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Aug 05, 2009


Aerospace test equipment | AvionTEq

The F-22 maintenance issues determine what will be the future of F-35 because they have the same coating.


F-22 maintenance brought up no new thinking. The F-35 will have the same problems as the F-22. The coatings are the same. The only real difference is the F-35 has less shape stealth. There is no effort to make stealth cost less. The only way to do that is to combine stealth shaping with high speeds (Mach 3 - 5). This would mandate these aircraft be built out of tougher, cheaper metal materials instead of the finicky, high cost, high maintenance composites. The coatings are a 2 edged sword. Once they've been damaged, they can potentially compromise stealth worse than if the airplane had no coatings or shape stealth. Shape stealth alone, on the other hand, cannot be so easily damaged and the damage cannot exist without being reasonably obvious to the eye.

The SR-71 was the first airplane to combine some degree of shape stealth and speed. It was never touched by a missile in any of it's missions. What did we learn from that? We learned that slow airplanes need many more defensive systems than fast aircraft do. To maximize profits, defense conractors lead the way back to slow airplanes that have to be packed with defensive systems in order to survive. The US taxpayer should have learned that defense contractors do what is in their own interests and not what is in the interests of the taxpayer.

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