Home » Air » F-35 Nickname Controversy Brewing with Reaper

F-35 Nickname Controversy Brewing with Reaper

by Mike Hoffman on March 11, 2014

F-35 sea trialsNew military aircraft get their official nicknames and with time they receive an unofficial nickname from the ranks. Some unofficial nicknames like the A-10 Warthog or the B-52 BUFF stick. Others like the B-2 Boomerang don’t catch on quite as well.

Last month, a panel of F-35 pilots were asked at a Navy conference in San Diego if the Joint Strike Fighter has received an unofficial nickname yet. The F-35’s official nickname is the Lightning II.

Recognizing the gravity of the moment, a colonel in the audience yelled out to the panel, “here’s your chance to make history.”

Navy Cmdr. Luke Barradell, the fleet integration team and operations officer for Carrier Air Group Eleven, didn’t flinch. He said the F-35 pilots and aircrews would like the Joint Strike Fighter to be called the Reaper. He said the Lightning II wasn’t intimidating enough. The other three pilots on the panel nodded in approval. None of them disagreed.

Of course, Reaper is the official nickname of the RQ-9, the Air Force’s large scale drone. Not sure how that gets settled.

Considering the attention the F-35 has had received throughout its development, it’s likely there are other underground nicknames being brainstormed for the aircraft.

 

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{ 260 comments… read them below or add one }

blight_ March 11, 2014 at 10:15 am

I thought nicknames tended to be gained once an aircraft went into general use, and its quirks drove the nicknames.

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Bernard March 11, 2014 at 11:14 am

The F-35 Chickenhawk

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Anonymous March 11, 2014 at 2:26 pm

The F-35 Lockheed Martin Clusterfk

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Musson March 12, 2014 at 11:22 am

Widowmaker.

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A.g. March 12, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Taxmaker.

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gildas March 16, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Nogooder

Weaponhead March 11, 2014 at 9:44 pm

No aircraft has ever taken this long to get to IOC so maybe they felt like they couldn't wait for that to happen.

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YoDa79T March 12, 2014 at 1:14 am

F-35 THOR A SUPREME GOD IN THE SKY!

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Mark March 11, 2014 at 10:30 am

"Solomon's mine" – for the cost, or "Money Bucket", "The money pit" like the movie. "Are we there yet?" "F-22's R now cheaper"

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pogeybait March 12, 2014 at 10:07 pm

Blunder Bolt

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kingsnake11 March 13, 2014 at 3:27 pm

"Money Pig" is probably more on the mark.

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gildas March 16, 2014 at 4:24 pm

Thud II
Because it shares the same stupid premises as the F105 and will suffer the same consequences…

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David Brown March 24, 2014 at 12:09 pm

the Suppository. no explanation needed.

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Mark March 11, 2014 at 11:10 am

With the -35 flying around all day, every day at Eglin, I think a fitting nickname would be Thunder or perhaps Thunder Bolt. It's guaranteed noisy!

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Baron March 11, 2014 at 11:40 am

It would have to be the Thunder Bolt III, the A-10's already claim that one..

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Joshua Teel March 12, 2014 at 12:35 am

Thunderbolt is already taken. A-10 Thunderbolt

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Ryan11 March 12, 2014 at 1:14 am

Republic has the name to the thunderbolt.

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Dfens March 11, 2014 at 11:11 am

I'm sure they meant the "Raper" as a pithy reference to what they cost of the program is doing to the US taxpayer.

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Clint Notestine March 11, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Lockeed is reaping in the cash

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Guest March 11, 2014 at 10:53 pm

"I am SO not a Raper." – Dale Doback.

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David Brown March 24, 2014 at 12:07 pm

how about the Viagra. takes a lot of money to keep it up.

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guest March 11, 2014 at 11:20 am

Easy "The F-35 Day Ender"

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The Old Bear March 11, 2014 at 11:44 am

I semi call the different variants according the NATO Phonetic alphabet:
F-35A = Alpha,
F-35C= Charlie
However due to the F-35B gross obesity and other problems I call it the Bunter.

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JEFF March 11, 2014 at 3:24 pm

F-35A = Average
F-35C= Costly
F-35B= Bertha

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Amicus Curiae June 4, 2014 at 1:46 pm

For the B model I nominate the name "Mach Zero", and I do not mean it is a compliment.

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John March 11, 2014 at 11:46 am

Looks like a Flying Squirrel to me

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Chip Kozy March 11, 2014 at 6:06 pm

So "Rsckt" fits.

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Chip Kozy March 11, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Sorry…can't spell…try "Rocky".

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Foamythedog March 11, 2014 at 11:59 am

F-35 Sucker

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octopusmagnificens March 11, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Do not confuse Reaper with Cheaper.

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derkaderka March 11, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Introducing the all new F-35 Boondoggle…

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@Earlydawn March 13, 2014 at 1:17 am

Love it.

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Barry March 11, 2014 at 12:49 pm

The F-35 Kakapo

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RyanTheeRed March 11, 2014 at 3:48 pm

"the world's largest, fattest, and least-able-to-fly parrot"

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Mitch S. March 11, 2014 at 12:53 pm

F-35 Porky (as in heavy and pork barrel).

F-35 Windows edition (considering the virtual transparent cockpit feature and the bloated software problems)

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oblatt22 March 11, 2014 at 1:21 pm

F-35 Baby Seal

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Shane March 12, 2014 at 8:28 am

Yes. Real intimidating.

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Lance March 11, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Try the: F-35 "Money Pit", "Boondoggle", and "Money Sucker"

And since its slower and less maneuverable than the F-16 and F-15 and F-22 call it the F-35 "slow poke".

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SFCPappy March 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm

F-35 Sergeant York II

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tiger March 12, 2014 at 7:31 am

Really? for a plane?

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SFCPappy March 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm

If you are old enough to remember the Sergeant York infantry fighting vehicle you will remember the millions spent on it, it didn’t work and then they melted a dew hundred of them when it was canceled. Quicker to take all that money and burn it in a fire and still be cheaper and safer than either the F 35 or the Sergeant York.

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DB-1 March 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Actually the Sergeant York was a mechanized Air Defence Vehicle, like the German Gepard and NOT an INFANTRY FIGHTING VEHICLE, like the M3 Bradley or the BMP, PUMA, MARDER etc.

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SMSgt Mac March 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm

And if you are old and smart enough to remember, it was an air defense weapon that ran into development problems that got it cancelled about the time it overcame most of it's problems. you would also recall most of the sensational criticisms against it were wild distortions and untruths: such as the tracking of a building fan..

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Mike March 13, 2014 at 1:45 pm

I remember the one I was near, she (Sgt. York) was named "Miss Piggy"

Rest March 11, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Fitting nicks for the F 35s … Born Loser, Welfare Queen, Fat Turkey

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Rest March 11, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Other alternatives … F-35A = Arse, F-35B = Broke, F-35C = Crappola.

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Rest March 11, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Why the down votes? Did I say anything wrong?

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Rest March 18, 2014 at 1:33 am

Now why down vote my questions? If you have the guts to down vote me, come and justify it.

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guest March 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm

F-35 widowmaker

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PolicyWonk March 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Maybe "Hanger Queen"…

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strategicservice March 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm

F-35 Bolo

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Mark March 11, 2014 at 3:24 pm

You knew we were going to have fun with this.

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BlackOwl18E March 11, 2014 at 3:28 pm

My suggestions: F-35 "White Elephant" or F-35 "Turkey."

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bobstr March 11, 2014 at 3:30 pm

F-35 THUD, just like the F-105, the sound they make when they hit the ground…..

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Lonnie Williams March 13, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Actually for the uninformed Bob – "Thud" was short for Thunder Chief the given name for that famous jet which I had the good fortune to maintain. Unfortunately the sad side of military humor took hold during operation Rolling Thunder over North Vietnam. Secondly and most importantly 'Bob' not one F-35 has been lost since flight test began! We have had IFE's as all new flight test ops will experience. This jet has accumulated thousands of sorties and thousands of flight hours for the A, B, and C models at Ft. Worth, Eglin, Edwards, and Pax River. That might be record of achievement unmatched especially for such a complex advanced aircraft.

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John Fourquet March 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Lets call it the "DUD" or the "TURKEY".

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Smith28 March 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm

F-35 Gold Digger

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Tribulationtime March 11, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Derringer?

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satan March 11, 2014 at 3:46 pm

F-35 Chub: its a fat little airplane and about as useful in combat as a chub is at fornicating.

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Jacob Coop March 11, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Being that the f-35 was to work in conjunction with the F-22 Raptor, it should be of a similar family of names. I believe Raptor refers to a predatory eagle. Being the F-35 is smaller and not as suited for high altitude it should be a lesser name than Raptor. Maybe F-35 Raven or F-35 Hawk. You catch my drift ?

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oblatt22 March 11, 2014 at 6:44 pm

yea or Passenger Pigeon

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mike March 12, 2014 at 1:21 am

The snipe hunter

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Travis March 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm

A raven isn’t a raptor. If it’s as slow as you say and you want a bird name for it call it the F-35 Vulture.

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Zmann March 12, 2014 at 1:00 am

Humming Nerd?

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tiger March 12, 2014 at 7:35 am

NO……….. As a Lockheed product, it needs a traditional Lockheed family name. Lightning 2 is ok.

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swatter March 13, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Or Lightning Bug.

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Stan March 11, 2014 at 4:27 pm

I feel the drone lived up to its moniker admirably and should be able to keep it. It’s too soon to name the F-35 and I get the feeling naming it now would amount to a promotional campaign.

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Josh March 11, 2014 at 5:10 pm

F-35 "Crackpot" – since it seems to be cracking into many pieces.

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Stan March 11, 2014 at 5:13 pm

F-35 "Short Bus"

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Daniel Daniels March 12, 2014 at 3:45 am

As an airmen who works on A10's, I fully support my jet being "replaced" by the Short Bus.

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voodkokk March 11, 2014 at 5:44 pm

It does not look like a Reaper, plus that name will probably piss off someone like the Crusaders. We need a more pleasant name like Happiness.

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Dfens March 11, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Maybe they should call it "Black Friday" after the first shopping day after Thanksgiving? I know Lockheed is happy every time they deposit a government check for that airplane.

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Guest March 11, 2014 at 8:08 pm

The F-35 Profit Margin.
Or just the F-35 Profit.

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DLM March 11, 2014 at 5:55 pm

F-35 Scythe

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dubweiser101 March 11, 2014 at 6:02 pm

When taking into consideration the amount of money this thing has cost us, and how that money was actually obtained, I think a fitting name would be: F-35 Shilock.

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Shakes March 12, 2014 at 1:17 am

Three thousand ducats!

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aaron schlosberg March 14, 2014 at 5:05 am

As in Jew? Really, you're that much a big got?

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Alf March 11, 2014 at 6:03 pm

How about moneypit?

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Nessuno March 11, 2014 at 6:32 pm

"Turkey" or nothing.

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William_C1 March 11, 2014 at 6:47 pm

The F-35 haters aside I can't think of any recent aircraft nickname that expresses a feeling of negativity or dislike by the actual pilots of that aircraft.

Even many unflattering nicknames like "BUFF" (B-52) and "SLUF" (A-7) were often used as a strange term of endearment by their own crews. Others like F-15 pilots calling the F-16 the "lawn dart" based on the high crash rate in early years were rarely if ever used among "Viper" pilots and maintenance crew.

I'm sure pilots of other fighters will come up with some humorous titles. Probably centered around costs or the fact it is a short and heavy machine. Sort of like "lead sled".

I'm guessing F-35 pilots themselves will come up with something relating to the positives of the aircraft, yet unofficial nicknames are really the sort of thing that will just appear on their own.

To all of those suggesting "Turkey", the F-14 was commonly referring called that based on looks when wings are fully unswept, flaps fully deployed, and all of that. It was certainly called a turkey by the programs opponents but I doubt many on carriers called the F-14 that in a derisive manner.

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SMSgt Mac March 11, 2014 at 8:36 pm

This is just VFA-101 Grim Reapers (Eglin F-35 trainers) trying to get their own little imprimatur on the plane before it goes into the fleet. The name will come when it comes, but I say give it the 'Rhino' handle on the big decks. The F-18E/F didn't deserve the honor.- Hey! This throwing out cheap shots without supporting rationale IS easy isn't it? No wonder it's so popular in these parts. [;-)

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ericgmail March 11, 2014 at 7:04 pm

but officially stating an unofficial name seems like a PR stunt to me. unless reaper is referring to plane and the pilot is the target. that wouldn't be the first time a plane has been given a fatal nickname.

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mark spicer March 11, 2014 at 7:10 pm

SPITFIRE

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tiger March 12, 2014 at 7:38 am

OH, hell no…..

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009 March 11, 2014 at 7:15 pm

F-U ALL

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S O March 11, 2014 at 7:55 pm

The Swedes once called a fighter of theirs "Tunnan" – ton
I think the F-35 deserves to be called "ton" or "barrel".

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Dickus March 11, 2014 at 8:31 pm

So the decision is left up to three random pilots? Anyway, who cares what the nickname of a lowly drone is? F-35 is pulling rank on that one.

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Weaponhead March 11, 2014 at 9:41 pm

Gotta be the "Black Hole". Perfectly describes its stealth capability and its ability to suck up the entire DoD budget.

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Dfens March 12, 2014 at 9:37 am

That's a good one, plus it keeps the star reference!

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Rest March 12, 2014 at 11:37 am

The F-35 is not stealthy to countries with the right equipment.

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Spartan_035 March 26, 2014 at 12:30 am

Very good

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docmortis March 11, 2014 at 10:00 pm

F35 Dork

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Chris March 11, 2014 at 10:24 pm

F-35 TERMINATOR……"Don't fear the Reaper."

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Rest March 18, 2014 at 1:39 am

To be more precise … USAF-terminator, because it has made USAF a lame bluff.

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lukequarter March 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm

It's quite hilarious that one person went through and down voted EVERY negative comment.

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Retired_MP March 12, 2014 at 9:32 am

Just curious – how do you know it was the same person?

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Bob March 11, 2014 at 11:36 pm

the leech

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Ben March 12, 2014 at 12:05 am

Call it the ground-hugger, since it isn't fit for the air.

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whackattack March 12, 2014 at 12:17 am

How about F-35 Junker

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Lewis Mashburn March 12, 2014 at 12:24 am

Overrun

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FryaDuck March 12, 2014 at 12:36 am

F-35 X-Wife

X being an unknown quantity, Wife being a drain on finances

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Retired_MP March 12, 2014 at 9:32 am

Hit report by mistake – sorry.

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Justin B March 12, 2014 at 12:38 am

I'd settle for Ford's lead and call it the "Nova"… or better known as No Va..

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tiger March 12, 2014 at 7:40 am

Chevy made the Nova.

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SFCPappy March 12, 2014 at 12:02 pm

The F-35 Edsel

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blight_ March 12, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Or in french, "no go" would be ne va…never!

Harhar.

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Pretor March 12, 2014 at 12:42 am

F35 – Lazarus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazarus_of_Bethany). Maybe Jesus can make it wake from the dead….

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winghead March 12, 2014 at 12:46 am

They used the A 10 as a reference of a nickname not because they want to call it a warthog. To the few who commented duh the warthog is taken. As far as naming it…..”Paperweight” because various parts will be available as paperweights soon. The 22 kicks it’s ass

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Jimmy March 12, 2014 at 12:50 am

How about the F-35 Obummer? All show and no go!!

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Jimmy March 12, 2014 at 12:51 am

How about the F-35 Obummer? All show and no go!

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Wes McCarty March 12, 2014 at 1:01 am

The "Obama". It promises a lot but doesn't deliver shi*

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LGM30G March 12, 2014 at 5:07 am

Perfect!

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CAD Drones March 12, 2014 at 1:11 am

F-35 Zeus, F-35 Scythe, R-2D35

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Ryan11 March 12, 2014 at 1:15 am

F35 Budget Killer.

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Dondi March 12, 2014 at 1:19 am

Coz of the Boredom i’ll call the F35 wildbore!

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Greg Maloney March 12, 2014 at 2:23 am

Pop-up The Failure Plan? Sailor Inhaler?

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Roger Miller March 12, 2014 at 2:25 am

Outhouse?

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Eddie Orozco March 12, 2014 at 2:38 am

F-35 Ex-Wife

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Mike March 12, 2014 at 2:48 am

For a so called stealth jet it is noisy as hell. They should nickname it budget killer. We don’t need an aircraft like this. Not a fan of single engine jets.

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mike March 12, 2014 at 3:47 am

F35… SPARTAN, DEATH FROM ABOVE, UNTOUCHABLE, DARK NIGHT, AVENGER, DIABLO, CONDOR, FREEDOM, CHAMPION, GRAVE DIGGER, LAST RITES, GAME OVER

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mike March 12, 2014 at 3:59 am

GAME ENDER

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Andres Cornejo March 12, 2014 at 3:48 am

Nemesis

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Freddie March 12, 2014 at 3:55 am

Striker ! But first get it working right…

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Bronco46 March 12, 2014 at 4:25 am

Very true!!!

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Thomas Zeller March 12, 2014 at 5:14 am

Mangled Baby Duck is my suggestion. Of course you'll have to be a fan of early SNL to get that one.

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Frank March 12, 2014 at 5:50 am

What’s laughable are the comments comparing it unfavorably to the F-22 which has been grounded more than my 4 teenagers AFTER it went into operation.

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niboshibandito March 12, 2014 at 5:51 am

How about Edsel?

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David Brown March 24, 2014 at 11:50 am

don't insult the edsel

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oblatt22 March 12, 2014 at 6:52 am

F-35 Inevitable Failure
F-35 Failure Assured
F-35 Failure is Normal
F-35 Loser Special

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oblatt22 March 12, 2014 at 6:54 am

Rumor has it that F-35 pilots will not call out Bogeys but instead call out "Canadian ! Canadian !"

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JJ Murray March 12, 2014 at 7:26 am

They should be calling it the DOA. If they want to call it Reaper however, that's not a conflict, they've got enough money flowing into this program they can BUY the nickname from the drone community.

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Starbird2000 March 12, 2014 at 7:32 am

F-35 Ghost

"Call in the Ghosts"…:)

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Anonymous March 12, 2014 at 7:35 am

What about the F-35 Havoc? Seems fitting…

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Angie March 12, 2014 at 7:37 am

To commemorate some "classic" birds, which never quite lived up to their hype, I suggest "Buffalo", or perhaps "Aerocobra" !

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David Brown March 24, 2014 at 11:54 am

buffalo would be appropriate. just like the infamous naval fighter of ww 2 . or how about the target.

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Apri March 27, 2014 at 7:50 am

I just finished rdaieng Thirteen Days to Midnight, and I think it is one of the best books in the world!!!! It would be totally awesome if you wrote a sequel to this book, maybe where Jacob, Oh, and Milo meet another kid with the Diamond and they sort of compare notes and stuff once again, great job on the book!!! YOu are a very talented writer and I aspire to be like you when I’m older!

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Tom March 12, 2014 at 7:41 am

F35 DAGGER

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Stan Meyer Jr March 12, 2014 at 7:42 am

Lawn Dart

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Dfens March 12, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Taken by the F-16.

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tiger March 12, 2014 at 8:02 am

In keeping with Lockheed name tradition, fearsome, A play on a hard to kill project?

Thinking out the box? HYDRA…… 3 Versions, 3 headed monster…

Hydra |ˈhīdrə|
1 Greek Mythology a many-headed snake whose heads grew again as they were cut off, killed by Hercules.
• [as n. ] ( hydra) a thing that is hard to overcome or resist because of its pervasive or enduring quality or its many aspects.
2 Astronomy the largest constellation (the Water Snake or Sea Monster), said to represent the beast slain by Hercules. Its few bright stars are close to the celestial equator. Compare with Hydrus .
• [as genitive ] ( Hydrae |-drē|) used with a preceding letter or numeral to designate a star in this constellation : the star Beta Hydrae.

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Ricardo Briozzo March 12, 2014 at 8:13 am

Zombie.

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chip March 12, 2014 at 8:26 am

I read lot of cool nicknames, may I suggest also:

[ ] F35 "gold sucker"
[ ] F35 "junk suck fighter"
[ ] F35 "money guzzler"
[ ] F35 "lemon fighter"
[x] F35 "dead duck" , that's my favourite because F35 can't run, can't climb, can't turn http://youtu.be/UQB4W8C0rZI

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manny March 12, 2014 at 8:29 am

ok folks let's take a break here ,. but for me I will call this plane DEEP POCKETS because after a few times In the air it will cost millions just to keep up with it ok. and they try to compare it to the a-10 please

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Mambo March 12, 2014 at 9:27 am

I get a kick out of the comments on here whenever the F-35 is brought up. 99.9% of the people on here know less than nothing about the aircraft and couldn't find Eglin on a map. It's a perfect example of the media creating the narrative. In due time the F-35 is going to revolutionize air warfare and you won't find an active duty pilot that flies them to say anything different.

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SFCPappy March 12, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Let us see how great it is when they are flown regularly and how many pilots are killed just for the sake of a new toy that the kids will break a day after opening it up. Look at aviation history and you’ll find many aircraft that were duds and some were killer duds. But at least then the prototypes were FULLY tested before buying a few hundred.

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Red Ryder March 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Eglin, Isn’t that in the closest the Air Force gets to getting its feet wet?

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GFace March 12, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Is it tough for you to walk with your nose held so hi in the air?

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Red Ryder March 13, 2014 at 10:06 am

Not at all!

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Dfens March 12, 2014 at 10:05 am

I like the names that stick with the star theme so how about Canis Majoris or Big Dog? It's a huge, dying, red giant star in the constellation of Canis Major. It is what a star becomes just before they go dark, much like our aerospace industry.

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Michael Edwards March 12, 2014 at 10:46 am

Since its a VSTOL type aircraft, "The Wasp" seems fitting! It can hover and also fly off just like the insect.

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Mash March 12, 2014 at 11:29 am

F-35 Cinderblock

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gkm March 12, 2014 at 11:38 am

F-35 flying dud

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Michael_AF_Ret March 12, 2014 at 11:46 am

If you fly it you can name it. If you don't you can't. Three variants, so far, with changes in specifications from multi-national sources makes big changes in cost. We sell the aircraft with basic avionics to other nations the cost goes down. It ain't over gentlemen. How much money went down the drain when Obama financed alternate energy research? And, I still can't afford an electric car. A car that uses more fossil energy and resources to build than current vehicles will cost over a lifetime.

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Dfens March 12, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Yeah, one welfare program promotes another. Spoken just like a bureaucrat.

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Michael_AF_Ret March 12, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Hi! Dfens. I thought you might show up. Welfare is your answer. So, when you turn on your television, drive your car, turn on a light switch, make comments on your computer – you recognize they came from "welfare" programs. The development programs conducted by the military may not reflect fiscal responsibility to you and others. But your computer's ancestry was a "very, very basic computer" used to calculate naval ballistic tables. When the military wanted to make radios smaller, the transistor was created. Now, think about the 10s of millions of jobs throughout today's industries and the rate of technological change. And, I bet you carry a cell phone that has a GPS chip. And, do you answer "Yes" each time your computer asks if it should use your current location. Everything the military invests in, or creates, will one day trickle down to the consumer level creating demand, new jobs, new ways to use the technology. One day the F-35's technology will trickle down and do the same. I guess you can call it Welfare. If you focus on just one tree; you will not see the forest. You see the dollars: but, you don't see the jobs, new technology, detterence, and the pilots. I see all that and the fact that every dollar goes somewhere to be taxed, invested in other businesses, buy food, buy new cars, pay more taxes. Follow a single dollar bill spent on one component on the aircraft. How many hands does it pass through? Each time it changes hands, it starts a cascade for tax revenue, more product resources, wages, did I mention taxes. Multiply that for each change of hands. I'm sure those people don't look at it as welfare. They work at a job so they get paid in dollars, even military R&D dollars. You can't name an industry that has not benefited and profited from the military. If you think of one let me know,

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Dfens March 12, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Yeah, siphon billions out of a capitalist economy that works 1000 times better and then tell us how lucky we are to get an occasional bone tossed our way. It's always so good to hear from the truly entitled. Damn zombies suck, and they suck even more when you give them computers.

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Michael_AF_Ret March 12, 2014 at 10:06 pm

First of all, I want to make clear that I am grateful to our men and women in the armed forces. They go where they are sent. To sometimes protect and others to fight. Some honor their oath of enlistment and give their lives. Thanks to all who serve or have served.
Hey, Dfens.
I do understand the frustration of today's economy. But, I would point my finger at the White House, the Congress, and the FED. And, I do recognize technology more often comes from non-military sources. Computers have replaced many high tech jobs. While the loss of jobs isn't a good thing, computers do "speed up" the processes, i.e., no more slide rules. The DOD has only limited research facilities working on things that may have a purpose someday; but, that is a small part of the budget. Each branch of the military has to identify what they need to do their missions. They then go out for bids in the civilian business arena. The bids come back. They involve truckloads of documents, hard drives, samples, and much more. Remember, the military wants to know the cost of fulfilling the requirements to perform their missions. So, like any consumer they read the "contract" including the fine print. More often the bids are declined for one reason, or another. The procurement process continues until the civilian vendor understands the requirements. But, it is a time honored tradition to make a profit and to try and sell more than what the buyer needs. Just like you shop for a home or car. To make my point. The military has to go out to the civilian markets for all their needs, even toilet paper. So when you start making the military the fall guy look at who has their hands out. Oh, as a footnote the majority of research being done in universities and colleges today are financed through the government. Trickle, trickle, trickle.

blight_ March 12, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Justifying military procurement on the basis of trickle-down is dangerous at best. It is also representative of the government's priority on military capabilities.

"Fund our sword research, because they can trickle down into plowshares someday…"

The dual-use nature of technology dictates that things can flow from the civilian world to the military, and vice-versa. When the military builds out its infrastructure, does it invent it from ab initio or does it go straight to COTS vendors? When the military wants to build a biometric database of Iraqis in Anbar province, they head straight to Silicon Valley and talk to Palantir. When the military wants 'bots they go to a civilian company, and EOD robots were a LEO niche before the military threw enough money at the problem to make things ubiquitous. What the military thinks is interesting, it throws money at. It is easy to mistake this for "the military invented this". Many products the military uses are civilian-invented, civilian-designed and presumably civilian-fabricated, with or without government seed money.

Fast forward to the present, where SpaceX is going to rip the guts out of the launch market, even though the incumbents can use recycled ICBMs as part of rocket delivery…and still struggle to bring the price down.

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Dfens March 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm

We gave you people the internet and GPS, now what do you want? I want a f'ing $25 million a year salary paid for by the US taxpayer like Bob Stevens gets for running a company that doesn't have a single program that's anywhere near on schedule or on budget, or worth a crap for that matter.

Michael_AF_Ret March 12, 2014 at 9:52 pm

First of all. I do recognize technology more often comes from non-military sources. SpaceX is no more than a clone of NASA. A clone that assumes a place in an already existing market. NASA no longer wants, or needs, the close earth orbit market. It is looking at the "next" challenge men on Mars. So, no one is ripping the guts out of any one else. It is a natural expansion. NASA and the DOD have only limited research facilities working on things that may have a purpose someday; but, that is a small part of their budgets. They both have to identify what they need to do their missions. They then go out for bids in the civilian business arena. The bids come back. They involve truckloads of documents, hard drives, samples, and much more. Remember, NASA and the DOD wanted to know the cost of fulfilling the requirements to perform their missions. So, like any consumer they read the "contract" including the fine print. More often the bids are declined for one reason, or another. The procurement process continues until the civilian vendor understands the requirements. But, it is a time honored tradition to make a profit and to try and sell more than what the buyer needs. Just like you shop for a home or car. To make my point. NASA and the DOD have to go out to the civilian markets for all their needs, even toilet paper. So when you start making the military the fall guy look at who has their hands out. Oh, as a footnote the majority of research being done in universities and colleges today are financed through the government. Trickle, trickle, trickle.

Rob C. March 12, 2014 at 11:59 am

Achilles

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Dfens March 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm

That's excellent!

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Rob C. March 12, 2014 at 12:02 pm

My only thoughts is the crews should name it not the some officers who will never fly the plane or even take care of it. Nicknames come from usage, not from officals. Officially its Lightning II, but in end crew's name will be one look for.

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dan762 March 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Fuzzy Puppy

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Red Ryder March 12, 2014 at 12:16 pm

“Reaper” projects an appealing vision! “Pale Horse” would be a great squadron name. Or, how about “Horsemen”?

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mario March 12, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Crapper

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JustLaughing March 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm

How about FORD – Fix Or Repair Daily?

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Gweed March 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm

F-35 iFighter

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chris March 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm

I am going to try this again. I am sorry if I offended anyone in my first comment.

At this point in the history of the US Military it would be easier to name any major project that the US Military has wanted, designed or developed in the past seventy five years that did not have technical or fiscal problems of some kind.

These kind of problems are to be expected and also happen in other new designs in the private sector. Anything from baby swings to cars seats to plumbing fixtures, to household appliances. With the use of computers and simulators the risk and dangers of test flights are lower than they were forty years ago. Using computers and simulators are one of the reasons these new system cost so much.

Also policies and actions of Washington bureaucrats and the news media have a lot to do with the success and failure of these projects. If there wasn't any problems at all that would be the time to worry.

The success the US had during and after the Cold War was from systems that during development gave as much if not more problems than the ones the F 35 face today. During the first Gulf war the newest plane, The F 18 had more combat losses than any other plane in the conflict.

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Dfens March 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm

But it is so damn cost effective. Who gives a damn about the pilots?

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IronV March 12, 2014 at 2:25 pm

Jeesh. Not much original thinking coming out of the old Academy these days… "Reaper??!!" A nickname the same as the official name for another (quite active) aircraft? How about "Eagle?" or "Fighting Falcon?" or better yet, "Stratofortress!" Yeah, that's it. The F-35 Stratofort!

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Jim March 12, 2014 at 3:06 pm

It's a shame to see so many suckers that believe all the left wing media bashing of the F-35.

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Stevedabeast March 12, 2014 at 3:09 pm

"Vampire" for all the money it has sucked out of our pockets.

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Dan March 12, 2014 at 3:37 pm

I heard that a former SECNAV already gave it an unofficial nickname several years ago. It was the Brewster Buffalo II.

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TheBoomerangKid March 12, 2014 at 6:51 pm

That big fat body = the Buffalo. Congratulations, you get my vote. That is perfect!

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Vpanoptes March 16, 2014 at 9:18 pm

I vote for this one.

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Kevin March 12, 2014 at 4:08 pm

F-35 C.E.O.

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Taxpayer March 12, 2014 at 4:43 pm

F-35 Stink Bug

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Guest March 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm

The F-35 Grounded

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Dfens March 12, 2014 at 5:34 pm

The F-35 Walk.

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JustLaughing March 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm

I know most of you won't like or agree with this – but just when is too much enough????? I do expect to see a lot of thumbs down – but I support the military – what I don't support is making corporations rich off of American's backs. So line up those thumbs down boys!!

America Spent $1.5 Trillion On A Jet That Doesn't Work. How Many Schools Is That, Do You Think? http://www.upworthy.com/america-spent-15-trillion

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William March 13, 2014 at 1:07 pm

"Spent"? no, the original $1.2T (not $1.5T), now $0.9T is a rediculous 50 year from now WAG, most heavily influenced by fuel prices. Never before has any weapon system been made to forecast a total end-state prediction. Interesting there has yet to be a similar forecast for the combined cost of the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, A-10 and AV-8B aircraft which are being replaced by the F-35.

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JustLaughing March 14, 2014 at 5:33 am
JustLaughing March 14, 2014 at 5:35 am

Budget analyst Winslow Wheeler—who calls the F-35 "the jet that ate the Pentagon"—argues that the total life-cycle cost of the program, including funds to operate and support the jet, could total a stunning $1.5 trillion or higher, which is more than the annual GDP of Spain.
http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2012

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Gerald March 12, 2014 at 6:06 pm

I'm a Retired Air force Mechanic, I wold call it the Striker .

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J. Montana March 12, 2014 at 6:32 pm

If they want a really intimidating name they should call it the F-35 ‘Death Dealer’.

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John D March 12, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Should be "Bank Breaker"!

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@webread78 March 12, 2014 at 7:46 pm

It's a bit wordy, but how about the F-35 JOBS-PROGRAM?

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Dfens March 13, 2014 at 11:32 am

More like the F-35 Welfare program.

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@PanikaFalcon March 12, 2014 at 8:10 pm

F-35 Grounded Goose
It lays golden eggs and it does not fly!

But Gold Digger or Hydra are worthy names.

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GFace March 12, 2014 at 8:20 pm

I’m saying “Brass Goose”
Some of the favs:
Chicken Hawk, X-Wife, Black hole, Kakapo, Ghost

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jsallison March 12, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Whistlebritches.

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xzimppledink March 12, 2014 at 11:45 pm

"let them eat cake" would be too long,

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shawn1999 March 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm

L-TEC for short…

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f101 voodoo crew chief March 13, 2014 at 12:02 am

Honey Bucket, cost over run bucket of bolts.

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William_C1 March 13, 2014 at 12:00 am

A Voodoo crew chief calling another aircraft a bucket of bolts?

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Dfens March 13, 2014 at 11:35 am

The internet expert speaks again.

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WOW March 13, 2014 at 1:57 am

For the jet that lost in a close quarters dogfight to an F-16 LMAO XD

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William_C1 March 13, 2014 at 4:20 am

Don't underestimate the F-16 in a dogfight. Even today few aircraft can match its sustained turn rate. Chances are the F-16 could beat an F-15 or Su-27 in a close quarters dogfight although both are far superior in other areas.

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zoneofsubduction March 13, 2014 at 2:47 am

The logical choice is F/B111 version 2.0, aka "McNamara's Revenge".

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William_C1 March 13, 2014 at 4:22 am

McNamara's Revenge sounds like a great title for a horror movie.

Flaws aside the F-111 and FB-111 became extremely capable strike/interdiction aircraft. The F-35 shouldn't be left to do everything but it will find its niche.

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Maryland March 26, 2014 at 4:57 am

Supinrsirg to think of something like that

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Vpanoptes March 16, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Maybe "Gate's Revenge" would be more current.

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Obilic March 13, 2014 at 5:29 am

F35- Budjanovci II

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Edward J Cox Jr March 13, 2014 at 5:35 am

They had it right. The Reaper will be the new F-35' s replacement, to costly, unable to carrying adequate weaponry, and not able to do a close ground support mission as it's to fast and lacks the dodgem skills… It's engines IR plumes will lead weapons right to it. All that signature conrol don't mean squat if your going to use this POS to repalce A10's in that terrain hugging ground support role. Its down and out after one slug tears into it…

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redviking March 13, 2014 at 5:52 am

How about "Waste of Money", " EGO TRIP" or "I cost so much we fired everyone else to pay for it" (might have to wrap around the tail several times but is probably the most accurate.

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Ben Strasser March 13, 2014 at 7:56 am

How about Rapier as in a Fencing Sword.

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TX Chainsaw March 13, 2014 at 9:21 am

All these suggestions are better than the obvious names had the gov’t picked the Boeing X-32. Thanks to. Clinton, it was nicknamed, The Monica … history buffs should enjoy recalling the rationale.

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Dfens March 13, 2014 at 11:38 am

There really was no winner in the JSF competition, just one airplane that sucked a little less.

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Mike March 13, 2014 at 11:05 am

The F-35 Greased Palm

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Ruud Punter March 13, 2014 at 11:50 am

The Dodo

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glenn57377 March 13, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Just wait to see how it performs in combat after they work the normal bugs out of it. It might be pretty bad***, or, not. The Raptor can handle multiple targets at one time, which can justify a cost. Not sure about the F-35. Nonetheless………air superiority is no longer an option……..let's see if we the taxpayers have been cheated…..or if we got our money's worth. Also, don't forget about the spin-off technoligies the US benefits by research and later release to the public.

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John Deere March 13, 2014 at 3:32 pm

The "F-Knox", as it's become a repository for all the US gold.

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Muddewater March 13, 2014 at 6:29 pm

F-35 Tim Tebow

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JEMcKellar March 13, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Cuckoo! Because it eats up so much funding, it kicks all the other birds (F-22, A-10) out of the nest.

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Asam March 13, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Widowmaker…fitting moniker…as it's killing the backs that create it!

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Chuang Shyue Chou March 13, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Goldfinger!

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Solo March 14, 2014 at 12:47 am

F-35 Mosquito
F-35 Reaver
F-35 Dragon
F-35 Dragoon
F-35 Horseman

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iMe March 14, 2014 at 12:53 am

Bit late, but I like “The Keg” as a nickname to match its profile.

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John Fourquet March 14, 2014 at 7:08 am

How about the widow maker?

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Mark March 14, 2014 at 11:04 am

F-35 Megabucks

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shawn1999 March 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Just call it the F-35 US Congress.
Loud, large, useless, able to bring down large governments with a single indecision, and a complete and utter waste of finances to both build and maintain….

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Mastro March 14, 2014 at 4:14 pm

The "Ex-Wife"- expensive and deadly.

The Stealth Sled

The Last Plane (the Air Force can afford to buy)

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Duuude March 15, 2014 at 2:52 am

F-35 Mugger

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tONY PANGANIBAN JR March 15, 2014 at 3:30 am

F-35 MARAUDER

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David Balsley March 15, 2014 at 10:13 am

How about Lawn Dart II?

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herpaderpa March 15, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Why not the Anvil ?

It looks like an anvil, flies like an anvil, weights like an anvil, and is as useful against an opponent as an anvil : the only way to win is to crash it into the enemy's face.

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@E_L_P March 15, 2014 at 5:47 pm

"POS"

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wpnexp March 15, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Since none of you are actually F-35 pilots, you don't really get a say in the matter. Sorry. The plane will get a nickname, but it will come from those that actually fly it.

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Brad Ferguson March 15, 2014 at 8:17 pm

St. Bernard……….Oh Snap !!! Kinda insulting to the dogs, eh ?

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Jeff March 15, 2014 at 11:48 pm

F-35 “Kill Bill”; as in kill money bills.

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Quoc March 16, 2014 at 3:21 am

Dear All,

F35 should have a nick name: Night sky invator. Its missions very good for the night military missions to protect our USA Country.

AQ.

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Belkin March 16, 2014 at 5:48 pm

The Barney Fife

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Belkin March 16, 2014 at 5:50 pm

The Barney fife special

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Who March 16, 2014 at 8:13 pm

The F-35 "Lightning II" is meant as a replacement for the F-16 "Fighting Falcon", F-18 "Hornet" and the AV-8B "Harrier II". Let's just call the different variants based on their predecessors:

F-35A "Fighting Falcon II"
F-35B "Harrier III"
F-35C "Hornet II"

As for the unofficial nickname for the overall F-35 program, Hydra is perfect as no matter how much this program has proven to be a failure the politicians in the senate, DoD, and corporations just won't let it die. It's causing havoc in all the services.

The Bradley II will work too. (reference the movie "The Pentagon Wars")

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William_C1 March 17, 2014 at 2:17 am

The M2/M3 Bradley proved itself a useful vehicle in several conflicts now. Not perfect by any means, but good by Cold War IFV standards.

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Magistrate March 17, 2014 at 6:14 am

honestly the only people I care to hear an opinion about this aircraft from are the people who fly them

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Missedtheputt March 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm

F-35 Dracula. That Blood Sucker has been putting fear into people for Years never mind what a fleet of Drac's would do…………….

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Rest March 18, 2014 at 10:04 pm

It has been putting fear into the wrong people … US tax payers.

Why not just call it the Blood Sucker, or BS for short.

I prefer AsinineAss for F-35A, BrokeBroker for F-35B, CrappyCrappola for F-35C.

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Ronnie March 20, 2014 at 6:50 pm

THE AXE

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Zspoiler March 24, 2014 at 12:30 am

How about the Black Hole Is it ever going to join the Fleet.? Or will the B-52 still be flying by the time it shows up?

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opsman March 24, 2014 at 11:23 am

Nightmare, either it will be the enemy's worst nightmare or it will be the maintainer's nightmare when things go wrong with it.

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David Brown March 24, 2014 at 11:44 am

how about the lead sled or the lead balloon

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David Brown March 24, 2014 at 11:48 am

the lawnmower

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My name April 13, 2014 at 6:44 am

F-35 Stripper :3 ?

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jex May 23, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Fucked 35. as in how the pilot feels when he has to rely on the planes air to air prowess

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Amicus Curiae June 4, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Lucky Day (F-35A), Dusty Bottoms (F-35B), Ned Nederlander (F-35C),: The Three Amigos!

Lucky Day: Wherever there is injustice, you will find us.
Ned Nederlander: Wherever there is suffering, we'll be there.
Dusty Bottoms: Wherever liberty is threatened, you will find…
Lucky Day, Ned Nederlander, Dusty Bottoms: The Three Amigos!

El Guapo: Are gringos falling from the sky?
[Ned falls from overhead and lands with a thud]
Jefe: Yes, El Guapo.

Dusty Bottoms: Time for plan B. Plan A was to break into El Guapo's fortress.
Carmen: And that you have done, now what?
Dusty Bottoms: Well we really dont have a plan B. We didn't expect for the first plan to work. Sometimes you can overplan these things.

Dusty Bottoms: No, we will not die like dogs! We will fight like lions! Because we are…
Dusty Bottoms, Lucky Day, Ned Nederlander: The Three Amigos!

Juanita: Which one do you like?
Carmen: I like the one that's not so smart.
Juanita: Which one is that?

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Tiger June 4, 2014 at 4:04 pm

NOw that was a movie that needed a sequel. Not Transformers… Good flick.

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DRm June 4, 2014 at 7:56 pm

F 35:: The Flying Coffin.

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Cruising October 2, 2014 at 2:31 am

Lets start off with Rhino, brick, widow maker, insanely expensive, duck’s disease, fat arse, bloater etc.

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Dfens March 13, 2014 at 11:30 am

You clearly have no regard for the people who pay your salary. If the DoD had any respect for the US taxpayer they would not hand out contracts guaranteeing companies like Lockheed and NG who have no line of business other than selling to the government $1.10 for every $1.00 they spend. And my thanks to the government for sending all that money to universities. Isn't it funny how before they started "giving" all that money to them a person could afford a college education without accumulating a lifetime's worth of debt?

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Rest March 18, 2014 at 1:26 am

Cliché

What's there to be grateful for when a bunch of brainless young dropouts join the military and fight for corporate interests and ambitions?

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Michael_AF_Ret March 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm

I'm retired having lived to the required arbitrary age. I am retired military, based on the severity of my injuries while doing my job. So, I once was paid $64.00 a month and worked long hours and hard work. So, I know who I am; and, how I got to where I am today. Never drew what you could call a "salary". Never worked for a defense contractor, or sub-contractor. But, I have seen "both" sides conduct business. If you think the military is over-paying the contractors, it's just as bad on the civilian-side. Small business can only get a discount when they purchase in bulk. But, doing that requires storage space, another expense. Decisions have to be made; and, you would be just as upset if you were a business owner. Just like that small business owner cuts back in one part of the business when another becomes more expensive. Either way, the price of the product will be raised to what the market will bare. The military has been handcuffed by Congress to not compete with private industry. But, if the military had factories to build new equipment they could do it cheaper. And, remember Congress holds the purse strings. So, those senators and representatives that have constiguencies that work for LM, NG, Sikorsky are in no hurry to cancel contracts. There was a time when the requirements were sent to the contractors; and, they had to spend their own money to produce their vision for meeting the requirements. Then the military would pit manufacturer against manufacturer. Whichever product came closest to meeting the requirements got the contract. The other manufacturer lost and had a product they would try to sell to other countries. Congress didn't like that idea and a law was passed to stop the practice. And, the process began to evolve into what we have today. Until we elect a Congress with more concern about all aspects of this Nation, we are stuck with individuals that seek power through contract awards, garauntees, and pork barrel projects. I think we can both agree on that. Congress sets the rules. The military follows the rules. So, blame Congress not the military for cost overruns. Members of Congress manipulate military requirements every day to get business for the manufacturers in their districts, or states.

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Dfens March 13, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Who do you think pays for your retirement, the good retirement fairy? And guess who makes the rules under which the Department of Defense buys goods and services? If you guessed Congress, you're wrong as usual.

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Michael_AF_Ret March 13, 2014 at 4:23 pm

If that is the way you see things that is your problem. You are looking at the world through very "thick" glasses. My retirement was earned and a portion is paid by the taxpayers, which I am.. Plus I worked for half the wages of my civilian counterparts. I figure working for half wages means I put half my wages towards my retirement. So, my retirement is mostly paid by me with a little being chipped in by the taxpayers. I kept my oath and suffered consequences. I couldn't sue the government like a civilian would. And, there are many, many others that gave so much more. Just so you could "vent" without being put in jail. If you don't appreciate that basic fact, I suggest you move to another country. If the US is not what you want and you expect someone else to fix it for you-have another think. Those who serve are truly Americans. Those who just make noise to hear themselves think contribute nothing to this Nation. I think that you are one who says what he thinks and acts on his beliefs. Don't make it personal. I have my view: which I am entitled to. And, you have yours; to which you are entitled to. I don't know you. But, I'm going to assume that you never served, or you served and didn't get it. I've known both types. But I refuse to make something like the name of a machine a life changing event. You appear to know all the answers. I have a friend that thinks the same way. He had a heart attack during one of his rants. He got lucky and didn't die. I'd like to be able to tell you he has changed; but, he is who he is. I hope you aren't one of those types. Because not everyone survives a heart attack. It has been stimulating but, enough is enough. Perhaps, we can share a debate on another subject in the future.

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Michael_AF_Ret March 18, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Cliche' is an appropriate name. I, too, have issues fignting for corporate interests that only benefit the CEOs and stockholders. it really stinks! . On the other hand, protecting ALL Americans no matter their economic status, is important. Every American enjoys their rights and freedoms. These don't come cheap. Now, we have to fight terrorism; a war nearly 30 years old. And, I don't agree with the "dropouts". I have found that everyone has an opinion based on their experience and understanding, Now, I call and write my senators and representative every month. I would point out that all brances of the Armed Forces require a high school diploma and a comprehensive test to be considered for enlistment. The corporate and Washington culture needs to be changed. I believe we all can agree many things are broken and Washington is to blame. I can only speak for myself about my time in the military. I enlisted for many reasons. My father served in WW2 and Korea. I was very young when my father went to Korea. I enlisted during the Vietnam conflict. This is when Congress fought the war by concensus and tied the hands of our commanders. Swartskoff and Powell were part of that experience. When it came to Desert Storm, they were in command and we kicked butt. The same is true for Iraqi Freedom. Then the politicians started playing their games during the occupation. It is a fact that many Americans don't understand the concept of War and the aftermath. Mentally, and with no little help from politicians of the party in the minority, a clock starts ticking towards the time they will withdraw their support. God for bid, we have to defend ourselves on our soil. I see about 10% of the American people will defend themselves and the other 90%. Our schools don't educate our kids about the cost of freedom. That isn't right. Those kids will be the ones that will have to defend our freedom in the future. Today they are soft, uncoordinated, and clueless. American Society needs a big turn around starting from the roots and Washington. Meeting in the middle. We have to be strong enough to deter the bullies and to defend freedom.
I'm stating my life experience which includes how I was taught by the schools, how my family responded to threats to our freedoms, my own beliefs and their evolution, 20 years in the military, Raising two sons, 25 years in the civilian economy, the use of my life experience giving me a jump on others in my civilian work ethic.
Today we are facing a "war from within". A President that believes he can act unilaterally. A Senate of "sheep". A House that lacks the will to act. I am more worried about our freedoms being taken away by our own government. I do know I felt "more free" in my youth than I do today. No longer does majority rule. The Minorities, not all based on ethinicity, have more clout than the other 90% of Americans. That is a fundamental change in the federal govenment and the media. Professional politicians have brought this on us. I can't look at Washington and see that the Constitution is still being followed. Thanks for the comment. Have a nice day.

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