Lockheed F35 with bomb doors open

Wirraway Redux

Australia entered World War 2 with its only fighter aircraft being the Wirraway. This machine was built in Australia and based on the North American NA-16 trainer aircraft.

Most Wirraways that went into combat were promptly shot down. When the Japanese attacked an airfield in New Guinea that was defended by Wirraways, the squadron leader radioed Port Moresby to ask permission to sit out what would otherwise be certain death.

Permission denied, he replied with the traditional “Morituri te salutant” which is Latin for “We who are about to die salute you.” He took off with his squadron and was promptly shot down and killed.

The Wirraway did shoot down one Japanese fighter during the war, with that Wirraway starting the engagement 300 metres above a Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa, (the Japanese Army version of the Zero) who probably hadn’t seen him. A total of 755 Wirraways were built.

Wirraway terrible fighter plane
Wirraway is Aboriginal for ‘Challenge’ or “Challenger.” Perhaps that should have been “Challenged.”

Deja Vu

Now to the present and our similarly parlous position. The background to our current dilemma starts almost three decades ago.

Lockheed wanted to get a lock on US fighter aircraft production so they went to the three US services with fighter aircraft and sold them on a plane that could do everything. That included a vertical take-off variant for the Marines.

The initial technology for this was from the Yak-141 which was a supersonic and vertical take-off fighter developed for the Soviet navy in the 1980s. The Yak-141 flew at Farnborough Airshow in 1992.

Lockheed did a deal with a Yakovlev Design Bureau. An F-35B first performed at Farnborough in 2016, a generation after Daddy.

There was a fly-off against Boeing which put up an ugly, non-compliant thing that looked like a guppy. So Lockheed won the competition and promptly structured a program that maximised cash extraction from Western governments around the world.

The Figures Don’t Stack Up

The measure of the efficiency of a jet engine is its Thrust Specific Fuel Consumption or TSFC for short. This is the amount of fuel used per unit of thrust. For US jet engines, it is measured in lbs per hour per pound of thrust.

The F-15 first flew in 1972. The TSFC of the engine that powers the F-15 is 0.726. More than 40 years later, the TSFC of the engine which powers the F-35 is 0.889.

This is 22% worse than the F-15’s fuel consumption despite all the decades of engine development in between. If the F-35’s engine was as efficient as that of the F-15, the F-35 would be able to fly 22% further on its fuel load.

This is a big deal, so what happened?

The Original Sin

It all goes back to the original sin of the F-35. It was sold as something that would satisfy the needs of all three of the services that have fighter aircraft.

For the Marines, this meant an aircraft that could take off and land vertically – which places a particular constraint on the engine used to achieve that.

For normal jet aircraft, once they start rolling down the runway to take off there is a ram effect of air being pushed into the engine, aiding the engine’s efficiency.

For vertical take-off and landing aircraft though, with no ram effect, the engine must suck in an enormous amount of air to generate the necessary mass of exhaust.

This requires a wide engine with lots of core mass flow. That big core mass flow in turn requires an equivalent amount of fuel to keep the correct stoichiometric ratio (the ideal ratio that leaves no unburnt fuel or unused air).

What this means is that all the F-35 variants (the F-35A for the USAF, the F-35B for the Marines and the F-35C for the USN) have a wide, draggy, thirsty engine with a restricted range.

That engine is optimized for the F-35B which make up just 14% of the total planned F-35 fleet of 2,443 aircraft for US services. The remaining 86% suffer a 22% range penalty as a consequence, as do the ones in the RAAF.

The Problems Just Keep Coming

The F-35 has so many shortcomings that no list of them is complete. But a good place to start is a book I wrote a couple of years ago entitled American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare. A copy of the pdf of the book is available here, free to Pickering Post readers.

Since the publication of that book things have proceeded much as expected. Lockheed is afraid of the thing being cancelled so they concocted a ‘bulk buy.’

That way, countries would be locked into a longer production run instead of just individual production lots. The US did not participate in this bulk buy because they are prohibited from doing so by legislation, conveniently.

The USAF has also gone back to buying F-15s and the total buy might end up exceeding 400 aircraft which of course will eat into F-35 production. Their modelling found that they couldn’t afford to have an all F-35 fighter force.

Sitting Ducks

US war gaming of a war in the Pacific against China finds that most F-35s get destroyed on the ground because they have such a low sortie rate, being able to fly only every second day.

China will know where they are on the ground because there are few airfields long enough for it to take-off and land. RAAF Williamstown had to be lengthened from 8,000’ to 10,000’ so that the F-35 could be stationed there.

Normally a simple little fact like that would cause alarm bells to start ringing. But we live in an age in which all sorts of fantasies hold people in thrall.

Our Department of Defence believes in global warming and people who believe in that are capable of being sold on any nonsense. It also betrays that they have no understanding of how the world works.

On the subject of nonsense, Lockheed is a strange company. Several years ago they announced a compact fusion reactor that would fit on the back of a truck. To achieve such a reactor, would defy a lot of physics and would cost US$200 million to commercialise.

If they really could build such a machine, then US$200 would be a relatively trivial sum. Rumour has it that they took in outside investment for this project.

That included some $100 million from iron ore miners in Perth. If the rumours are true, then the $100 million disappeared down some kind of black hole. Not a bad return for the cost of a few business class tickets to Perth.

The Opposition is Better Equipped

On the aircraft that our F-35 will be up against, the Su-35 will remain the mainstay of the Russian air force because they can’t afford to buy the Su-57.

That might change in 2020 because the oil price is predicted to run up and Russia will produce a lot more spare cash.

China has produced two stealth aircraft to date.  The J-31 is a knock-off of the F-35 and so of course is a dog.

It has two engines instead of the one in the F-35 but they kept the engines forward in the air frame instead of having the exhausts rear of the twin boom tail. That suggests that the Chinese designers didn’t really understand what they were doing.

Because of the vertical lift variant, the engine on the F-35 is near the centre of mass. As with the F-35, after an airshow demonstration the J-20 was assessed to have aerodynamic inefficiencies and “that the aircraft bleeds a lot of energy and the pilot had a hard time keeping the nose up.”

In layman’s terms, it’s slow, thirsty and handles like a shopping trolley with a bung wheel.

Similarly, the designers of China’s other stealth fighter, the J-20, didn’t put much effort into following the area rule which says, that to reduce drag, the cross-sectional area of an aircraft should change as little as possible down its length.

Poor Aerodynamic Design

Another cardinal, aerodynamic sin on the J-20, is having the canards on the same plane as the wing. (Canards are small wings in front of the main wings). The shape of this aircraft means that there is nowhere else to put them.

Normally canards on a fighter aircraft should be above the main wing and immediately forward of it. That way, the airflow over the canards doesn’t interfere with the airflow over the wing but instead increases lift.

For example, on the Gripen the canards increase wing area by 17%, but increase lift by 34%.

Canards on JAS 39 Grippen. This is no Wirraway
Canards on JAS 39 Grippen

Unfortunately, the wings on the J-20 are chewing on air already disturbed by the canards, reducing lift and manoeuvrability. The J-20 is a draggy dog and like the F-35, it can’t even fly supersonic without keeping its afterburners on.

This isn’t much comfort – China’s and Indonesia’s Su-35s can still shoot down 2.4 of our F-35s for each of their Su-35s lost.

Some people have suggested going back to the F-22. Unfortunately, a Congressionally mandated study of what it would cost to restart production came up with a figure of US$205 million for each new-build aircraft.

Consequently, interest in that solution to the F-35 disaster has evaporated.

The optimum path for us, is to build the Gripen-E in Australia with the same deal that Brazil achieved for its Gripen-E production.

Developing countries these days seem to be much better at getting more bang for their buck in weapons acquisitions than Western countries.

Maybe it is just a coincidence, but Brazil’s government thinks and says that global warming is a big hoax, while we are led by self-deluding fools.

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare.

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Bwana
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Bwana

New post up.

Caltrop
Member
Caltrop

Russian Fighter Jet Disables US Missle Destroyer Using …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s4sKAMgYsU

The Russian Air Force Khibiny is an advanced aircraft-mounted electronic warfare (EW) system capable of jamming state-of-the-art air defense radar systems. The Khibiny jamming was tested …

Verity
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Verity

Funniest flight attendant ever. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AE_hjOLDtU

HappyExpat
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HappyExpat

The poor old Wirraway sure gets some flak even 80 years after it was born but I recently read a book about the later days of the New Guinea campaign written about an American unit. In it the Yanks were rapt in the Wirraway because it was so slow. Its very low speed enabled it to fly at treetop level, it was a quiet aeroplane and could surprise Japanese artillery emplacements better than any other means we had to prise them loose.According to this report they could sneak up on a Jap gun emplacement and bomb it before the Japs… Read more »

BruceRugby
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BruceRugby

comment image

Pauline, what happened to the funds that went to the Pauline Australia United Party?

What happened to the Party that none of the members were told about?

You did not answer Laura Sparks ….Please Explain

Indignant Elder
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Indignant Elder

New South Wales Alps become Winter Wonderland on second day of Australian Summer!
https://au.video.search.yahoo.com/search/video;_ylt=Awr9J.u03.Vdpt4ANkUL5gt.;_ylu=X3oDMTByNWU4cGh1BGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–?p=New+South+Wales+Alps+become+Winter+Wonderland+on+second+day+of+Australian+Summer%21&fr=sfp

paisley
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paisley

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paisley
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paisley

comment image

King of Hearts
Member
King of Hearts

comment image
.

A little more on the passing of Mental As Anything’s Greedy Smith (second from the right) …

Mental As Anything founding member and songwriter Andrew “Greedy” Smith has died after suffering a heart attack in his car. He was aged 63.

Band manager Grant Bartlett on Tuesday confirmed that Smith had suffered a heart attack while driving in Sydney. An ambulance arrived promptly to provide treatment but he later died.

Mr Bartlett, who has managed the Australian pop-rock band for 16 years, said Smith’s fatal heart problem came as a surprise.

“One of the healthiest guys I’ve seen,” Mr Bartlett said.

paisley
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paisley

comment image?w=720&auto=format

Bkengineering
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Bkengineering

Aviation Week Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will maintain the lead in air superiority over all comers for the next 20 to 30 years despite aggressive efforts emerging from new fighter technology in China, Russia and elsewhere, program officials claim. Making one of the boldest statements in defense of the F-35 since the leaking of a critical air combat report in July that noted maneuvering shortfalls against an F-16, JSF program executive officer Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan says “nothing compares to it. I’d put this airplane up against any airplane in the world today, tomorrow and for the next… Read more »

Bkengineering
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Bkengineering
Indignant Elder
Donor
Indignant Elder

REALITY, as seen by an Elder!
comment image?1575344711

King of Hearts
Member
King of Hearts

REALITY.

David finishes his very concerning article with ” … while we are led by self-deluding fools”.

Self-delusion is a reality problem.

Our government throws money at Climate Change. Man does not govern the climate.

Another delusion.

Our military funds sex change operations. You can’t change sex.

Another delusion.

Why are so, so many .. leaders included .. living outside of reality ?

Continued in replies …

Bloody Amazed
Member
Bloody Amazed

By the sounds of it the Lucky Country’s luck will evaporate instantly if Australia had no choice but to go to war. The Charlatans in Canberra and the ADF chiefs have sold our security completely short in return for being wined and dined and personally enriched in their secret offshore accounts.

No adequate sea defence. No adequate air defence. No adequate ground defence. Meanwhile Canberra throws more billions into the climate change scam. Follow the money.

Bkengineering
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Bkengineering

It was explained to me on a US blog that F-35 is now generation and F-18 is last generation, and …

The F-35 was never intended to dog fight another aircraft, it is a weapons platform and designed so that the pilot has much more time free when flying than, say, an F/A-18 pilot so that the F-35 computer can be operated for surveillance, intelligence gathering and weapons deployment, detecting enemy targets from over the horizon using stealth technology for remain hidden and growler technology to jam enemy radar, etc.

pablo1
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pablo1

It would appear that Trump has just about finished cleaning out the Obama landmines from the WhiteHouse……Gary Cohn: ‘I’m Concerned’ No One Is Left in the White House to Stand Up to Trump…………………..I thought they were meant to be there to SUPPORT the President, not Stand up to him??????? Cohn said, “We had an interesting nucleus of people when I was in the White House, in the initial team, we were not bashful. It was a group that was willing to tell the president what he needed to know whether he wanted to hear it or not. None of us… Read more »

Bkengineering
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Bkengineering

Long wait for a long wait.

Bkengineering
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Bkengineering

The single engine two crew aircraft from WW2 was built here and the first off the assembly line was apparently under powered, and when the test pilot attempted a take off the aircraft would not move off the line quickly enough.

Men from the Government Aircraft Factory were called and took places along the wings and tail, and they pushed and walked and ran and then the aircraft was moving.

The test pilot shouted from the open canopy: Wirraway!

BigBoyScotty
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BigBoyScotty

Give me a good old fossil fuel gas guzzler any day……………..

buddy
Member
buddy

That fits in with Bernie’s bread lines, the bread lines that are good for the country.

Bwana
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Bwana

So if you need charging and have to sit in a que for an hour, you won’t have air-con or heating. Useless.

BruceRugby
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BruceRugby

I have just received a request from Mark Latham appealing for financial help. Something to do with defamation . I thought that he was the leader of One Nation in NSW. This request is for him specifically.

Have no idea why he contacted me . Has anyone else been so contacted by email?

This was drilled across the bottom of the email:

Rebel News Network Ltd. · Box 61056 Eglinton/Dufferin RO, Toronto, ON M6E 5B2, Canada

Indignant Elder
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Indignant Elder

Lol, all with their headlights on, draining their batteries faster

oz-pamphleteer
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oz-pamphleteer

Sad news, Andrew “Greedy” Smith dead at just 63.

Too many times, too many times I saw them as an up and coming band.

R.I.P.

paisley
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paisley

https://www.bing.com/images/blob?bcid=S6PNUZ26Dq0ACw

I have received this letter from Scott Morrison in answer to my email informing him that two senior United Nations officials have publicly declared that the whole global warming hoax is all about financing the one world government agenda.
I also sent him a graph of temperatures against co2 in our atmosphere over millions of years, and showing there is no link of warming to co2 amounts in the atmosphere.
Press below for UN officials comments, and a graph of co2 against temperature as sent to the P.M.
comment imagecomment image

Ducktracy
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Ducktracy

“Nice Enough Guys!” to be British Royals: The Prince Phillip and Colonel Russell Williams Story

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=95&v=aCmDg0s08ws&feature=emb_logo

Bat
Member
Bat

OT. Sky, just now. Some labour bloke, “We took a Twitter Poll, on Carbon Credits”!!!!!

Labour now listens to twits on twitter, to form policy?

Farqen amazing.

Ducktracy
Donor
Ducktracy

New from Q 18 U.S. Code § 2385. Advocating overthrow of Government. Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating,… Read more »

Tricky Woo
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Tricky Woo

OT – not sure if this is a new tweak from DEVIL to help us get to replies, but I just had a notification I had a response and when I went to it the response was to another poster but I had given a tick to Nursie’s response within the replies. Can’t remember if I ticked the main post.

Bwana
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Bwana

NSW farmer Joanna Collett posted this on the Prime Minister’s facebook page:

Read in REPLIES.

buraq3
Member
buraq3

Some are condemning Tony Abbott for visiting a convicted paedophile in prison. A bit unfair, imo.
For those who want to send George Pell a Christmas card…
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paisley
Donor
paisley
Ducktracy
Donor
Ducktracy

This lady would have been God knows where, dead.

https://twitter.com/Miskwahya/status/1201659203213053953

oz-pamphleteer
Member
oz-pamphleteer

comment image

Ethnics, making America great again

mots
Donor
mots

I had ‘Classic Countdown’ on this morning they had a short clip of Mental As Anything. Half an hour later I hear on the radio Greedy Smith had passed away. RIP Greedy.

oz-pamphleteer
Member
oz-pamphleteer

The mighty U.S. Industrial/Military complex
Today Trump can not give them enough money
One could laugh until one cries.

Caltrop
Member
Caltrop

US F-35 vs Russian Su-35 Fighter Jet – Which Would Win …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ityn7PCEgiw

How would the US and Russian military fighter jets fare if they were pitted against each other? Which aircraft is more advance? Let’s see in this episode: Am…

paisley
Donor
paisley

comment image

ANTI SNIFFING COLLAR DESIGNED FOR THE BIG SNIFFER.

AussieMigrant
Member
AussieMigrant

BEST WE DO NOT FIGHT THEM AT SEA, ON LAND OR IN THE AIR THEN?

Diesel subs only available in 2035, PC kissy, kissy, cuddle, cuddle troopies and trannies on the front lines and aeroplanes that ain’t up to the job?

Not looking good … can our enemies give us a little bit of time to get our house in order, please, please?

Thank goodness, nay, thank God, we’ve got Linda in charge of defence and Marise taking it to our foreign enemies.

HappyExpat
Donor
HappyExpat

“Our Department of Defence believes in global warming and people who believe in that are capable of being sold on any nonsense. It also betrays that they have no understanding of how the world works.” One of the most accurate comments that I have read in a long time. Great article David. I accept your analogy of the F.35 and the Wirraway. The Wirraway was not the only disaster we were inflicted with in the early stages of the war. There was also the Brewster Buffalo that was supposed to protect Singapore and the Vultee Vengeance dive bomber that was… Read more »

taxslave
Member
taxslave

The f 35 uses more fuel .Maybe the two weeks supply of fuel we have will be used up in 10 days .Hang your heads in shame you stupid politicians .The brown paper bags must have been huge .Traitors. Let’s tell the UN we don’t need them anymore and start becoming a more self sufficient country for the future of our children .Absolutely disgusting humans that run this country and sell us out .

Gentle Jack2
Member
Gentle Jack2

Australia … orders for dud submarines and aircraft (remember the dud helicopters?)

So many bad decisions … just like the camel designed by a committee

Hmmm … I smell corruption … Australia does not learn the lessons of history

But they are experts on global warming and pink fingernails … and Mardi Gras Faggot Festival parades … God help us when China invades … because the US may not be around

pablo1
Donor
pablo1

Apparently speaking the truth is now “Racism”….A Young LNP leader in Queensland has been accused of endorsing racism after he was filmed laughing at demands Australia “stop celebrating a culture that couldn’t even invent the bloody wheel”.
He is seen laughing when one school leaver says: “I’m fed up with having all these sports stars stand out on our stages and not sing the national anthem … I mean we’ve got to stop celebrating a culture that couldn’t even invent the bloody wheel for God’s sake.”
https://www.9news.com.au/national/young-lnp-leader-faces-racism-backlash/534ab630-bd38-4eb3-b129-f86503383617

buraq3
Member
buraq3

OT….Trump has given Bloomberg his own nickname: Mini Mike Bloomberg.
Can a Trumpster enlighten us please? Surely it’s not his height.
Considering Bloomberg could buy Trump’s assets out of petty cash, I don’t get it.

Tricky Woo
Donor
Tricky Woo

OT – just saw Clover Moore dressed like a Christmas tree talking about fireworks for NYE and whether or not she would be putting them on this year due to air quality and fire risk, etc. She really is an awful woman. Fancy living in Sydney and having Plibersek and Moore to represent and rule you. She reckons the purpose of the fireworks is to bring people together safely and that this can be shown by the pre-fireworks days when celebrations were centred on Kings Cross and The Rocks. She must go back a lot further than me. And I… Read more »

Flysa
Donor
Flysa

Censored

Verity
Donor
Verity

Someone tell me again WHY we have a sheila in charge of Defence?

Linda Reynolds is an incompetent fool

Bat
Member
Bat

F1-11.
Need a fighter.
Need to carry bombs.
Needs to do it at 200′.
I know let’s get a Fighter Bomber.
From what I understand, at least it was a good bomber?

Tricky Woo
Donor
Tricky Woo

A feast for our diggers. More weaponry to discuss!