For example, I have a military magazine where a current F-35 pilot/former F-16 pilot boasts it out-accelerates F-16s while carrying all the same pods and payload-per-weight. And he's flown side-by-side with Vipers to see this for himself. What's that saying? Speed is life: More is better!
At a briefing before Congress, a Navy Lightning pilot said it turns like an F-18. It's a longer video, but informative well worth the watch!
And, depending on who you talk to, ranges with them, or slightly farther than either.
The SA tools on this aircraft are coming into their own, and the targeting system is da bomb!
And 95% of the weapons delivery and other payload related tests have either gone according to plan or better. Find me another weapons development program with that kind of record?
Now I'm not stupid: This thing has taken a long, too long time to come about. And the cost has been way, way up there. But really, are they developing a single aircraft program with three versions? Or is it more like three different combat aircraft programs that kinda look alike? (See my previous entry, )
And what else? A RADAR system that can track and jam F-22 radars while still looking for other aerial AND ground threats... what other super-secret capabilities does this aircraft have that can't tell us about? I'll bet the farm there's tons.
Are people looking for a new jet that goes Warp 6 and pulls 20G while keeping the pilot coherent enough to drop the bomb on the general in the train window while shooting down 50 Chinese fighters? Well sad news for ya- aircraft performance, in general, has been maxed out. Mach 2ish has worked just great for the last few decades (we can't make a metal that doesn't melt at higher speeds). Furthermore pilots can't turn more than 9 Gs more than a few times in a flight, and some only once at all. And despite the fun G test we all like to watch on the ground, routinely pulling 9 Gs (or even 7-8 Gs) while maintaining SA in a dogfight, watching out for other enemies, watching your target, monitoring your flight or wingman, etc. is even a real trick for most current aviators. So, yes, aircraft performance is maxed out, and the F-35 meets that max line just fine.
So take a look at the facts and relax. The F-35 is turning out to be the deadly strike fighter is was always projected to be, and more.
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