Feeds

First ever supersonic stealth jumpjet starts hover tests at last

Will Harrier heir survive Byzantine aero politics?

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

The F-35 might be no good - but aerospace people would still hate it even if was brilliant

The F-35B doors open from the side. Credit: JSF Program

The fliptop lid covers the lift-fan shaft. The dorsal doors let more air into the engine for hover ops.

This is in part because the engine originally fitted had to be replaced with a modified one following bench-testing failures. There have been other delays, perhaps not surprising when one reflects that this is not just the world's first supersonic jumpjet but the first supersonic stealth jumpjet to boot. Now, however, the Forth Worth Star-Telegram reports that BF-1 has finally arrived at the US Navy's Patuxent River test field in Maryland, where the next month or so should see it flying slower and slower until it is actually hovering in mid-air.

These will be tense days for both F-35 engineers and for many observers. The whole F-35 programme - A, B and C models - has faced a barrage of criticism in the aerospace world, generally on the ostensible grounds that the jet isn't going to be good enough to tackle possible future Chinese and/or Russian planes. This school of thought holds that the Obama administration should have bought more expensive Raptor superbirds and fewer "affordably stealthy" F-35s.

It's possible to note, however, that such a plan would have been excellent news for the Western aerospace sector for business reasons. A smaller US buy of F-35s would drive up its price and so undermine the plane's likely dominance of the world fighter export market in coming years. This would be excellent news for the makers of the Super Hornet, the Eurofighter, the Gripen and the Rafale - thus for just about all the first-rank Western aerospace companies and anyone who makes their living from them - and still pretty good news for Lockheed, as they make the Raptor too.

The fact that the F-35 seems likely to put a lot of its rivals out of business in coming years, then, might account for as much of the criticism it gets as any genuine fear of Chinese or Russian air dominance in future.

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS
Clippy: It looks your hands are shaking, are you sure you want to commit this code?
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.