Setting Critics Straight On F-35C Tailhook Issues



Looking at the image above, you may be wondering if I posted the wrong photo. The answer is no. The reason I posted a photo of the X-47B, and more specifically, a photo of the X-47B with its tailhook extended, is because this is closely related to specific F-35C criticism. The peanut gallery has howled loudly over the F-35C tailhook. Journalists and bloggers alike have used the F-35C tailhook deficiency as supposed evidence of incompetence on the part of Lockheed Martin.

Journalists and critics alike often fail to look deeper. As is common, the peanut gallery refuses to let those inconvenient morsels of information, known as facts , to get in the way of the narrative they continue to spew forth in frothing geysers of crap. While critics cry that the tailhook issue on the F-35C is Lockheed’s fault, they would be overlooking a few things. The X-47B, like the F-35C, was plagued by tailhook problems. The source of these problems was not faulty engineering on the part of Lockheed Martin, or Northrop Grumman, but stems from the US Navy.

You may be asking yourself how the Navy could be responsible for these issues. By the Navy’s own admission, inaccurate  wire dynamics models were supplied. In the case of the X-47B, the Navy was forced to commit resources of their own to correct their error. This was after Northrop Grumman was forced to perform multiple redesigns, using inaccurate wire dynamics models supplied by the US Navy. Without accurate wire dynamics models, design of components to trap aboard a carrier are not only difficult, but nearly impossible. Pro tip: if you want your aircraft to be able to trap aboard a carrier reliably, provide the correct information to manufacturers.

To the journalists and bloggers who wailed over the F-35C’s inability to perform an arrested landing, I say shame on you. Its certain that you will never take responsibility for your incorrect claims, and fear-mongering used to push your chosen narrative. I did find your creative theories on tailhook placement  as it relates to fuselage length incredibly entertaining though. Nice try, but no dice. Consider this your education for the day.

~ by arcturus415 on August 14, 2013.

One Response to “Setting Critics Straight On F-35C Tailhook Issues”

  1. By Lockheed’s own admission the tailhook problem could be also attributed to a weak dampener that would keep the hook down when trying to catch the wire

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