Talk to me, Goose...
Pilots who eject from America's most expensive military jet could break their neck.
It has emerged that the Martin-Baker US16E seats on the $350billion F-35s proved to be flawed during tests.
While challenging the new Generation 3 helmets, it was discovered that the ejection snapped the necks of light-weight test dummies.
The US military services have now decided to ban pilots under the [w]eight of 136 pounds from operating the plane. [Didact: You have GOT to be sh*tting me. The UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, the world's most advanced air arm, comes up with THIS as its solution to the problem?!?]
It's the latest in a series of setbacks, which has delayed production by up to eight years and put it hundreds of billions of dollars over budget.
One Californian Democrat told Defense News: 'We're seeing these flight restrictions because the F-35's ejector seats weren't tested to the level they would be on a normal aircraft, and the Pentagon rushed to field them prematurely.
'This is yet another example of the kind of procurement malpractice we should be avoiding.'
Meanwhile, the chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee Rep Jackie Speier said the issue will be discussed at an oversight hearing later this month.
He said: 'We're having an F-35 hearing scheduled for Oct. 21. I'm certain it will show up then.
'I am going to have an oversight hearing on this.'
At least one F-35 pilot is affected by the weight restriction. It does no affect the only female F-35 pilot Lt Col Christina Mau, who is the deputy commander for the 33rd operations group. [Didact: So... is LTC Mau a tad chunky, then?]
Testers found that the seat rotates forward too much and, combined with the force of an ejection, it proved too much for the lighter dummies and snapped their necks.
The chilling findings are reminiscent to Goose's death in the film Top Gun.
The three F-35 pilots at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, are not said to be affected by the weight restriction.
So basically, the argument that the plane's designers and backers are making is that the plane won't need to dogfight, since it will simply engage everything at long range with missiles that will somehow magically always hit their targets and never get bamboozled by simple countermeasures like chaff, powerful radar jamming, or the "diamond formation" that William S. Lind has argued will defeat heatseekers.
That would all be well and good... if it weren't for the fact that the F-35 has a tiny internal ordnance capacity, thanks to its massive engine and heavy body. And if it packs missiles under its wings, it immediately loses whatever stealthy properties it might have had previously.
So it is not a very good stand-off fighter- which makes it useless for the mission for which it was actually designed. And the F-35 is clearly an inferior dogfighter, as demonstrated by its utter walloping at the hands of F-16 pilots flying a jet that is nearly 40 years old. One has to wonder, then, precisely what mission this plane is actually designed for.
The F-35, by contrast, appears to have been built for one mission alone: wasting money.
Long-wave radar isn't terribly good at telling you exactly what is coming at you, by its very nature- but it is very good at telling you that something is coming. As anyone who studied the Battle of Britain can tell you, that is usually all one actually needs to ruin some jumped-up Flugzeugfuhrer's day.
Think about that for a moment. This country's defence establishment basically has no problems with sending its most highly qualified and trained aviators aloft to die in planes that simply aren't designed to keep them safe or alive in combat.