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Aug 07, 2012

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Dfens

I remember a time when the Air Force fought its enemies and took care of its own. Today it takes care of its bloated airplane programs and screws its people.

Karl K

"The Air Force’s first priority ought to be the well-being of its people. "

Really? "Sorry, Mr. President, we have decided that deployment to that war zone is too dangerous for our pilots and maintainers, so we will be staying at home this month."

The Air Force is hired to control the skies over wherever they are directed to do so...and this involves a huge amount of risk to the people who do it. The Air Force is well-known (by those in a position to know) of taking excellent care of its people - I guarentee you that Gen. Lyons and gang are doing everything they can to reduce the risk, not cover up the flaws. That covers both the real priority (national defense) and the derived mission (taking care of the folks so they can perform Job 1).

You are misinformed, probably know that, but don't care as long as you make a name for yourself by vilifying easy targets.

Dfens

As usual the anonymous mouthpiece for the military industrial complex throws crap around the room like it was reason. By the way, AC, do you have any idea who Sprey is or what he has done in his career in aerospace. Here's a hint, he wasn't hired as an internet mouthpiece. He actually designed aircraft, including the F-16 which is by far superior to the F-18 as a fighter, and, due to its lower wing loading as noted in the article you probably did not read, makes it significantly more efficient in turning and makes it easier to operate at high altitudes than the F-22. It has been the US Air Force's "go to" fighter during the entire 25 year development of the F-22 and has continued in that role for the last 7 years during which the F-22 was operational in name only.

He has since retired from his career designing aircraft, so it seems unlikely he has any axe to grind. He is obviously a patriot who would like to see the next generations of Americans have a defense as solid as his generation had, and not an opinion-for-sale hack like you. Also the fact that uncured F-22 parts have made workers sick is well documented and the fact that stealth coatings tend to be highly toxic is also not in dispute.

Amicus Curiae

For the sake of discussion, let me pose a thesis. The world of the fighter pilot is a physically hostile place, especially for the lungs. They are operating at pressures and with gas mixtures that are unnatural. The lungs are quite literally forced to perform gas exchange in an alternate way that still maintains blood chemistry in the life sustainable range. The F-22 the environment is not so different than, say an F-18. It is just an increment worse in every way. The pilots can pull a little more g’s for longer times, so they do. They also climb and descend more rapidly, too. Do they do more air combat training than the other fighter types? Yes, probably because it is a primary task of the F-22. They push themselves to their physical limits every flight, because it is expected of them. The constant physical abuse is analogous to a professional athlete. In keeping with that analogy, it follows that there would be occupational medical issues. In this case it is not the knees, or the elbow or the shoulder, it is pulmonary/respiratory. Consider that the day-in, day-out demands on the pilots lungs are causing chronic ailments or that temporary respiratory illness that terrestrial humans deal with easily become dangerous to the F-22 pilot. So, does that give anyone a different perspective? Do POGO, Pierre Sprey and Winslow Wheeler bring anything useful here. Would they be satisfied with any explanation other than a declaration the F-22 is a defective waste of money? Are they interested in anything but their own promotion? Rhetorical questions, all.

Dfens

Do you not know anything about airplanes? Why does the U-2 need a wing like a sailplane to get to 70,000 ft when the SR-71 could get there with 1/4 the wing span? Duh.

gorgon

Why Spey's assumption that it has to be flying at M 1.6? Fly to Orlando any night and you can watch F22’s out of Tyndall radically transitioning well above your airliners FL36. Ask how many Viper or C model guys do that on a daily basis.

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