Home » Air » The F-35: Kicking Off Your Long Weekend

The F-35: Kicking Off Your Long Weekend

by John Reed on May 25, 2012

Second F-35A Production Jet Arrives at Edwards AFB

That’s right, kick off this long weekend by watching this amazing high-def video of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter ops out of Edwards Air Force Base in Calif.

Enough said.

Click through the jump for the video.

H/t to Gizmodo.

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{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

Lance May 25, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Awesome pic of Edwards AFB the Lighting 2 in USAF colors looks good.


Richard May 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm
Joel May 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Yup, best way to start a weekend off. Great video, can't wait till the F-35 is rollin' off the line and into service, hopefully it does.


Marcellus Hambrick May 25, 2012 at 8:36 pm

The F-35 is wayyyyyyyy overrated. Trying to do too much with one plane.


blight_ May 25, 2012 at 8:46 pm

It's three planes with similar parts. Not unlike having Nissan Frontier, Xterra and Pathfinder on the F-Alpha platform up until last year. Or the Crown Vic serving as the Mercury Mariner and the Lincoln Town Car. Though the modifications between versions are a lot more than just cosmetic, so the former example may be more relevant than the latter.


ltfunk May 26, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Yep just like the F-Alpha platform but with the performance of a donkey cart.


blight_ May 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Perhaps shoehorning the VTOL mode into the -A, -C might've broke the camel's back?


Carl G. May 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm

AGREED, the lift fan is useless most of the time, unlike the Harrier which used the more sensible (and more capable) thrust vectoring minimized the sacrificed weight and performance. It's a mistake to replace the Harrier with the "shoehorned" VSTOL engineering. We should have built a new version of the basic Harrier, OR considered the resurrection of the McDonald Douglass FV-12 design from the mid 70s, suitably updated of course. What possible use is stealth (and its sacrifice in capability) in a close support AC whose primary misn is to get down in the mud with the troops?

CIG147 May 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm

I just love it when people puke thier opinions about stuff they have zero knowledge of like thier some kind of experts.

steve May 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Hambrick, sounds lie oyu woud complai if they hung you with a "new rope"???? Geez get off your kicks?


steve May 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Sorry about my spelling miscues, in a hurry does that to some?


Trostorff May 25, 2012 at 9:57 pm

What long weekend? Some of us actually have to work. Nice shots though.


harharhar May 26, 2012 at 9:43 am

it is funny that some people still believe that most americans work regular 9 to 5 jobs. Most americans today work multiple low paying jobs with no benefits. god bless america


Black Owl May 25, 2012 at 10:56 pm

How about we get some high def videos of the F-35C doing an arrested landing? What about some live weapons firing? Or how about some departure from controlled flight spins testing?

Oh wait… They still can't do those or anything else that's actually useful after a decade and $400 billion. What failure of a weapons platform this jet has turned out to be.


Pilgrimman May 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Do you honestly think you're going to change anyone's mind about this? You're a lousy troll.


Black Owl May 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I have changed several people's minds already. I have also gotten many more people to question this fighter critically instead of just following along on the techno-craze bandwagon that it is pulling. Thanks for asking.


BigGuy97 May 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm

"I have changed several people's minds already." and I can move objects with my mind. Give it a rest already. Go harass some sellers on Ebay.


Mike May 29, 2012 at 8:00 am

Your suppose to be a pilot? You have been the only adolescent in this forum for quite some time.


STemplar May 26, 2012 at 6:47 am

Any F35 fans have links to good news?

Tail hook validation testing?
Fuel dump redesign?
IPP life-cycle improvement?
Stealth coating no longer burning off from afterburner?
Helmet mounted queuing system?
% of code completed in avionics?


Praetorian May 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm


I know, I know, but you got me looking with the questions.


STemplar May 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm

That's one, maybe, if it works.


Black Owl May 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm

That article was released in January. The fix should be working by now. If it isn't then it's back to the drawing board.


Praetorian May 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm

I got one for you to Black Owl :

Senate panal approves 26 new F-18 Supers and 12 Growlers. But keeps funding of F-35 program. President might Veto bill though.

baddaunoo May 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm

funny isn’t it, coping Russian designs……………all what i see is not any new fighter but yak 141. the soviets should be proud of themselves……the mighty dragon is waiting in the to blaze fire(J 20) along T 50………….!!!!!!


micheal May 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Yeah they waiting in the sky into burn them to ashes….!!!!!!


PJCUK May 26, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Everyone can see through this PR cr*p – can't they? ;)


Carl G. May 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm

The only way to save the F-35 program is to:
1. Stop this Jimmy Carter type procurement policy. 2. Decide on a realistic (ie. much larger) number, 3. use multi-year contracting (like the Navy does with the F-18E/F, and Reagan did with everything), 4. add vectored thrust to make it competitive in ACM, 5.adopt the larger Navy C airframe for the USAF (carries more farther), and accept that the B model was a bad idea and and realize that expensive stealth has little use in a close support AC (an advanced Harrier derivative would be cheaper and far more effective).


blight_ May 27, 2012 at 10:12 am

The longer it takes to deliver, the faster the order number drops. We learned this from F-22, which had a long development and took forever to arrive.

Thrust-vector would require a total rework of the F-135 and F-136 engines, and would make development even more protracted. I wonder what it would take to put an F-119 into a JSF…in fantasyland, that would put the next-gen air force on a common engine.


Black Owl May 27, 2012 at 11:54 am

"I wonder what it would take to put an F-119 into a JSF…"

That didn't even cross my mind! That would have made its development so much easier and more simple! Why didn't we do that?


Sir Sapo May 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm

Because you don’t just shoehorn what is essentially a turbojet into a fighter that you expect to fly a long distance. Try getting an aeronautical engineering degree and alot of the “stupid decisions” made by Lockheed start to make sense…


blight_ May 27, 2012 at 10:47 pm

They're both turbofans with the F-135/136 putting out some good wet thrust numbers, as they were intended for a one-engined fighter. And at the same time, there may be design constraints since both were intended to be compatible with LiftSystem…

In any case, it's probable that it may have been done for export reasons…?

duuude May 27, 2012 at 12:10 pm

How does the JSF aim its cannon without a HUD?


Commisar12 May 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm

it has a helmet mounted sight.


duuude May 28, 2012 at 9:46 am

I know it has a helmet mounted sight.

Think about how that's going to work when it comes to strafing. How is this supposed to be better than the A-10 it's supposed to replace?


Commisar12 May 29, 2012 at 12:58 pm

It is only supposed to start replacing the A-10 in 2028. As fot strafing, if the F-16 and Eurofighter can strafe, so can the F-35, it has a 25mm cannon.


Max May 28, 2012 at 11:25 am

Why can't they just leave the lousy music off the video? I hate rock music


Jim May 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm

An airplane that does not answer the needs of our Country. Way over budget, way to slow to actually combat enemy aircraft. As the photos of the plane show, it's design is a pig.
How about we actually acquire a long overlooked FAST, SMALL, SPECIFIC, CHEAP Tactical Fighter that some 75+ countries already have and use; The F-5E/F.
WHY can't we buy that aircraft with UPDATED avionics and weapons and maybe a very modern small engine, and build enough of them to have around 2,000 aboard for the Air Force to actually DO the job they need to do; which is defend our country? For the cost of one F-35, we can get around 6-7 F-5s. But no, we have to keep pouring money down the proverbial "rat hole" for the F-35. Very Sad indeed.


William C. May 29, 2012 at 6:11 am

Are you joking? They tried that with the F-20 Tigershark and nobody wanted it as the F-16 was superior in most respects. Today the F-5 is outclassed in virtually every aspect of performance by newer fighters.


Riles May 29, 2012 at 10:58 am

While I am a fan of the F-5, and sympathize with and prefer a procurment strategy based on cheap-er, reliable and proven designs (as opposed to super cutting edge that is also super expensive), the F-5 is just plain old. Those countires that still fly it? They are all sub par airforces that can't afford to upgrade to something more modern. So, in short, while I understand the desire to go the way of "cheap, reliable, modern-but-not-cutting-edge", the suggestion that we go back to flying 5-5's is silly.


Bill Wollard May 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Not manueverable – wing loading of an F-105, which was regularly shredded by Mig 21s in Nam. Slow. Just an overpriced, over hyped, poorly engineered bomb truck. This is the FTFX/F-111 program all over agin. Trying to do way too many things with one airframe. This pig should be killed.


William C. May 29, 2012 at 6:08 am

The F-105 was designed as a supersonic nuclear bomber, not something that would be flying air-superiority missions. F-105s still managed to shoot down 27.5 MiGs while only losing 17 in return.

The F-35 was designed from the start to be a multi-role strike fighter with performance comparable to the F-16 and F/A-18. Hell, its engine produces more thrust at military power than the F-105's did at full afterburner.


Riceball May 29, 2012 at 11:48 am

You realize that you just helped make Bill's argument by saying that the F-105 was not designed as an air-superiority fighter? His argument against the F-35 was comparing its wing loading to that of an F-105 and all you can say in return is that the F-105 was designed for a different mission than the F-35 and that its engines produces more thrust than those of the F-105. That really doesn't disprove his argument that the F-25 is no more maneuverable than an F-105 due to its wing loading, its thrust has no real bearing on its maneuverability, it just means that its faster and possibly has a better thrust to weight ratio. A better counter argument would be some figures on the 35's wing load and whether it's the same as the 105 and if it equates to maneuverability.

Btw, 27.5 MiGs to 17 105s lost is a not a very good kill ratio, it's not even 2:1, my math is really lousy but I'd say that it's about 1.25 – 1.5:1, only slightly better than 1 for 1. Still, given that it was really only a fighter in name I do have to give credit to the Thud drivers for being able to essentially hold their own against the more maneuverable MiGs.


PMI May 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm

"wing loading of an F-105" – Which would be relevant if we were still talking about the days when an aircraft was a tube with wings attached. Unfortunately for Mr. Sprey's analogy we are actually living in an age where nifty things called computers help design lifting body fuselages that produce significant amounts of lift.

It's interesting that the folks using that argument conveniently ignore the fact that an F-4 had lower wing loading the holy grail F-16. Incidentally the same F-16 that even while clean needs an afterburner to keep up with the 'slow' F-35 using military thrust.


John Moore May 29, 2012 at 11:31 am

That's one dam long weekend DT


johnysmith May 31, 2012 at 10:46 pm

do you know guys that Japan has chosen the US-made F-35 stealth jet as its next-generation mainstay fighter in a multi-billion dollar deal? http://airsoc.com/articles/view/id/4ee7094ac6f8fa


BigGuy97 May 26, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Someone needs a class on sarcasm.


Black Owl May 26, 2012 at 10:10 pm
blight_ May 26, 2012 at 11:35 pm

The lift fan was undeniably more efficient; though we got bamboozled with the whole lift-fan-can-power-a-laser argument, as if only the Marines would need lasers.

The LiftSystem provides additional power in forward flight, which makes the LiftSystem/F-135(6) combo more powerful than the legacy Harrier's Pegasus.

Unless reported otherwise, it doesn't appear that the fault is with the LiftSystem in the first place, but the attempt to integrate three air platforms, one incorporating a standard F-135(6) with provision for the LiftSystem. Perhaps spiraling as a cousin-aircraft instead of a sibling aircraft might've been more prudent, though it leaves the entire enterprise vulnerable to divide and conquer. With three branches of the military lobbying for the "Joint Strike Fighter" together, it is more survivable than a specialized program.


guest May 26, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Wasn't the FV-12 a Rockwell design? Looked iike an alien fighter from a sci-movie.


blight_ May 27, 2012 at 10:08 am

The Harrier wasn't meant to get in close like a helicopter gunship was. Otherwise it wouldn't be supersonic, it would be a titanium brick.


SwoopNasty May 27, 2012 at 6:07 pm

The Harrier was a nightmare to fly. Saying lets just go dust off those old planes is like saying, why don't we just go back to using muskets. This plane is a step forward. The reason for stealth is for the fact that it is a multi-role jet. Yes its pointless when your down in with the troops, but getting to them undetected and fighting against other planes undetected is a huge advantage. Every thing the military uses is generally made by the lowest bidder. So until all the huge corporations stop trying to out do each other and join up with each other, we will have to live with what decisions the men in suits make.


Black Owl May 27, 2012 at 2:03 am
blight_ May 27, 2012 at 10:10 am

All I could find was XFV-12. VTOL, Supersonic and with AtA armament. The Marines might pass on it…


Leroy May 28, 2012 at 8:30 am

And you know tha harrier was a nightmare to fly how? becuase I have neever ever heard that anywhere!


EJ257 May 28, 2012 at 8:46 am

The Harrier cannot go supersonic.


blight_ May 28, 2012 at 10:32 am

Blah, I meant the -B.


duuude May 29, 2012 at 5:57 am

No cannon? That would be surprising news to the USAF.

And a virtual HUD just sounds like another unnecessary, overpriced, over-engineered "solution" designed to milk more money out of the long-suffering US taxpayer.


William C. May 29, 2012 at 6:01 am

It didn't work. Couldn't get off the ground.


blight_ May 29, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Thanks for the more extensive explanation.


citanon May 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I meant that it's not going to use a canon for ground attack.

Once they have the kinks worked out on the helmet mounted sight, it will make no cost difference (and perhaps even some savings) vs. building and maintaining a holographic HUD, which requires a big contraption and fine optics to be mounted in the cramped space at the front of the canopy. 1960s technology does not equal cheaper.

The helmet mounted one is also much more capable.


blight_ May 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Someone will just put a dot on the cockpit with a Sharpie or something.


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