Tests were recently conducted for the ejector seat system of the F-35 Lightning II, a new fighter jet that will be used by air forces around the world. The trials, which included deployment at speeds of up to 600 miles per hour, went great! Which in this case means the seat successfully rocketed out of the cockpit in about the time it takes for you to blink. So try not to do that when you're watching this clip. [BoingBong]
Us Canadians are having an election right now thanks to this bloody thing.
For those not in the know, our current Conservative government agreed to purchase 65 F-35As to replace our aging F-18A and Bs. Trouble is, they did so without offering competitors to bid. Now it looks like the fighters are going to be late and cost twice as much.
Right now, it looks like the F-35 is going to be a dud. Although it has lots of kewl stuff like helmet mounted displays and stealth, it's no more maneuverable then a Vietnam era F-105 Thunderchief and only goes mach 1.6 when comparable fighters go mach 2, neither does it offer supercruise or thrust vectoring like its big brother, the F-22.
Myself, as a Canadian, I think the Saab Gripen NG (New Generation) would be ideal for Canada. It's cheaper, faster, more agile, and more maintenance friendly than the F-35. It also offers supercruise and a data-linkable AESA radar. Also, like all Saab jet fighters, can take off and land on a strip of public highway and can be serviced by a small crew and a truck.
Some would say that the Rafale, Eurofighter, or Super Hornet would be better, since their twin-engine design offers better safety over Canada's wilderness.
Trouble is, Canada is too ingrained into the American military industrial complex. We have been since the cancellation of the Avro Arrow. If the U.S. wants us to buy the F-35, we'll probably buy the F-35.