Well, this is embarrassing.
Archived posts from category ‘Stealth’
It’s either one of the biggest aviation news scoops in the last decade, or the latest in Hollywood fakery. Today ace aviation reporter David Cenciotti circulated the above photo, apparently depicting a stealth helicopter similar to those used by the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command in the May 2011 that killed Osama Bin Laden in his Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound. The photo originally appeared with little notation on Photobucket.
One hundred and eighty-five. That’s it. That’s the most Lockheed F-22 Raptor stealth fighters the U.S. Air Force will ever possess after production ended earlier this year. The Air Force actually procured 195 F-22s starting in the mid-1990s, but eight were test models and two operational models have crashed (as has one of the test airframes).
Some commenters claim the Red Flag exercise is not indicative of the way the F-22 would fight in the real world. In an actual shooting war, an F-22′s opponent “won’t make it to visual range,” one reader asserted. The stealthy Raptor would allow it to sneak up high and fast and kill the enemy from long range using an AMRAAM missile, commenters insist.
The fast, stealthy F-22 Raptor is “unquestionably” the best air-to-air fighter in the arsenal of the world’s leading air force. That’s what outgoing Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz wrote in 2009.
A New Chinese Stealth Fighter?
Chinese warplane developers will surprise you. Just a few months ago, a Hong Kong magazine appeared to prove that the rumored Chinese J-16 stealth fighter was not a stealth fighter at all, rather a slightly-tweaked, and non-stealthy, Chinese copy of a Russian Sukhoi jet. But now photos are circulating of a partially assembled Chinese warplane that could be a version of the L-15 trainer … or it could be the rumored J-21 stealth fighter. If the latter, it would be China’s second stealth warplane, after the J-20 that debuted two years ago.
China has a brand-new jet fighter. Only it’s not really brand-new at all. The emergence of the much-touted Shenyang J-16, following years of speculation, represents a surprising twist in China’s more than decade-long effort to build a world-class air force — and a reminder to outsiders that even Beijing with its tight central control, extensive manufacturing base and apparent deep pockets cannot perform aerospace miracles.
The Air Force’s F-22 Raptor stealth fighters poison or suffocate their pilots nearly 27 times per 100,000 flight hours — a rate at least nine times higher than other fighters and far worse than anyone outside of the military previously realized. That shocking revelation comes from two lawmakers, Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who have been aggressively pursuing the cases of Air Force pilots that are getting choked on the job.
The second copy of China’s stealth fighter prototype has just flown at a research facility in the city of Chengdu. The first flight of the J-20 Mighty Dragon with the nose number 2002 doubles Beijing’s stealth test fleet at a time when America’s latest jet fighters are hobbled by cost overruns, labor disputes and lethal design flaws. But it’s far from certain how much, and how fast, the new Chinese jet will alter the military balance.
The Air Force is continuing disciplinary action against one of the Air Force pilots who refused to fly the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter because the pricey jet’s faulty oxygen system was steadily poisoning him. Capt. Josh Wilson, from the Virginia Air National Guard, has been granted whistleblower protection under federal law — a status the Air Force has publicly acknowledged. But that hasn’t stopped the flying branch from beginning a process that may very well threaten to end the pilot’s career.
The U.S. military is already investing tens of billions of dollars to make its jet fighters less visible to radars and infrared sensors. Now the Pentagon wants the defense industry to come up with a system that can cloak fighters from another telltale type of radiation: ultra-violet energy from the sun.