Donald Trump Now Asking For Impossible Magic Fantasy Jet

President-elect Donald Trump is tweeting again, and once more he's tweeting about the F-35 fighter jet. Last week, he said the F-35 program costs have gone "out of control," and he was right, sort of. Except now his proposed solution appears to be a physically impossible fantasy plane. God help us.

Photo credit: U.S. Navy

Specifically, he's asking for an F/A-18 Super Hornet with "comparable" capabilities to the F-35:

I am so genuinely curious as to what Boeing's reaction was what they received this request, because it's just blatantly impossible.

One of the reasons the F-35 is so expensive is because the variant built for the United States Marine Corps, the F-35B, is capable of hovering, along with the ability to take off and land vertically like a helicopter. To make an F/A-18 do that, you'd have to somehow find the space for a whole bunch of venting and plumbing and additional computer systems. Plus you'd probably have to find the space for a cool-air lift fan, like the F-35B has, to avoid melting every single runway and ship deck the thing has the misfortune to come across. So you'd have to design an entirely new plane.

But let's ignore the vertical jumping version for a second.

The very shape of the F-35, not to mention the materials it's made out of, make it nearly invisible to radar. The F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, with a shape inspired by its F/A-18 C/D Hornet predecessor, is not nearly invisible to radar. It has some radar-reducing measures, sure, but it's not the same thing. To make it do so, you would have to change the shape of the plane entirely. Which would make it not an F/A-18. It would make it something else.

It would make it an entirely new plane.

An entirely new plane from the ground up.

An entirely new and costly weapons system.

Not an F/A-18.

The F-35 program is a complete nightmare, and Donald Trump somehow managed to imagine something even worse.

What is happening. What. I just. I don't.


UPDATE: As we've noted before, Boeing apparently did make some sort of prototype stealth-ier F/A-18 Super Hornet at one point, but it appears not to have been good enough to keep it out of the scrap heap. When we first saw it, we guessed that it wouldn't be for much of anything than possibly a surveillance plane, as one of the main stealth features of the F-35 is its internal weapons bay, which hides missiles and bombs from enemy radar. That would still be an issue for the stealth-ish Super Hornet variant, and wouldn't really make it "comparable" to the F-35, as the F-35 needs to be able to dart in past enemy radar and attack ground targets. And it still wouldn't take off or land vertically.

Also, it doesn't appear to have any wings. They could probably find some, somewhere.

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    Why don't they just use the F22? It's stealthy fast maneuverable and already in the air. The F35 is a bloody nightmare and I wouldn't get in one if you paid me.

      The F22 is perfect for old Soviet jokes. Sure some pilots died, but that's because they couldn't hold their breath long enough like good patriots.

      If Boeing need to go "back to the drawing board" they could always break out the X32

      F22 is a fighter. It has nil bomb capacity.

      F-22 is not able to land or take of from a Carrier, they're even more expensive per aircraft than the F-35 and they don't have the ability to launch weapons against ground targets.

    so really what you're saying is the f35 is a physically impossible fantasy plane already. We know that.

      No, what is being said is making the F-18 with the same capabilities as the F-35 is physically impossible fantasy from Donald Trumps brain.

        This article comes across as an anti Trump rant designed to make him look stupid. He clearly not stupid and would have had excellent advice.

        President Trump is doing an "art of the deal". He is letting Lockheed Martin and anyone that works on the F-35 program know that they better improve their performance on F-35: they do not have an unlimited supply of money. Cancellation is not unthinkable. He is creating competition through an improved F-18 Superhornet. Not the same capability but much cheaper so you can have more and likely produce a better pure stealth fighter in the future or just use drones for the stealthy stuff and Mach 10 scramjet powered missiles.

        The F-35 is a US national tragedy, the vast sums of money that have gone into it have sucked money out of not only the US defence but the US economy making it less commercially less competitive. The idea that an all purpose aircraft could be built without competition from another manufacturer clearly doesn't work. Dumb idea.

        Yes, there are plenty of great ideas in it. That's what they are, ideas.

        Obviously F-18 doesn't have an internal weapons bay to hide missiles but Boeing could improve the avionics, maybe fit conformal packs to carry weapons in a stealthy mode and improve the 'stealth' the way McDonald Douglass once did with the F-15.

        Production of the F-22 has been shut down, expensive to restart, but just ongoing production and upgrades to this basic airframe sound like a good idea to me.

          Soon to be inmate Trump is selling America to the highest bidder. At the moment, the highest bidder is the Soviet Union.

          That's not how things work.

          Want a jet? Write a URS. Send it to vendors. Get quotes. Time lines, feasibility studies etc. Impose fines for late delivery.

          Don't say "I want my apple to be an improvement on an orange" as that's ridiculous.

    Howard Hughes was scoffed at, too, for envisioning the Hercules.

    The F22 really isnt more advanced then the F35 as far as smarter and more stealthy...however the F22 is much more agile. These are different planes and do different things.

    Well that will be the next generation of Harrier that's been sitting in the wings the last few decades...

    Can't wait for Trump to scrap NASAs work on the SLS and requisition all the museum pieces for the Interplanetary Shuttle retrofit.

    So, this isn't going to be a popular comment, but:

    If you honestly research the F35, I think you'll conclude that it's a powerful and cost-effective aircraft.

      Fabulous tech in the F-35, like that virtual reality helmet that lets the pilot see down below between his legs. I really love it. Unfortunately F-35 is another 7 years late forcing an extension of the F-18 service life and forcing the funding of upgrades on old airframes as well as (likely) production of new improved variants. Maybe the F-35 is like the laser canons in Star Wars. No way were they going to be manually aimed but its fun to think of it happening.

      I question whether a stealthy strike aircraft is even an effective solution in 7 years. If you need a stealthy attack platform then drones, which are smaller, could provide that capability. In seven years an unmanned uber car will look more capable than an F-35!

      Trump is clearly not interested in fighting a war with Russia or whomever villain the globalists have selected. Trump is passionate about business and making the American economy and people great again.

        I do share your concern about likely stealth obsolescence.
        I think even more concerning (for the F35) is the likely rise of drone dominance.

        But before the endgame, the gods hath placed the middle-game.
        (That's a chess quote, I'm not a loony end-timer.)

        Today, stealth works, and drones are slow, and advanced information sharing is a force multiplier. Things which matter now, matter, now.

        Last edited 07/03/17 8:26 am

          Drones dovetail in too the F-35 strategy.
          x number of Drones + a single F35 is the future of aerial warfare.
          Its all about reducing the kill chain in a high threat environment.

    stealth is a con unless you are trying to bomb thrid world countries, china and russia are already able to track the f22 and f35.

      Now that sort of statement requires some reference as it can be interpreted so many ways.

      The relevant question is not 'can you track the F35?'.
      The question is 'can you track the F35 in time to prevent it spoiling your day?'.

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