The designer of the F-16 explains why the F-35 is such a crappy plane

According to the Pierre Sprey, co-designer of the F-16, the F35 is a turkey. Inherently, a terrible airplane. An airplane built for a dumb idea. A kludge that will fail time and time again. Just impossibly hopeless. And judging from the bajillion times the F-35 fleet has been grounded, well, he's probably not wrong.… » 6/17/14 12:54am 6/17/14 12:54am

The Only Thing Keeping the F-35 Lightning Relevant Is the F-22 Raptor

Even if they are primarily just cheap knockoffs, China's rapidly growing fleet of next-gen aircraft are poised to seriously challenge American air superiority in the coming years. To prevent that, argues Chief of U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command Gen. Michael Hostage, we'll need plenty of fifth-generation fighters of… » 2/04/14 6:40pm 2/04/14 6:40pm

Feds Arrest Defense Contractor for Shipping Military Secrets to Iran

Mozaffar Khazaee, a former Manchester, Connecticut resident and defense contractor has been arrested by federal authorities on charges that he attempted to smuggle classified technical data on a variety of military projects—including the new F-35 Lightning II—out of the country and into Iran. » 1/13/14 8:00pm 1/13/14 8:00pm

The Next F-35 Lightning's Engine Adapts for Flight, Fight, and Beyond

Unlike commercial airliners, modern military aircraft are subjected to ever-changing flying conditions—from high-thrust takeoffs to flying at altitude to combat maneuvers. So why are they outfitted with engines that perform optimally in only one of those flight envelopes? For the next iteration of the F-35 Lightning… » 11/07/13 11:40am 11/07/13 11:40am

Inside the Pentagon's Trillion Dollar F-35 Embarrassment

It's not news that the Pentagon's fated F-35 program is riddled with dilemmas. For more than a decade, it's bumped into roadblock after roadblock. When the planes aren't grounded, they're forbidden to fly in bad weather, combat missions or at night. Vanity Fair just published a lengthy look at just how bad a mess it… » 9/16/13 2:00pm 9/16/13 2:00pm

The Navy's Next Gen Fighter Jets Will Heal Themselves

The F-35 Lightning and F-22 Raptor fifth generation fighters are among the most technologically advanced aircraft in history but the fact that they're barely out of testing (more than can be said about their Russian and Chinese counterparts) doesn't mean the US military isn't already designing an even better sixth… » 4/09/13 11:30am 4/09/13 11:30am

The Trillion Dollar F-35 Is Grounded Yet Again

In what is becoming almost as consistent as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, the F-35—America's trillion dollar joke of a fighter jet—has been grounded again. I don't even know how many times the fighter jet has been grounded now, I've lost count. This time, it's because of a crack in a turbine… » 2/22/13 7:54pm 2/22/13 7:54pm

At Last, the USAF Has Enough F-35s to Fly a Decent Formation

Here you have it, people: four F-35A Lightning IIs returning in formation to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. According to the USAF, "pilots with the 33rd Fighter Wing began flying the formation for the first time at Eglin AFB last week." After so many production problems and delays, only now they have enough planes… » 2/13/13 5:40pm 2/13/13 5:40pm

Twin F35 Fighters Suckling on the Sweet Milk of Freedom

Aerial refueling is an invaluable technique, not only extending a jet's operational endurance, it allows for more and heavier equipment to be carried than would otherwise be possible. Since its inception in the biplane era, this technology has developed into what you see here: two F-35C Lightning II jets attached to… » 1/22/13 6:20pm 1/22/13 6:20pm