical stuff to one side, I think it's a great looking aircraft. It's quite an airshow performer too. Saw a superb display at Duxford a couple of years back. (In formation with a P-51D for some of it!)

 

 

I agree, while not aesthetically pleasing to some, I find it rather interesting to say the least.    Honestly, I dont think the plane is as hated by the pilots that fly them as may be lead on............

 

My brother and I were talking to a couple of F-35B pilots at the 2013 Air Venture show by their planes. The talk was good and they indicated they liked the airplane and flying it very much. I didnt take this too terribly seriously in the middle of a crowded scene with hundreds of civilian people around. 

However, later we saw those same gents strolling around the show looking at the warbirds in an area almost devoid of all people. I came up to the pilot who I spoke to earlier and asked "just between you and me, is the aircraft really that great?"

 

He answered me as honestly as I thought anyone put on the spot could, and said he actually loved flying the airplane, and it was one of the most nimble and responsive planes he'd ever flown, and once all the "issues" were resolved (didnt mention what any of those were in his mind) he thought the airplane could be a super star. 

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18 hours ago, Oldbaldguy said:

  There’s not an infantryman on the ground anywhere on this planet that wants his/her air support to show up with one bomb and no gas.

 

What ever's available at the time you need it you'll be very happy to have it. Speaking from experience.

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