Any cadets thinking F35

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by cgchris99, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. cgchris99

    cgchris99 Member

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    I was talking to my son and he was telling me about the F35 which I think will be in full swing in 2015. Anyone else thinking about this plane as a career?
     
  2. DK6732

    DK6732 USAFA Cadet

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    Many people always plan to get fighters, heck even I dream of getting fighters in my future. But it means lots of hard work, at the Academy and beyond. You arn't just handed the F-35 or the F-22 or any plane you want.....you earn it. And the competition is only going to rise in the coming years with the Air Force cutting down the number of pilot slots and looking toward UAVs. To get fighters, you first have to make it to UPT. Once you are there you have to do well! If you are in fact at the top of your class in UPT, then you may get a chance to go to fighter school (forget the exact name for it, someone else could help me out...), where you can wash out if you don't have the "stuff," and will be stuck with a different plane the Air Force wants you to fly.

    I'm just trying to say, you can plan all you want and dream big, but just remember that its going to take alot of hard work, especially my class and yours.
     
  3. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Think about being in the top 10 or so in UPT, then go T-38 track...then in the top 3 there for the 'fighter' if its available.

    THEN its off to LIFT: "Lead In Fighter Training." Was called Fighter-Lead-In in my era. There you learn the "VERY BASICS" of fighter flying. Basic Fighter Maneuvers, air-to-air, air-to-ground, VERY dependant upon what plane you've been picked to fly.

    THEN after that...off to RTU: Replacement Training Unit. THIS is where you will learn to fly your jet. Think: FIREHOSE!!! Think UPT was tough? This is where the metal meets the road.

    Get through all that and then its on to your squadron where you start over again! Gotta become mission ready! Learn how to REALLY employ your weapon system, how you "fit" in the "big picture" and so on...

    And then it continues through all the upgrades, qualifications, etc.

    One day, if you're old enough, fortunate enough...you're an IP, pretty good at what you do, and now teaching "the kids" how to replace you!

    And then one day...you're like me...looking at the end of it and saying "oh man...really? Over? But I'm in my PRIME!!! :eek: "

    Fun.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    You also need to understand how the system works for new jets coming on line.

    When they traditionally come on line they will have an initial cadre. You are not going to find butter bars in the initial cadre. What it will be will be select pilots that have IP experience, and many, many fighter hours. Sr. Captain will most likely be the youngest yr group you will find.

    They then become the instructors for the FTU. From there the bulk of people getting the 35 will be from different air craft. The reason why is a TX course is shorter than a full FTU and you need more than just a cadre to get an FTU up and running. Plus you can't become an IP to teach new LTs if you just finished FTU as a LT. Once they have them in, than they will start taking a select few from UPT, but for the 1st few yrs it will be very select.

    I am not a betting woman, but if I did bet, I would say maybe 1 or 2 a yr per base at first. The bulk of fighters that will be handed out will be 15.16 and 15Es. 22's will be handed out also, but because that is such a small community you will not see a lot get them either. Than again, I would say you would see more of them than a 35. The reason why is the 22 is already operational, thus, in 4 yrs from now, the initial cadre will be moving onto other positions like Wing King, Vice or DOG. That will open up the need to get new blood in the jet. (The 22 has been operational at the 90th for about 2 yrs now)

    We were in Elmendorf for a yr before we saw a LT get assigned there, until then Bullet was the youngest and he had 7 yrs in. After him, then it did start spinning up for the young guys. However, that was probably 7 yrs (97) after the Strike came on line from an operational standpoint.

    Bullet works on the F-35 program at the Pentagon. I am not sure he would agree with you that you will see them fully operational in 15. He can't tell me because that is classified and than he would have to kill me.:eek:

    As others have stated it is great to have this dream, and you should aspire for it, but realize it is not only about how hard you have to work for it at UPT, it is also a timing issue.

    The further out from 15 you enter UPT the higher chance of more 35s in the pipeline for UPT grads.

    Also remember, never once have I ever heard of the AF meeting their delivery date. The 35 is not going to break that tradition at its current rate.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  5. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    As well as a higher chance of UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems).

    Any prospective USAF pilot's future plans better include NOT flying a fighter jet, as the USAF is considering a future in which there are no more pilots in the cockpit.

    Read this unclassified study:

    United States Air Force Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Plan 2009-2047

    :cool:
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    This may be true decades down the road, but not right now. The life expectancy for the 35 will bring them to 2040 also.
     
  7. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I can just hear the "Chair Force" jokes coming on with all the UAVs.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Chair force has always been the big joke.

    You'll know when the UAS is really a big deal very easily. They will start giving them bonuses for that field.

    I don't bite off too much on that report.

    Yes, it will be the up and coming field, but the fact is there are a lot of steps needed to occur prior to this being the kiss of death.

    For example, UAS doesn't dog fight. That is not their mission. Fighters patrol the sky 24/7. They don't do CAP.

    We may have the UAS, but if China and Russia are throwing up fighters to shoot them down, we will need to throw up fighters to stop their fighters to shoot them down.

    Look at how long it takes to get a program through the system. It is not yrs, but decade+.

    We are not buying the 35 to sit on a runway. The other countries that are buying the 35 are not spending money to have them be obsolete before they are delivered.

    Every air frame we own has a mission. The 22's mission is not the same as the 35. The 15E's mission is not the same as the 22's.

    In the AF there are missions that are Air to Air and missions that are Air to Ground.

    I don't think we should be telling candidates or cadets that the fat lady has sung her last song regarding fighters already, especially since we have yet to get the 35 on line.

    Fear does no good in this parameter.

    Now if I was to be totally honest, I would say Luigi is correct. The need for UAS pilots will increase, thus more slots will come down.

    The fact that th AFA grads are on casual status for 6-9 months, means the pipeline is slowing down. NEVER a good sign.

    Airlines are not hiring which is also a problem for the pilot world, since they are not diving.

    Candidates and cadets need to understand the AF world is not only about your abilities, but it is about timing too.

    Back in 93 after the RIF, they did not give out fighters to UPT grads, because they had enough in the system. You could have been the best pilot in the world, but got a heavy because that was what the AF was giving out at the moment.

    Great to have the dream, but don't go to the AFA because all you want to be is an F-35 pilot. The chances of that dream coming true are less likely than getting into the AFA.

    Go to the AFA because you want the AFA, and all it has to offer. Go because you want to wear the blues. You will always be an officer first and a flier second.

    When you graduate from there and go to UPT, do you know what the IPs call the AFA grad compared to the ROTC grad? LT.
    They do not give a rats butt if you were an AFA grad or a ROTC grad. They care about how you handle the stick.

    cgchris,

    You are new to the boards, so here is a real life story.

    Bullet graduated number 2 at UNT, DG at LIFT (that is out of both pilots and WSOs), DG at FTU (again both pilots and WSO's).

    He was a ROTC grad, His crew mate at FTU, a pilot, was forced to meet an FEB (Flight Evaluation Board) and had his wings taken away.

    He was an AFA grad.

    Just getting into the AFA should be your goal right now. You should never take the leap that the AFA = a higher chance of getting fighters.

    Jeannie Flynn, the 1st female fighter pilot was not a AFA grad, she was ROTC.
     
  9. cgchris99

    cgchris99 Member

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    Thanks all for the info. Your right his first goal is just to get in, second goal is aeronautical engineering and pilot spot if it works out that way.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am glad that you realize there are a lot of steps that must occur before the 35 is even a player in the equation.
     
  11. aglages

    aglages Parent

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  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    He waS A SPAMMER!

    His goal was to sell a product and financially gain off of preying on people.

    He had no insight to how to get a fighter slot.

    How do you get a Fighter out of UPT?

    1. STUDY...STUDY...STUDY!

    ~~~ Bullet at FTU spent Sundays hitting the books.

    ~~~ Handling the stick is one thing, knowing the check list is another!


    2. TIMING!

    ~~~ You can be the best pilot they have seen in 50 yrs, but if no 35's are on the list, than you will not get a 35.
     
  13. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Yes I know. :wink: There is no substitute for hard work and good timing (luck).
     
  14. Bundy

    Bundy Member

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    I had lunch with our son's ALO this summer and I asked him about the UAS situation and its future in the air force. He works on the F136 engine program for Rolls-Royce - the alternative engine for the F35 they're developing in partnership with GE.

    He told me what a lot of people don't realize about UAS missions is that they require substantially more support than a manned mission. I believe he said that there are approximately 200 people supporting a typical UAS mission vs. about a tenth of that for a manned mission. Because of this, it was his opinion that the transition to all unmanned planes will be much slower than many people are predicting.
     
  15. eagle36

    eagle36 USAFA Alumnus

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    hold out another 3 or so years until i complete UPT please! lol. then again maybe the separate UAS track will be established be then since some 2011ers got that as their AFSC...
     
  16. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Or, the USAF will catch-up to the other services and also allow enlisted airmen (a much larger pool) to fly them, perhaps speeding up the transition?

    "Currently, the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps all use enlisted personnel to fly some UAVs. Yet the Air Force insists on maintaining antiquated requirements that all pilots -- including of UAVs -- be officers."​

    Cutting the Pentagon budget: Get rid of officer pilots, let enlisted fly drones

    :cool:
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The Army also has more WO's.

    I am not saying I disagree with your premise, but we also need to look at the structure of each branch.

    Maybe for UAs the AF should bring back WO's like the Army and use them in this capacity.

    Bundy is correct, people seem to forget that when you work internally on a program you have much more insight than what the DoD releases to the media.

    As I stated before, the military is not known for delivering early or on time their next gen. The 35 is no different.

    The Strike, the 22, and the 35 will be on line while these cadets will be handing in their retirement papers, and then some more yrs to boot! Heck, the A-10 is still in our inventory all though yrs ago (after Desert Storm) the media said they were DOA. That was 20 yrs ago.
     

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