If F-35s are recommended to avoid going in the clouds or bad weather, that means that civilian airliners are more capable than the nation’s latest mililtary jets. That speaks volumes about the state of the U.S. military and what is happening to it. It’s crumbling.
From radars that don’t work, to blurry vision from the aircraft’s sophisticated helmet, to an inability to fly through clouds, the report, which includes pilot comments, paints a picture of a jet nowhere near ready for real-life operations.
The testing, which was supposed to determine whether aircraft the U.S. had already bought from Lockheed Martin were good enough to start training U.S. fighter pilots with, was actually supposed to take place in August 2011.
But it had to be postponed because a number of critical issues were identified in the aircraft — the majority of which remained unresolved more than a year later.
Because those problems — including issues with the ejector seat — hadn’t been resolved, only experienced U.S. Air Force pilots were allowed to participate in the two-month test.
In addition, a second aircraft had to follow the first at all times, and engine starts had to be monitored with a special equipment to reduce the likelihood of a fire.
“Aircraft operating limitations prohibit flying the aircraft at night or in instrument meteorological conditions,” the report reads, “hence pilots must avoid clouds and other weather.
Full article: F-35 design problems make night flying impossible, increase risk of being shot down, U.S. pilots warn (National Post)