Wednesday, June 12, 2019

F-35 News. Could this CAT 1 deficiency have been the cause of the Japanese F-35 crash?

Valerie over at Defense News has several stories out about the F-35.  This tidbit caught my eye and caused me to pop it out...
The 13 deficiencies include:
  • The F-35’s logistics system currently has no way for foreign F-35 operators to keep their secret data from being sent to the United States.
  • The spare parts inventory shown by the F-35’s logistics system does not always reflect reality, causing occasional mission cancellations.
  • Cabin pressure spikes in the cockpit of the F-35 have been known to cause barotrauma, the word given to extreme ear and sinus pain.
  • In very cold conditions — defined as at or near minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit — the F-35 will erroneously report that one of its batteries have failed, sometimes prompting missions to be aborted.
  • Supersonic flight in excess of Mach 1.2 can cause structural damage and blistering to the stealth coating of the F-35B and F-35C.
  • After doing certain maneuvers, F-35B and F-35C pilots are not always able to completely control the aircraft’s pitch, roll and yaw.
  • If the F-35A and F-35B blows a tire upon landing, the impact could also take out both hydraulic lines and pose a loss-of-aircraft risk.
  • A “green glow” sometimes appears on the helmet-mounted display, washing out the imagery in the helmet and making it difficult to land the F-35C on an aircraft carrier.
  • On nights with little starlight, the night vision camera sometimes displays green striations that make it difficult for all variants to see the horizon or to land on ships.
  • The sea search mode of the F-35’s radar only illuminates a small slice of the sea’s surface.
  • When the F-35B vertically lands on very hot days, older engines may be unable to produce the required thrust to keep the jet airborne, resulting in a hard landing.
The Pentagon has identified four additional category 1 deficiencies since beginning operational tests in December 2018, mostly centered around weapons interfaces, Winter said.
Could the highlighted deficiency been the cause of the F-35 crash?  I can't help but wonder.

But why would the Japanese use the old chestnut of pilot error?  I personally noted that the guy was an experienced AND presumably rising star in their air force but yet they were still quick to throw him under the bus.

I'll wait to hear more but I can't shake the feeling that we've only JUST BEGUN to touch on all the problems that this plane has.

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