The Super Hornet Would Out Perform The F-35 In Any Canadian Arctic Operation, Says CF-18 Pilot
By David Pugliese
February 12, 2013. 12:09 am
Billie Flynn, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Experimental Test Pilot, was recently touting the stealth aircraft’s characteristics as being well suited for operations in Canada’s Arctic. He made the comments while making the rounds to various media outlets, including Defence Watch. Flynn, a former Canadian Forces CF-18 pilot, noted that the F-35 has 50 per cent more range than the CF-18s his squadron flew in the Arctic. “It allows you to go the Arctic by yourself, not refuel, it allows you to go patrol over the Arctic and stay over station longer,” he told the Hill Times newspaper. “You go further, you stay on station longer than any airplane, by a dramatic amount, 50 per cent further than I ever could go in a CF-18; that’s dramatic, that’s measurable, everyone gets it, because the expanse of the Arctic is on a scale that only a Canadian can understand,”
After Flynn’s comments were published another experience CF-18 fighter pilot sent this to Defence Watch as a counterpoint. Here is what that pilot writes:
Billie’s comments correctly focus on the importance of Arctic Ops to Canada:
He may have misspoken when he said F-35 will “You go further, you stay on station longer than any airplane, by a dramatic amount,….”. This statement may be true when compared to a “Classic Hornet” (F/A-18A/B/C/D series) but not in comparison to a Super Hornet.