Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sounds like a Mac Book!

via Why the F-35 Blog.
Initial feedback from US Air Force pilots and maintainers operating the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Eglin AFB, Florida, suggests the aircraft is performing better than its predecessors did at a similar stage of development.
The F-35 is in its infancy, but the stealthy type is already proving to be relatively stable from a maintenance standpoint, says Col Andrew Toth, commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing. "The system right now is behaving as advertised, [although] occasionally, we will have some issues with it on the ground," he says. However, this is usually easily fixed by shutting the aircraft down and then restarting it.
The airplane is a Mac Book!  Love it! 


  1. Sol,

    I'm only half trained in Comp. Sci. but that part both made me laugh and sent chills down my spine.

    Shutting down and restarting is Comp. speech for "In case I know what happened, it's far too cumbersome to solve". Ouch.

    Shutting down and restarting is... certainly the kind of issue you can only "have" on the ground. Or on your way to it.

    I do hope they find a better way. Shutting down systems might be ok. Shutting down the whole system shouldn't be said so nonchalantly.

    Take care. Ferran

    PS: I do hope the martin-baker is computer-free.

  2. Eh. If we didn't have software intensive systems we'd have more wires, relays, transformers and associated physical systems failures. In the 'old' days, everyone feared the lurking 'sneak circuit'. Now it is the invisible (until you step in it) software bug.
    Example of the latter is that the F-18 had flown decades with nary an indication that if you flew exactly (to the significant digits that counted in the flight control system anyway) at Mach 1.000000... a divide by zero effect would be realized that triggered an entire reboot of the flight control system redundancy be danged. Fortunately for the pilot, the reboot happened just as fast.
    The inherent problem is the dominance of the 'commercial software' definition of software reliability: The code is seen as 100% reliable because it will always do exactly what it should do with a given set of inputs. The military/critical systems definition of software reliability is essentially the same with the added requirement that nothing untoward happens when when the software receives an input it is not expecting. This is why system testers are generally not buddies with code writers or pure software testers: We remind them that their precious code must actually, y'know. DO something.

  3. Lets all hope the RAT was put on this bird so there will be power while it's free falling/gliding awaiting it's reboot to boot up.

    PS: I do hope the martin-baker is computer-free.
    Probably the failure to reboot will either shut the seat down or eject it automatically.

    All in all I doubt this Jet will see combat before the next four years go by if it does rebooting won't be the problem, the RoE will.
    That or a large dose of EMP.


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