Defenc(s)e analysis frommy corner ofthe Internet.
You gotta love that F-35B. It makes work for the (vibro/flutter/fatigue) workin' man. If you are interested in solving hard to fathom problems, and need some training under extreme pressure, that's the place.
The -B is almost up to the limit right now with only around 200 pounds to spare, you know (at least us that aren't drinking the Kool aid) that you will have to increase thrust in the future...The big problem down the road is if you need to redesign so much of the system needed to make the -B version viable NOW, what happens in a few years when you have to increase thrust to bring back margins? Redesign everything like the doors, actuators, inlet,etc and retest everything? I was reading some comments on it might be harder to increase thrust/balance with JSF than Harrier because of the engine/lift fan compared to the Pegasus set up.
There's an obvious remedy for the Bee's weight issue, but because it isn't a technological one that would put more money into the pockets of shareholders, neither Lockmart, nor their trained seals at the Lex Institute have deigned to mention it - The recruitment of midge... Oops, I mean,'Little People'... as F-35B aviators.Not only would the allowable weight margin be significantly increased thanks to the low weight of the Little People themselves, there are also substantial weight reductions that would ensue from the reduced size and weight of the Little People-scaled kochpit controls and ejection seats. All told, you'd probably be able to add another 200-400 lbs to the weight margin. I can see the new USMC recruiting poster now - "We're looking for a few good really itty-bitty men!"...
Trying to really understand why the Marine corp doesn't envision an A10-like aircraft for it's Gator carriers. A STOBAR, armoured aircraft that can loiter for long periods, with a big gun for close air support. The more details that come out on the B scenario the more ridiculous is looks. Poor weight margins, less range, potentially high hourly operating rate, it all goes against the idea of a simple, cost effective, easy to operate machine that can be over the battlefield for long periods.
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