Air Force Pilots to Start Flying F-35s This Year

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by hornetguy, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    http://defensetech.org/2011/02/16/air-force-pilots-to-start-flying-f-35s-this-year/
     
  2. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    The first production F-35 (AF-6) is supposed to have its maiden flight tomorrow. AF-7 is only a few weeks behind...
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    hmmmm: Bullet, question. (I think I already know the answer). Do you think the F-35 will be available for UPT grads "Next Year academy 2012 class, or possibly 2011 academy grads", or do you think it will normally be first offered up first to existing pilots cross qualifying?

    P.S. How many F-35's are coming into the air force inventory? thanks. mike....
     
  4. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Well, Mike. Honestly, the answer is "probably not". Next couple of years will be training the test pilots and the initial instructors. Building up an initial cadre of experienced pilots after that. We may see a few of the UPT grads get an F-35 in 2015, and a few more 2016. 2017, we may see the flood gates start to open. For this year's AFA grads going to UPT lucky enough to get fighters and wanting the F-35, my advice is to ask for an F-16, so they'll transition to F-35s for their second Ops tour (which is what I told my DS to do).

    Current plan for the AF is to purchase 1763 F-35As (yeah, that many!). Navy/USMC getting over 600 as well.

    Of course, we'll have to see if the budget pressures reduces this number a bit...
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Thanks for the info. On a side note: My passion has always been the Eagle. I think the F-15 is the greatest fighter the air force ever had. Will most of the F-35 replacements be the F-16, or do you see the F-35's capabilities able to replace some of the F-15 missions? I haven't really kept up on the F-35. I was always an F-15 and F-22 sort of person.

    Which brings up another question. What's the place of the F-22? I know there aren't a lot of them; but where do they fit into the puzzle? thanks. mike...
     
  6. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    As an Eagle driver...from my limited perspective...

    I see the F-22 as my replacement...I'd LOVE to get a chance to employ one...from discussions with a pilot I know flying the jet...it's "cosmic!"

    I see the F-35 as the "lawn dart's" replacement with some serious ADD-ON's! It's gonna have an amazing capability...if Bullet could talk...he could confirm things I've "heard whispered" in halls, SCIF's, etc., but...I don't have the "need to know" and neither does anyone here.

    And besides...well, you know...he could tell us but.... :eek:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Flieger,

    As you read, Bullet told our DS to try for the 16, and I have to say I looked :eek: when he gave him that advice in front of me.

    Like you, I see the 16 and the 35 as lawn darts.

    The one thing I loved about the Strike Eagle, you know, if 1 engine decides to quit working, they still had a 2nd engine to work with :thumb:

    You can see Bullet has really gone to the dark side...he is now telling our kid to take something he also called a lawn dart for his 20 yrs in the military:shake:
     
  8. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Yeah.... :scratch:

    For an Eagle type to even THINK of the lawn dart for more than "needling/giving grief/laughing at" is a bit hard...

    BUT...that's where the '35 crews will come from so...

    Still like Fifi's picture at Luke in the 63rd halls.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I have never seen Fifi's pics at Luke

    For posters Fifi is the 1st female T Bird and a Strike pilot.

    Fifi puts Jeannie to shame....which is considered big deal.

    Fifi= Nichole Malachowski...not only does she have the ability to work the "stick", but she is pretty and demands that she is judged against the boys. She doesn't want her 2nd X chromosome to count.

    Fifi is loved, adored, respected in the AF world regardless of sex. SJAFB loves her, but more importantly respects her as a Pilot. She is the be all.

    Probably the most genuine person I have met. She calls a spade a spade and I live her for that.
     
  10. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Fifi also came and spoke at USAFA a couple years ago for one of the conferences (the NCLS or Falcon Heritage, can't remember which). She was class of 1996. :thumb:

    We all loved her. She was a great speaker, genuine, funny, and a great role model. Much respect.

    Oh, and Pima didn't mention, but Fifi's husband is a WSO. :thumb:
     
  11. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    DOH!!!!

    I can see it now.

    Miss Fifi: "Hey honey, let's go to the Mall."
    Mr. Fifi: "Sounds good; let me get the keys to the car."
    Miss Fifi: "No, that's OK. I'm driving."
    Mr. Fifi: "Yes Dear".

    :thumb:
     
  12. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Made my day! :D :thumb:

    And I have to be the grammar tyrant: Wouldn't it by Mrs. Fifi??? ;)

    Well, unless the jet is her husband and he's just the mister-ess. lol.
     
  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Could have made is "Ms". Then again; I am as "Anti-PC" as they come. LOL!!!

    Actually; I wonder if they could get a Joint-Spouse assignment to the same squadron?

    Miss Fifi: "So, ready to get to work"
    Mr. Fifi: "Yup, let's rock"
    Miss Fifi: "Make sure you're buckled up back there; can you see OK"?
    Mr. Fifi: "Yes ma'am"
    Miss Fifi: "Watch your tone. Don't make me come back there"
    Mr. Fifi: "Yes ma'am".

    LOL!! Sorry; too funny.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  14. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Okay...for those of you that haven't seen "Fifi's" picture at Luke AFB (Lawn Dart Training Base) a little background is in order.

    As you may have guessed, Lt Col Nicole Malachowski is an "EAGLE DRIVER" first and foremost. So when she was chosen to fly for the Thunderbirds, she had to get qualified in the F-16.

    So off to Luke AFB, AZ for training with the 61st FTS. She went with another Thunderbird pilot, I think he was the narrator or some similar role, not one of the "performing 6" but still...a TBird pilot.

    At the end of their training, they were allowed to put up their "flight" picture on a plaque in the halls of the training squadron. So...

    There's the beautiful plaque, with both of them in front of a '16, thumbs "UP" and smiling. And ABOVE their picture is a beautiful picture of the "Diamond Fourship" of Thunderbirds...the T-Bird Patch, etc...

    And the plaque "dedication plate?" What does it say?

    "When the Air Force wants to show the world a display of awesome airpower and force projection with four tails and four THUNDERING engines, what do they send?" :thumb:
    (or words to that effect, I'm going on memory)

    And below that in BIG LETTERS:

    A TWO SHIP OF F-15's! :rockon:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  15. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    so confused

    What exactly is the purpose of introducing the F-35 to our AF/Navy? Is it designed to replace the F-22 (I thought the F-22 beat out F-35 in a design competition?)? Or are these two aircraft designed to operate together? This is just as confusing as to wondering why we have an F-15 and F-16 and then all those F-16E, F-16A or whatever else is in between.

    Also, one more question coming from this annoying plebe - have weapons like ICBMs rendered long-range bombers obsolete? I dont really seem to see anything like B-52s being produced anymore. Is there just no need for bombers because of nukes/aegis system?

    CS
     
  16. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    The F-15A/B/C/D was an air-superiority fighter - it was meant to keep the air clear of enemy aircraft. It is an incredibly engineered aircraft, and as such, a very expensive one to make.

    The F-16 was meant to be a lighter, simpler, and much cheaper fighter than the F-15 such that we could have a large fleet of fighters to counter the Soviet threat. It morphed into a more ground-based or multi-role aircraft and now does mostly ground attack roles (Wild Weasel, etc.).

    The F-22 was designed to replace the F-15 as an air-superiority fighter. While it once had the F/A designation, it turned into a pure F place. While capably of ground attack, it's primary role is to patrol the air.

    the F-35 is supposed to replace the F-16, A-10, Harrier, and F-18 (I think F-18 too lol) as a ground support/attack aircraft. While capable of Air to Air, it's primary role is to be a ground attack/Wild Weasel/etc. aircraft with some sweet on-board tech to accomplish that. Similar to the F-15 to F-16 change, it is meant to be a much cheaper and simpler plane we can mass-produce. the A-variant is less than half the cost of an F-22.

    I hope I got this 'generally' correct. While the real fighter guys like Flieger, Bullet, et al can give much better explanations (and correct any of my misconceptions), the basic idea is that the F-22 and F-35 are fulfilling different roles.

    The designations from A-Z are usually just improvements of the original model. The F-16A vs. the F-16 block 60...the block 60 is a much more sophisticated aircraft with more modern tech and radar than the A-model.

    Bombers now have moved from the nuke role and as more general bombing platforms. The B-1 was originally designed only to carry nukes, but now is modified to carry all types of bombs. The ICBM is great for long range nukes, but you still need bombers for the other bombs! Lobbing an ICBM with a non-nuke tip is quite cost-ineffective!

    The AF is currently in the process of designing the interim bomber program while the next generation is being designed as well.

     
  17. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Hornet hit the nail on the head...F 22 is for the air, while the F35 is meant to have air/ground capability.

    I'm a little bit envious of what my AF peers have the opportunity to fly, no doubt :wink:

    So will the Navy and USMC get their F-35's around the same time as you guys?
     
  18. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Couldn't have said it better myself! RAND must be pushing you hard...

    You did miss one SLIGHT thing, however. You forgot to mention the "E" model of the F-15. Do that again, and I may have to drive out to Calif. to personally revoke your "Bullet likes me" privileges. :wink:

    USMC will in fact be "operationally" flying their F-35Bs a couple of years BEFORE the AF and Navy. Navy will become operational about the same time as the AF, after the USMC. (Marines are getting theirs first because they are replacing their Harriers, which are near the end of their service life.)
     
  19. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    lol Bullet, that was on purpose. It's an enigma. You could probably give a nice eloquent argument (based, I'm sure, on two engines makes any plane better, esp ground attack!).

    Wasn't it meant to replace the F-111? I would also guess since that was your original plane! ;) Basically does the F-16 mission better all around (range, payload, etc.). Ran into the same problem as before, it was more expensive! Is that right?

    Regardless, the Mud Hen is my number one choice! :D
     
  20. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    :mad::mad: Come on, man! You KNOW my argument would be solely based on "two craniums are better than one!"



    Yes, and yes. But I'm guessing you're just pushing my buttons again...

    Yes. And the guys who operate it are more dashing, debonair, with chiseled good looks, a jaunty "devil may care" attitude, sparkling teeth, and the wind constantly blows through our hair in a rakish manner...

    Good lad. You're back on the "Bullet likes me" list... :thumb:
     

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