Friday, April 1, 2016


For many years Congress flew in the face of military opposition and funded an Alternative Engine for the F-35 fighter plane. They did so because history has shown that the OEM always screws up the engine and delivers an unreliable or underpowered pantywaist of an engine. Well, they knew when they let it die on the Obama barricades they refused to climb that it would come back and bite somebody on the ass.

It takes an interesting departure from controlled flight without, you know, an engine. Fortunately, we are assured by the engine manufacturer that only 10% of the engines fail.
Pratt & Whitney spokesman Matthew Bates said in an e-mail that its quality management “is designed to ensure safe, reliable products” and the company “is investing significant resources in advanced quality inspection techniques and continuous improvement in our supply base, which has lead to year-over-year improvement.”
The reliability of installed engines is exceeding 90 percent “which is well ahead of 2020 requirements,” he said.
Gives one pause doesn't it. I don't imagine F-35s glide all that much more efficiently than space shuttles.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if they have informed the next of kin that the ride the pilots are about to strap themselves into only fails 1 out of ten times? Glide slopes on single engine aircraft like the F16? I've heard it described in terms such as "brick" or more optimistically as a "lawn dart". Yep sounds like a fun game to play as long as you're not the pilot or the catcher.

MSG Grumpy

HMS Defiant said...

No. And to be honest, you get selected to fly the military's newest jet, are you going to bitc@ about it to your family and friends? Not likely. You invest yourself in shaping the honor done you that others who follow may benefit and live.
The age of Test Pilots is over. Now everybody wearing wings is in the test pilot class for every newly delivered aircraft. We failed them when we eliminated real testing of prototypes and refusing to downselect the dogs and turkeys that could not fly. Look at the century series and the V22, not to mention the underpowered F14.
All those flaws were obvious to the pilot but they still put 19 men in the back for what amounted to "test flights".
I think there's a circle in hell for the men that made those programmatic decisions. I hope they enjoy it.