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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Air Force Pilots Balk At Flying The World’s Most Expensive Fighter Jet

Air Force Pilots Balk At Flying The World’s Most Expensive Fighter Jet

by Cora Currier, ProPublica

The pricey F-22 Raptor jet has just gotten back up in the air, but the safety problem that grounded it doesn’t seem to be resolved.

Last year, the F-22 was grounded for four months because pilots were experiencing dizziness and other symptoms of hypoxia, which is caused by a lack of oxygen. The Air Force looked into possible malfunctions in the plane’s oxygen-generation system, but in September, the planes were cleared for service after technicians were unable to pinpoint a source of the problem.

Yesterday, however, the Air Force’s Air Combat Command confirmed that some pilots — they would specify only “a very small” number — have requested not to fly the F-22.

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  • Diogenes67

    Best General’s name ever: Gen. Mike Hostage.

  • you know it’s fasinating that we still think that someone sitting at a computer can tell the person who is actually flying the thing that they are wrong about what is happening, meanwhile the brick is falling out of the sky. i had a friend who got built the most increadable ( i can’t say) ever made for the defence of this country. his secret? he asked every day questions of the men who were building it and testing it. if the guy running the lathe said it wont work, he made the changes. it works, it works to this day, better than any other similer system if the pilots keep trying and telling the builder the problem has not gone away, belive them! how much money is a test pilot worth? they will fly damn near anything , including paper airplanes, don’t incist they die for some payoff to another war toy dreamer.

    • If they didn’t pay off the defense contractors, there wouldn’t be any economic activity at all in the US….

  • I recall this quote from the astronaut John Glenn. ” As I hurled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind…….every part of this capsule was supplied by the lowest bidder.”

    • Yeah, but that was during a time when the government acted responsibly, and there were actual audits…. Now-a-days the suppliers are lining the pockets of government officals to look the other way. No responsibility – no audits – no nothing….
      It was also a time when American manufacturers made ‘quality’ products….

    • jwolfordsprint

      You’re out of touch if you don’t think that every commercial aircraft, motor vehicle, and nautical vessel wasn’t created the same way…by a compendium of suppliers who were quite likely the lowest bidders. That’s that way business works… and every time your 401K grows, you are grateful for it.

    • Werner Keil

      That’s quite true, sadly even more few days after Neil Armstrong passed away. A lot of the famous NASA blunders like that earlier Mars Mission lost due to a stupid unit conversion error was due to budget cuts, too.

      • How was a unit conversion error due to budget cuts ? With all those people still nobody could take responsibility and ask the question which unit of measure are we using ? Nasa in the 60’s was taking huge risks and it was expected that some people would die. Most empires were built on risk taking and exploitation. Neither is acceptable now as everyone either sues or expects “the government” to do something.

        Homeland security is a great example of an ineffective administrative layer being applied on top of an ineffective administrative layer.

        Middle management kills all empires.

  • swift2010

    yes the crash was the pilots fault
    This man died and they are covering up
    The plane has a fault
    despite costing billions it does not F….. work

    • jwolfordsprint

      One crash does not a systemic problem make. Forget that every new endeavor has its setbacks. Forget that 11 cases out of 12,000 is such a statistically insignificant number that most commercial industries wouldn’t bother with it. It is for the very reason that we don’t accept it from our government contractors (because we don’t have to, since we’re footing the bill) that it COSTS SO MUCH.

      A man died, in the service of his country, giving “his last measure of devotion”. It’s very tragic and our hearts are with his family. Unequivically, however, a human is infinitely more error prone than a machine, and commensurately as hard to prove wrongdoing. So with a nod to Occam’s Razor (the pedestrian version of it, anyway), other things being equal, a simpler explanation is better than a more complex one.

  • What a huge waste of money. We could have felt millions of hungry and starving Americans with that money. And then given their leftover to Ethiopians.

    • Shawn Anger

      Yep, we could have. And right now, they’d all be hungry again. Thankfully we still have a very capable fleet of Raptors.

      • reddfrog

        How does the Raptors taste like? Chicken?

  • arindam banerjee

    New fangled Oxygen generator technology……..why not keep an emergency bottle of LOX handy….I am sure it could quietly be stowed away in a corner of the pit….technology does-not always have to be hyper to be safe —-

    • reddfrog

      You want it to be hyper so you can feel good about spending all that money.

  • Ryan Bray

    So this jet program has cost every American $233 and it hasn’t done anything for national security. We could have put 35 Mars rovers on the Red Planet for that much money.

    • reddfrog

      But some crony corporation got a huge amount of money, so all’s well.

      • jwolfordsprint

        Actually, this program was split among several major defense contractors, employing tens of thousands of people from Atlanta to Seattle. Government contracts represent welfare for the middle-class and no amount of cronyism or exorbitant compensation balances the effect these contracts have on the economy. A one million dollar bonus to a corporate executive is worth 4 employees for one year. At some point, as an aspiring employee, you have to ask “how much would it be worth to my employees, the company, and the stockholders if I could ensure their financial futures for the next 15 years?” Would that be worth $1M? More? Or would you be simply satisfied with your accomplishment and the $125K in salary?

    • jwolfordsprint

      What would have 35 Mars rovers done for every American?

  • lagunacanyontech

    the,” hypoxia like symptoms;” occur at a time or temperature condition, therefore; it will be that special coating applied to the components related to the stages of afterburn prior to assembly.The oxygen system is pressurized through the birds propulsion system

  • Lakshman Dalpadado

    Flawed ? Sell it to some unsuspecting foreign airforce.

  • ” The U.S. halted orders of the jets in 2009, as then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates argued the F-22′s specific capability was not widely applicable in the nation’s “spectrum of conflict.”” SPECTRUM ! you have so many, that you can have a spectrum.I guess you can make your own war at any time…again..I bet next is in Iran or Syria.For sure some urban-to-air fighting , something like that.

  • L84dnnr

    seems like the B-1B spent it’s entire career grounded from combat duty.
    why not have an expensive Fighter that’s unusable.

    the real story is, how much should we pay for Weapon Systems that are unusable.

  • …just gimme an F4 Phantom. Just the noise and rumble would make the Taliban sh|t all over themselves.

  • douglas_jardine

    General Hostage?


  • Goolam Dawood

    They could have put a school AND teachers AND food, in every village in Afghanistan, Pakistan and just about most of the world, for 230Billion Dollars.

  • Let those who decide it’s okay to fly it fly it.

  • The Americans develop and design the finest Fighter Jets in the World. No other Country has that level of expertise and no other Country has more requests for the purchases of its legendary fighters. The F22 and F35 are likely going to be the last manned Fighter Jets. These are ultra sophisticated Fighters capable of easily knocking a Pilot out cold with abilities that its predecessors never had. They are trying to make these Jets ultra agile , lethal , stealthy and quick to get away.

    This is no small feat. If you follow the development of the F14, F15, , F16 and F18s – they all had problems. The reality is that alot of the flaws in an Aircraft – even after test planes – do not present themselves until a substantial amount of use..measured in flight hours over years.

    We do know that the avionics inside both jets are the most advanced ever. And its stated mission to kill the enemy before the enemy sees you concept has probably been maintained. In Dogfights- laser tag- = the F22 was able to take on up to 10 F18s. That a massive understatement considering the F18 is still considered to be the best Fighter Jet in the World. Even though there are newer Jets like the Eurofighter Typhon, Saab Griffin etc – none have been proven in Combat.

    I do not doubht that the Americans will get the problems sorted out. I just wonder if it will happen before they actually need the Jets in action and not after.

  • F-22 is known as a Death Trap to US Pilots. Cover Up

  • This is by no means the first aircraft to be rather suspect. Didn’t there used to be one fighter jet nicknamed “The Flying Coffin”? Years ago Great Britain used to make some impressive planes, the English Electric Lightning for example (it could fly vertically upwards getting to 50,000 feet very quickly indeed!) There was also the ill fated TSR2 that was banned maybe as a result of SALT or maybe because there was no more money. The TSR2 engine was however adapted for Concorde so it wasn’t entirely wasted.

    As to that fighter problem with the oxygen. Here is my ten cents worth from across the pond. I suspect that the oxygen regulators might be being affected by high G forces. If this is in fact the case why not have three regulators in parallel each one mounted at ninety degrees to the other? Simple!

  • The F 22 and F 35 are cost overrun programs. I have known about it for years. In a series of “simulated” close up Tactical dogfights, over Great Britain, the North Sea and the Benelux countries the less expensive Eurofighter Typhoon consistently outperformed the F 22 in close up simulated aerial dogfights. The Europfighter Typhoon upgrade program- also entails retrofits with a high temp resistant- radar-opaque and “invisilility cloak” stealth system that is superior to the F 222 – F 35 Stealth system. Another special lightweight lining system in the wings and lower fuselage will actually capture gravity and convert it to power, and re-mit it- with a 50 % reduction of “passive mass” pull on the plane- effectiely speeding it up- then, in addition- the resultant special “current” wlll be fed to high thrust dual magnetron ion-thrusters on either side the rear fuselage pushing against the two media which carry gravity.
    The Gravity Field Retransformation (GFR) upgraded stealth-invisiibillity cloakTyphoon will have a longer range, better fuel efficiency, fly higher, and faster than eoither the F 22 Raptor or the F 35. So, given those factors, it doesn´t look like the U.S. will ever be selling many F 35s to NATO allies either. The EADS-Airbus Typhoon is the superior aircraft. In my immediate follow up, I will write about the Leo II main combat tank and its upgrades.

  • Way back when, when the U.S. was developing its turbine engine driven Abrams tank, Germany contracted Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann to develop both a twin diesel engine drivened tank and a self propelled howitzer sysdtem. The product was a reliable, all weather condition dual diesel Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank which is more fuel efficient than the Abrams (fuel logistics do count.) The Leopard II is now the standard MBT for 11 NATO countries. With the U.S. pulling out of the middle east, Saudi Arabia, ad Kuwait, just order 1.400 Leo II tanks. Indonesia purchased 200. And the Emirates, Katar and Oman will most likely join in with orders for 600 more.. (Parts made in Germany by KMW with final assembly done in Spain by General Dynamics. (that is a total € 20. billion in orders for a more energy efficient, less expensive Leo.
    In the 11 European countries which use the Leo I), there is discuission about upgrading with special tough surface “ivisibility cloak”, twin tqnks for diesel and water, a watere demiieralisatio system- and an aqeous fuel system which lets them operate o 20 % Eurodiesel- 80% water, which slashed govrnmet costs on logistics in out of area operations such as I.S.A.F. .

  • Cutting fuel logistics costs for the German and NATO Navies.
    First, retrofit vessels with the Siharbour system. An on board transformer from Euronorm power supply- plus heat exchanger. Covert European harbours to piers with .local current to Euronorm. When fishing boats, merchant and aval vessels dock, they can hook up to pierside “long distance heat and power from utilities- and shut off diesel engines-that provide power and heat. That slashes consumption while docked.
    2. Retrofit all mariitime vessels- with on board- desaliisation-demineralisation units, brown´s gas generation systems, another system- so they can run 80% water, 20% diesel. (This cuts Greek deficits for subsidizing its ferry fleet operstions..)
    Total savings on Naval maritime operations – with Siharbour plus “maritime aqueous systems” plus 90%. This also slashes fuel logistics costs.

  • hahaha what the hell is going on

  • This is the most sound airframe I have ever seen, I can take out anything in the world that flies. Sme internal components need to be changed, use the ones the F-15 uses

  • angelo diragusa

    Yes, I looked at the service manual of the F-22 recently and it did take a couple of days to work out some of the basic functions. I do have a small outfit near me run by a guy from Costa Rica which does my repairs, I’m sure they can save the Air Force a whole load pesos by outsourcing the maintenence of these fabulous contraptions…….