Tuesday, March 2, 2010

This can only get Worse

As if things can't get any worse for the F-35 this comes out.

This can only get uglier as time goes along. I worked on a Lockheed aircraft for a very long time. 5 years at the Organizational level hands on in an actual S-3 Viking squadron. Cannibalism was a real problem for us and not just my specialty (I was an AX which is an Avionics Technician specialized in Anti-Submarine Warfare equipment), it was pretty much in every major aircraft category except for the Engines. We had the most reliable engine in the fleet, we actually went 11 months before we had to do our first engine change (FOD damage from one of them leather bomber jackets the flight crew like to wear). In my shop we cannibalized so much that we actually had rubber stamps that we used on our paper work because we cut so many Maintenance Action Forms (MAF's) that were the simple Remove from one aircraft to install in another OR the Install when received to cover the hole in the jet from actually taking the part out of the Hanger Queen. It was huge business for us.

But all of our trials game to us once we deployed to the boat. Which you can kind of understand, you know far away from home and all those extra guys in the Intermediate maintenance shops or that huge supply depot to draw from.

"Lockheed was "cannibalizing" parts from fuselages being built by Northrop to repair aircraft on the assembly line and in preflight testing."

This is a whole new world of hurt when the OEM is stealing parts during manufacturing to fill holes. I can just imagine what it will be like when they hit the fleet and then go off on deployment. Better take plenty of jets with them and maybe even park a few along the projected path of the ships intended movement, you know to back fill when needed. I wonder if they could pack one in one of them connex boxes and just ship them ahead!

Exciting times ahead for the Navy when they field this new Lockheed machine. I hope it is as successful as my ole war horse; the War Hoover was great after we worked out the kinks and the Navy de-scoped 60% of the electronic mission.

Thanks to: Alert 5

BT: Jimmy T sends.


Buck said...

I might put up some F-35 related stuff today... or I might not. USAF announced a two-year delay in IOC yesterday (now CY 2015, as reported in AFA's Daily Report) but I haven't followed up and "read the whole thing."

The shut-down of the F-22 line is looking dumber and dumber. And dangerous.

JimmyT said...

Buck, Re. F-22, there is some good and a lot of bad there. I think they took the "saved" money and put it into the money hole that is now the F-35. Good for Lockheed-Martin but well, let’s just say it sucks to be a taxpayer.

Things are far worse in the F-35 arena than is publicly realized, to give you some scale here is a quote from an investigative journalist working for Aviation Week (Bill Sweetman) regarding all that he has found on the problems on F-35: “Remember this distinction: The Donner Party was on track. They were not on schedule.”

Does not bode well for the F-35 program.

BT: Jimmy T sends.