As I posted earlier, Lockheed Martin's CF-35 "webinar" (web seminar) was today. I was able to take part in my own limited way, and I'm happy to say that two of my countless questions made it through and were answered.
I will post a link to the "webinar" as soon as Lockheed makes it available. They assured everyone taking part that it will be available for download and to share.
I will post a more detailed analysis once I've been able to go over the entire presentation, but, in the meantime, here are some initial impressions:
- The F-35's stealth is really being trumpeted as a "game changer". Lockheed claims that traditional tactics are now obsolete, and that the F-35 will be akin to a ninja in the skies, striking its enemies with impunity from the shadows. I'm not so sure.
- There seems to be some confusion as to what entails a "combat load". The F-35 with its 4 internal weapons (4500lbs) is often compared to other fighters with fully loaded pylons (15,000+lbs).
- "Stealth. Sensor Fusion. Next Generation."
- The F-35 sounds like it will be a very impressive aircraft against ground based targets.
- The F-35 pilot will be reduced to operating the sensors and weapons systems. The plane nearly flies itself. This makes me wonder why a pilot is needed at all.
- For some reason, Lockheed test pilot Billy Flynn believes that stealth is needed to patrol the arctic safely. Better not tell that to the CP-140 Aurora crews that currently responsible for that.
- The F-35 is "top priority" and should be safe from any sequestration related U.S. budget cuts.
- "Every myth about the F-35 has some basis in fact." -Stephen O'Bryan, Vice-President in charge of the F-35 program.
- "Cold weather testing is scheduled for 2014."
More to come.