Wednesday, October 7, 2015

New Air Force Jet

Already looking to upgrade the F-35:
THE PENTAGON — The Pentagon released a report today requesting Congressional authorization for 500 gold-plated F-35 fighter planes.


The new variant, dubbed the F-35G, is proposed as an upgrade over existing F-35 models. In addition to 24K gold plating encasing its exterior, its cockpit is trimmed with wood grain paneling harvested from the endangered African blackwood tree and leather upholstery from the hide of the northern white rhinoceros. Its GAU-12/A 25mm rotary cannon is able to fire solid platinum rounds at a rate of 3300 per minute. Each round is handcrafted by a Swiss jeweler.
What's funny is that the story is plausible, given the F-35's chequered history.  And this bit is pretty funny:
It also remains to be seen if the F-35G’s combat performance will be able to deliver on the program’s promises. At present, the added weight from the gold plating has prevented the F-35G from achieving flight. Its first test was a disaster, as the prototype F-35G rolled straight through the end of the test runway and careened into oncoming traffic on a nearby highway, resulting in 12 fatalities.
 The Duffel Blog delivers.


Anonymous said...

I recently determined that, thanks to SpaceX, it now costs 20 million dollars less to launch an F-35 into Low Earth Orbit than to purchase it outright. Indeed, the Falcon 9r's payload capacity is almost exactly the mass of an unloaded F-35!

That's using the very optimistic production-cost estimate of $85 million dollars per plane. If we use the current price ($120 million) then you could launch two of them into space for the acquisition cost of each.

Of course, due to the rest of the fleet aging into obsolescence, the cancellation of the F-22, and other factors, we're pretty much stuck with it.

Arthur said...

"...resulting in 12 fatalities."


I think they call this: 'Working as designed'!

Friendlies? Never heard of them.

burt said...

My understanding - by someone who says he knows because he spoke with a guy who worked with a custodian who overheard it in a conversation between a manager and an HVAC engineer working on the ductwork above one of the supply room shipping floors - is that the gold plating wasn't at the heart of the weight issue.

It was the cup holders and spare set of golf clubs.

Sounds pretty accurate to me.