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Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:28 PM

Pentagon suspends F-35 flights due to engine blade crack

Source: Reuters

The Pentagon on Friday suspended the flights of all 51 F-35 fighter planes after a routine inspection revealed a crack on a turbine blade in the jet engine of an F-35 test aircraft in California.

It was the second grounding of the warplane in two months and marked another setback for the $396 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the Pentagon's biggest weapons program. The program has already been restructured three times in recent years and may face further cutbacks if Congress does not avert major budget reductions due to take effect on March 1.

The F-35 program office said it was too early to know if this was a fleet-wide issue, but it was suspending all flights until an investigation was completed. A total of 51 F-35 jets were affected, including 17 that are being used for testing and 34 in use for training in Florida and Arizona.

It said it was working closely with Pratt & Whitney, the United Technologies Corp unit that builds the engine, and Lockheed Martin Corp, the prime contractor for the radar-evading warplane, to ensure the integrity of the engine and return the F-35 fleet to flight as soon as possible.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/22/us-lockheed-fighter-idUSBRE91L10U20130222



F35 price tag approaches 25 quadrillion, "well worth it at any cost!!!" - Pentagon...

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 04:37 PM

1. now war profiteers can charge more...for defective parts for which they have already been paid nt

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:34 PM

2. Engine blade crack?


Jesus, who thought of smoking that?

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:51 PM

3. GOOD! maybe it'll be the last nail in the coffin

fucking F35. we dont even need that.

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Response to pasto76 (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:52 PM

6. But you know it won't.

Even if the sequester goes into effect, congress will find a way to keep throwing money at this pile of shit. It's bad enough that it's a weapon system we as a nation truly do not NEED. It just adds insult to injury that it's panning out to be a weapon system that's ineffective and even (unintentionally) dangerous.

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Response to pasto76 (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:07 PM

7. Canada bought a bunch too.

We fucking don't need them either!

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:20 PM

4. Ahh.. this is so great.....

 

..This takes me back to the good 'ol days of 1000 dollar toilet seats and 3000 dollar screw drivers.

Things never change much in Washington...

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 08:17 PM

5. Cancel this program and save 1.45 trillion.......

the plane is a piece of crap.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:05 PM

12. Even if it was a piece of gold, it doesn't serve a purpose in today's world situation.

 

It was developed for a cold-war mentality that's been supplanted by something the designers couldn't have envisioned. The technology is ancient by current standards. With all of the delays, design changes, failed tests, cost over-runs, oh, and did I mention cost-overruns, we're just throwing as much money as we can into a giant hole in the ground that leads directly to the furnace that heats Hell.

This is definitely a "cut your losses" program, and it certainly isn't the only one. We built a rocket that could land a man on the moon in less than ten years and we can't build a single model of fighter jet in the same amount of time? Actually, it's been more than ten, but you get my point. It is just a big boondoggle.





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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:12 PM

8. ...sell stock A... ...buy stock B...

 

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:10 AM

9. One can only hope this program is cancelled

and that the money saved is used in more productive means.

If we need new aircraft (which I am sure we do eventually) we can simply build more of the current generation of fighters upon which the R&D has already been paid. There is nothing wrong with replacing aging airframes and doing some upgrades, but we don't need this or the F22.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:15 AM

10. The Air Force demanded that the supplier push the limits on material science for F35 engines

When the military launches a jet fighter program, they plan on the aircraft and engine companies develop technology that does not even exist yet. They will demand temperature and stress characteristics that have never been possible in turbine blades. The public first finances huge R&D expenditures in the first years of the program.

This was documented in IEEE Spectrum about five years ago.

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:46 AM

11. Of course Lockheed had no problem telling them what they wanted to hear...

So long as the checques kept coming.

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:14 PM

13. I worked with Lockheed guys stationed at Goddard who said the same about Reagan's "Star Wars" thing.

 

It was just a money sink they could draw off of to produce reports that nobody will bother to read and it wouldn't matter anyway because there was never going to be an actual device. That "space laser" thing was always a joke and the Val Kilmer movie "Real Genius" had a good time with the idea. If the contractors can score money for doing little or nothing, that's what they're going to do.

And the original Space Station plan was something like what they depicted in "2001: A Space Odessy". By the time I left the playing field, it had been reduced to something slightly more modest, but not practical. It took measured thinking and the use of technology we knew was possible to get the ISS up there in its current form.

I'm in no way cutting down the current ISS, it's a beautiful thing. But the "let's start with the most complicated thing possible" approach the military (and NASA also) starts every project out with is just going to get us where we need to go. Sometimes I think more of it is for show than to actually accomplish anything.

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:19 PM

14. In this case it is Pratt & Whitney, not Lockheed.

Pratt & Whitney is the maker of the engine. Don't much think that the Democrats representing Connecticut in Congress are going to vote to cut the F-35.

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