Squadron technicians experience new technical faults for the first time weekly. Most are as predicted by the [aircraft’s] designers; however technical faults still occur during flight where components did not perform as expected.That's extremely damning isn't it. TD tries to moderate it (as does the author) by adding this...
This will continue to occur as the airframes and systems are exposed to growing number of flying hours and the flight envelope is expanded. New procedures are required to repair this type of damage.That's a nice cleansing statement isn't it.
But no so fucking fast! The USMC has declared this airplane operational. Its part of the fleet and we're retiring aircraft as fast as possible on the hope and dream that the F-35B delivers as promised.
Additionally our British partners are being rather "cheeky". They're not buying hundreds of these planes but instead only 3 dozen or so.
They can accept poor performance, horrendous maintenance costs and tragic availability rates because they're really all in on the Typhoon and really see their Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers as simply really large LHDs.
And that's the problem for the program office. The closer people get a look at this airplane the better they understand that fantasy does not trump reality. You're looking at a plane desperately fighting off the death spiral and patchwork development. Workarounds can only work for so long before someone finally calls bullshit on the whole thing.
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