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Squawks & HeadlinesF-22 Pilots Refuse to Fly

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F-22 Pilots Refuse to Fly

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Sign me up. There position is very just though. Especially after that crash back in December. There has just been too many problems and it has never been in 1 combat sortie.. (www.flightglobal.com) More...

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sfjasper
Steve Jasper 4
Court martialed in 1925, I believe, just to promote his theroies on airpower. Prior to that had a friend or relative in the Navy flying air ships that perished following orders to fly regardless of weather conditions siting the limitations of his air ship in bad weather. After the Navy Captain's death in the storm trying to deliver the airship for an exibition, motivated Brigadier General Mitchell to commit insubordination toward the then War Dept.
alistairm
alistairm 2
chalet
chalet 4
Another horrible example of how poor products are coming off the Lockheed stable thanks to the terrible management skills of the DOD and USAF. The F-22 program was stopped after spending (actually WASTING) ZILLLIONS OF DOLLARS and they still can´t hack a simple oxy problem. And the F-35 lemmon is not far behind as it is NOT meeting the specs, never mind that its unitary cost went up from $ 65 mill to DOUBLE that. And Romney is saying that if he is elected president (hope he does not) he is going to cut off health, education and other social programs so that more money can be spent (WASTED) in defense............
macnicol
James Nicol 1
Obviously you are new to the DOD program cost issue. The DOD puts out a RFP for an aircraft design with a target program cost of Z$ based a set of requirements and $Y cost/aircraft on a quantity "X" buy; $Z/X = $Y. The contractor designs an aircraft to meet those targets and gets selected. Then the DOD decides it wants to change the requirements which requires a redesign and drives the $/aircraft up; $2Z. If the redesign comes late in the development and test cycle, then the need to retest can significantly skyrocket costs. The F-22 was originally designed to be an BVR air-to-air supremacy fighter and the motto for the designers was "not a pound for air-to-ground" since aircraft cost is directly proportional to aircraft weight. Then Congress decides it wants to reduce the quantity it buys; X/3. This then increases the $/aircraft figure; i.e $2Z/(X/3) = $6Z/X = $6Y! That is why a perfectly designed aircraft that met DOD requirement for performance and cost now has problems. That is why there are $600 toilet seats. Simple logic. And btw, Boeing was selected by the DOD to provide the avionics which is supposed to control and monitor the ox-gen system. So before you go off half cocked and blame a contractor, think about what really happened and why.
chalet
chalet 1
No, I am not unfamiliar with the DOD ways bussiness and it is precisely because that after an initial set of specs are issued and a contract is signed all the "brains" of the particular service buying that weapon system (pardon the sarcasm) jump into the bandwagon and ask for all the latest bells a whistles to be shoehorned into it, i.e. aircraft, rocket, ship, tanks, and millions of other pieces of equipment and the patriotic contractors are all too happy to oblige since they can name a price of the extras (i.e. $ 600 toilet seats) on a take it or leave basis and the service can only accept what they are tendered as DOD can not in most cases walk out of a contract and issue a new bidding hoping that other contractors might be less voracious. And quality wise it has been an awful experience with virtually most major weapon systems fielded in the past shall we say 50 years with a few excemptions. And yes I agree with you that Congress shares a good share of the blame for various reasons including forcing the services to acquire weapons no longer needed only because that brings money to the economies of the states that they represent and in the process pick up good will for the next election. And the contractors continue laughing all the way to the bank and the taxpayer ends up holding the bag.
olsenjames8
james olsen 2
I worked for Lockheed and saw the production lines in the 90's in Marietta. I happened to be there for the inaugural flight when then Chairman/CEO Norm Augustine and (I think) William Cohen stood on the flight line to watch. While none of this qualifies me to opine on QC or flight safety, I can say that the buzz at the time of the award and subsequent endless and conflicting design requirements from the customer (DoD)contributed to delays and bad decisions. More importantly, the politics of procurement are really to blame for any inadequacies and cost overruns. Over 1,000 subcontractors were engaged at the direction of the gov't to produce this aircraft. Each one of them placed their overhead burden on their role.
kendean
Ken Dean 2
I hope they do solve the problems with the F22. The money is already spent and when this fighter is flying, there's nothing in the competition it can't handle.
Have Blue!
btweston
btweston 2
The General "getting checked out" in the Raptor until they solve the problem is like Papa John flipping pies.
lboyette
Lloyd Boyette 3
And AGAIN... Why didn't we choose the YF-23? If the YF-23 had the Boeing badge on it... it would be the one that we would be flying today... (which is sad to say). If was faster, stealthier, and more fuel efficient. Looking at the Russian T-50 and the Chinese J-20 and having very similar features of the YF-23 and now having pilots that don't want to fly the F-22 it's no wonder that this program was cancelled. However, where does that leave us for an effective 5th generation fighter when some pilots now refuse to fly the thing and we just deployed it to an area near Iran?

Leave politics out of aircraft design and build the best possible product that we can produce!!!
macnicol
James Nicol 1
BTW, Boeing was selected by the DOD to provide the avionics for the F-22 which is supposed to control and monitor the ox-gen system. Lockheed has designed and built a large and successful stable of fighters over the past 70 years; P-38, P-80, F-104, SR-71, F-117, F-22, F-35, Aurora?. What was the last successful fighter that Boeing designed and built? What is the name of the stealth aircraft that Boeing built?
Derg
Roland Dent 1
This the mark of a true aviator and I so proud of these guys. All the Neandertahl nugget managers in the military need to be moved on. Thank God we have service guys who use their brain and have the character to stand agin ignorance.

This action just saved the USA billions of dallars if not lives.
sfjasper
Steve Jasper 1
Seems to remind me of the Billy Mitchell story.
GULFV
Sean Bailey 1
I agree with the pilots! They signed their lives over to the Air Force for X amount of years and you really don't have a choice....I love the Air Force, but I would be nervous to be a F-22 pilot with everything going on! I'll stay in the F-16 or Eagle !
dbrooks84
David Brooks 1
Not long after the F-16s were introduced, there were some unexplained crashes. Later, a wife of one of the dead pilots continued to press for an answer. Turned out a cable had been routed in such a way that it could be subject to shafting and generating shorts. Seems that the contractor knew but did not bring it up so they would get dinged.

Some pilots did not want to fly the Havoc back in WW2. When first introduced, there were problems with handling characteristics and some crashes resulted in the crew being killed. After they worked out the bugs, it was a good medium bomber.
49erca
Rick Hundley 1
I prefer Boeing aircraft. However doesn't the plane manufacture have fix the problem?
macnicol
James Nicol 1
This is an avionics system issue. Boeing had the computer and avionics responsibility. Lockheed had the airframe.
alistairm
alistairm 6
My question is, why do they seem to be trying to re-invent the wheel with this oxygen system? I don't think i have ever heard of such a systemic problem such as this with any other fighter.

[This poster has been suspended.]

onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
given the shape maybe it's an inlet problem...just a theory
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 1
Amen Alistair.......
alistairm
alistairm 1
Which Billy Mitchell are you talking about?
MichaelMcCarthy
Eurofighter or maybe Rafale for the Airforce , Navy and Marines . Or hows about a Saab Gripen . These aircraft work , are a lot cheaper and generally they don't kill their pilots !!!
macnicol
James Nicol 0
In a head to head, air to air encounter with the Raptor both the Eurofighter and the Rafale would be down in flames long before they even knew the Raptor took them out!
chalet
chalet 0
And both the Aurofighter and Rafal stallions have proven combat experience in Libya Afghanistan and probably in other countries too.
MichaelMcCarthy
I'm not sure that the Eurofighter and the Rafale would always be "taken out" by fire and forget missiles and other types of ordnance from the Raptor , even if pilots of the target aircraft had no idea where the missiles came from . Crew training and skill is a very important factor and I fear you may underestimate the ability and sophistication of those two types . Nonetheless , I see that you did not detect any irony in my previous squawk .