The F-35: Kicking Off Your Long Weekend

Second F-35A Production Jet Arrives at Edwards AFB

That’s right, kick off this long weekend by watching this amazing high-def video of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter ops out of Edwards Air Force Base in Calif.

Enough said.

Click through the jump for the video.

H/t to Gizmodo.

  • Lance

    Awesome pic of Edwards AFB the Lighting 2 in USAF colors looks good.

  • Richard

    <3

  • Joel

    Yup, best way to start a weekend off. Great video, can’t wait till the F-35 is rollin’ off the line and into service, hopefully it does.

  • Marcellus Hambrick

    The F-35 is wayyyyyyyy overrated. Trying to do too much with one plane.

    • blight_

      It’s three planes with similar parts. Not unlike having Nissan Frontier, Xterra and Pathfinder on the F-Alpha platform up until last year. Or the Crown Vic serving as the Mercury Mariner and the Lincoln Town Car. Though the modifications between versions are a lot more than just cosmetic, so the former example may be more relevant than the latter.

      • ltfunk

        Yep just like the F-Alpha platform but with the performance of a donkey cart.

        • blight_

          Perhaps shoehorning the VTOL mode into the -A, -C might’ve broke the camel’s back?

          • Carl G.

            AGREED, the lift fan is useless most of the time, unlike the Harrier which used the more sensible (and more capable) thrust vectoring minimized the sacrificed weight and performance. It’s a mistake to replace the Harrier with the “shoehorned” VSTOL engineering. We should have built a new version of the basic Harrier, OR considered the resurrection of the McDonald Douglass FV-12 design from the mid 70s, suitably updated of course. What possible use is stealth (and its sacrifice in capability) in a close support AC whose primary misn is to get down in the mud with the troops?

          • blight_

            The lift fan was undeniably more efficient; though we got bamboozled with the whole lift-fan-can-power-a-laser argument, as if only the Marines would need lasers.

            The LiftSystem provides additional power in forward flight, which makes the LiftSystem/F-135(6) combo more powerful than the legacy Harrier’s Pegasus.

            Unless reported otherwise, it doesn’t appear that the fault is with the LiftSystem in the first place, but the attempt to integrate three air platforms, one incorporating a standard F-135(6) with provision for the LiftSystem. Perhaps spiraling as a cousin-aircraft instead of a sibling aircraft might’ve been more prudent, though it leaves the entire enterprise vulnerable to divide and conquer. With three branches of the military lobbying for the “Joint Strike Fighter” together, it is more survivable than a specialized program.

          • guest

            Wasn’t the FV-12 a Rockwell design? Looked iike an alien fighter from a sci-movie.

          • blight_

            All I could find was XFV-12. VTOL, Supersonic and with AtA armament. The Marines might pass on it…

          • William C.

            It didn’t work. Couldn’t get off the ground.

          • blight_

            The Harrier wasn’t meant to get in close like a helicopter gunship was. Otherwise it wouldn’t be supersonic, it would be a titanium brick.

          • EJ257

            The Harrier cannot go supersonic.

          • blight_

            Blah, I meant the -B.

          • SwoopNasty

            The Harrier was a nightmare to fly. Saying lets just go dust off those old planes is like saying, why don’t we just go back to using muskets. This plane is a step forward. The reason for stealth is for the fact that it is a multi-role jet. Yes its pointless when your down in with the troops, but getting to them undetected and fighting against other planes undetected is a huge advantage. Every thing the military uses is generally made by the lowest bidder. So until all the huge corporations stop trying to out do each other and join up with each other, we will have to live with what decisions the men in suits make.

          • Leroy

            And you know tha harrier was a nightmare to fly how? becuase I have neever ever heard that anywhere!

          • CIG147

            I just love it when people puke thier opinions about stuff they have zero knowledge of like thier some kind of experts.

    • steve

      Hambrick, sounds lie oyu woud complai if they hung you with a “new rope”???? Geez get off your kicks?

      • steve

        Sorry about my spelling miscues, in a hurry does that to some?

  • Trostorff

    What long weekend? Some of us actually have to work. Nice shots though.

    • harharhar

      it is funny that some people still believe that most americans work regular 9 to 5 jobs. Most americans today work multiple low paying jobs with no benefits. god bless america

  • Black Owl

    How about we get some high def videos of the F-35C doing an arrested landing? What about some live weapons firing? Or how about some departure from controlled flight spins testing?

    Oh wait… They still can’t do those or anything else that’s actually useful after a decade and $400 billion. What failure of a weapons platform this jet has turned out to be.

    • Pilgrimman

      Do you honestly think you’re going to change anyone’s mind about this? You’re a lousy troll.

      • Black Owl

        I have changed several people’s minds already. I have also gotten many more people to question this fighter critically instead of just following along on the techno-craze bandwagon that it is pulling. Thanks for asking.

        • BigGuy97

          “I have changed several people’s minds already.” and I can move objects with my mind. Give it a rest already. Go harass some sellers on Ebay.

    • Mike

      Your suppose to be a pilot? You have been the only adolescent in this forum for quite some time.

  • STemplar

    Any F35 fans have links to good news?

    Tail hook validation testing?
    Fuel dump redesign?
    IPP life-cycle improvement?
    Stealth coating no longer burning off from afterburner?
    Helmet mounted queuing system?
    % of code completed in avionics?

    • Praetorian

      http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120118/DEFRE

      I know, I know, but you got me looking with the questions.

      • STemplar

        That’s one, maybe, if it works.

        • Black Owl

          That article was released in January. The fix should be working by now. If it isn’t then it’s back to the drawing board.

  • baddaunoo

    funny isn’t it, coping Russian designs……………all what i see is not any new fighter but yak 141. the soviets should be proud of themselves……the mighty dragon is waiting in the to blaze fire(J 20) along T 50………….!!!!!!

    • micheal

      Yeah they waiting in the sky into burn them to ashes….!!!!!!

  • PJCUK

    Everyone can see through this PR cr*p – can’t they? ;)

  • Carl G.

    The only way to save the F-35 program is to:
    1. Stop this Jimmy Carter type procurement policy. 2. Decide on a realistic (ie. much larger) number, 3. use multi-year contracting (like the Navy does with the F-18E/F, and Reagan did with everything), 4. add vectored thrust to make it competitive in ACM, 5.adopt the larger Navy C airframe for the USAF (carries more farther), and accept that the B model was a bad idea and and realize that expensive stealth has little use in a close support AC (an advanced Harrier derivative would be cheaper and far more effective).

    • blight_

      The longer it takes to deliver, the faster the order number drops. We learned this from F-22, which had a long development and took forever to arrive.

      Thrust-vector would require a total rework of the F-135 and F-136 engines, and would make development even more protracted. I wonder what it would take to put an F-119 into a JSF…in fantasyland, that would put the next-gen air force on a common engine.

      • Black Owl

        “I wonder what it would take to put an F-119 into a JSF…”

        That didn’t even cross my mind! That would have made its development so much easier and more simple! Why didn’t we do that?

        • Sir Sapo

          Because you don’t just shoehorn what is essentially a turbojet into a fighter that you expect to fly a long distance. Try getting an aeronautical engineering degree and alot of the “stupid decisions” made by Lockheed start to make sense…

          • blight_

            They’re both turbofans with the F-135/136 putting out some good wet thrust numbers, as they were intended for a one-engined fighter. And at the same time, there may be design constraints since both were intended to be compatible with LiftSystem…

            In any case, it’s probable that it may have been done for export reasons…?

  • duuude

    How does the JSF aim its cannon without a HUD?

    • Commisar12

      it has a helmet mounted sight.

      • duuude

        I know it has a helmet mounted sight.

        Think about how that’s going to work when it comes to strafing. How is this supposed to be better than the A-10 it’s supposed to replace?

        • Commisar12

          It is only supposed to start replacing the A-10 in 2028. As fot strafing, if the F-16 and Eurofighter can strafe, so can the F-35, it has a 25mm cannon.

  • Max

    Why can’t they just leave the lousy music off the video? I hate rock music

  • Jim

    An airplane that does not answer the needs of our Country. Way over budget, way to slow to actually combat enemy aircraft. As the photos of the plane show, it’s design is a pig.
    How about we actually acquire a long overlooked FAST, SMALL, SPECIFIC, CHEAP Tactical Fighter that some 75+ countries already have and use; The F-5E/F.
    WHY can’t we buy that aircraft with UPDATED avionics and weapons and maybe a very modern small engine, and build enough of them to have around 2,000 aboard for the Air Force to actually DO the job they need to do; which is defend our country? For the cost of one F-35, we can get around 6-7 F-5s. But no, we have to keep pouring money down the proverbial “rat hole” for the F-35. Very Sad indeed.

    • William C.

      Are you joking? They tried that with the F-20 Tigershark and nobody wanted it as the F-16 was superior in most respects. Today the F-5 is outclassed in virtually every aspect of performance by newer fighters.

    • Riles

      While I am a fan of the F-5, and sympathize with and prefer a procurment strategy based on cheap-er, reliable and proven designs (as opposed to super cutting edge that is also super expensive), the F-5 is just plain old. Those countires that still fly it? They are all sub par airforces that can’t afford to upgrade to something more modern. So, in short, while I understand the desire to go the way of “cheap, reliable, modern-but-not-cutting-edge”, the suggestion that we go back to flying 5-5’s is silly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bwollard1 Bill Wollard

    Not manueverable – wing loading of an F-105, which was regularly shredded by Mig 21s in Nam. Slow. Just an overpriced, over hyped, poorly engineered bomb truck. This is the FTFX/F-111 program all over agin. Trying to do way too many things with one airframe. This pig should be killed.

    • William C.

      The F-105 was designed as a supersonic nuclear bomber, not something that would be flying air-superiority missions. F-105s still managed to shoot down 27.5 MiGs while only losing 17 in return.

      The F-35 was designed from the start to be a multi-role strike fighter with performance comparable to the F-16 and F/A-18. Hell, its engine produces more thrust at military power than the F-105’s did at full afterburner.

      • Riceball

        You realize that you just helped make Bill’s argument by saying that the F-105 was not designed as an air-superiority fighter? His argument against the F-35 was comparing its wing loading to that of an F-105 and all you can say in return is that the F-105 was designed for a different mission than the F-35 and that its engines produces more thrust than those of the F-105. That really doesn’t disprove his argument that the F-25 is no more maneuverable than an F-105 due to its wing loading, its thrust has no real bearing on its maneuverability, it just means that its faster and possibly has a better thrust to weight ratio. A better counter argument would be some figures on the 35’s wing load and whether it’s the same as the 105 and if it equates to maneuverability.

        Btw, 27.5 MiGs to 17 105s lost is a not a very good kill ratio, it’s not even 2:1, my math is really lousy but I’d say that it’s about 1.25 – 1.5:1, only slightly better than 1 for 1. Still, given that it was really only a fighter in name I do have to give credit to the Thud drivers for being able to essentially hold their own against the more maneuverable MiGs.

    • PMI

      “wing loading of an F-105” – Which would be relevant if we were still talking about the days when an aircraft was a tube with wings attached. Unfortunately for Mr. Sprey’s analogy we are actually living in an age where nifty things called computers help design lifting body fuselages that produce significant amounts of lift.

      It’s interesting that the folks using that argument conveniently ignore the fact that an F-4 had lower wing loading the holy grail F-16. Incidentally the same F-16 that even while clean needs an afterburner to keep up with the ‘slow’ F-35 using military thrust.

  • John Moore

    That’s one dam long weekend DT

  • johnysmith

    do you know guys that Japan has chosen the US-made F-35 stealth jet as its next-generation mainstay fighter in a multi-billion dollar deal? http://airsoc.com/articles/view/id/4ee7094ac6f8fa