More than half of the US Navy's aircraft can't fly because there isn't enough money to fix them, Defence News reports. Aircraft maintenance might not sound as impressive as a ton of pointless new ships, but there it is.
Tagged With fighter jets
On Tuesday, the US Department of Defence published video of fighter jets releasing a swarm of Perdrix drones during a military exercise in October. The entire operation likely cost millions of dollars, but hilariously resembles a couple of giant metal birds pooping a flock of screaming, tiny birds mid-flight.
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.
Video: Yowza. Watch this Sukhoi Su-27 make the lowest of low passes at an air base in Ukraine. Like, it flies so impossibly close to the ground that you can see a guy duck and essentially get blown over as the fighter jet flies above his head. The video shows the entire insane approach: The jet flies a few metres over the runway before it peels left and screams right on top of the guy before picking up air again over the cameraman. Bananas.
Video: The Libyan Air Force sure loves pulling wild stunts from inside its MiG fighter jets. This time we get to see the perspective of an insane low pass — and the plane flies so low that you'd think it was trying to land and touch down on the ground — from inside the cockpit. It's a crazy new angle to the madness of flybys like these.
Video: It's always fun to melt your brain from what looks like the laws of physics breaking. Therefore, it's always fun to see a pilot pour water up into a cup while upside down in a fighter jet. It's something we've seen plenty before, but this view is especially cool. You get to see the entire process happen so clearly: The pilot pours the water while the plane twists around, the pilot drinks the water while it flips around and then he holds the cup of water out for good measure and doesn't miss a single drop as the plane goes upside down.
Let me get this out of the way: the trillion dollar US F-35 fighter jet program is an embarrassing mess. But it's hard not to marvel at the very expensive technology's promises. This conflict squeezed my brain this week, when the Air Force stopped by Gizmodo's US office with a $US400,000 ($554,212) F-35 helmet in hand. They even let me wear it.
Now, more than $US1 trillion into its development, the F-35 aircraft is experiencing glitches with its radar systems. US Air Force major general Jeffrey Harrigian explained the problem in an IHS Jane report: "What would happen is they'd get a signal that says either a radar degrade or a radar fail — something that would force us to restart the radar."
A submission to a Senate inquiry into the feasibility of Government's planned purchase of at least 72 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets says that the multirole planes will be instantly outmatched in air superiority by the airborne wings of competing countries in the region like China and Indonesia, and will fare even worse against future threats. It suggests — hypothetically — that Australia instead push for the F-22 Raptor, a jet that the United States has never sold to even its closest military allies.
Video: Each F/A-18 Super Hornet carries a sticker price of about 60 million dollars and requires a whole lot of work to put together. This fun time lapse video shows the entire building process of the first Australian F/A-18, and you can see where a lot of that money goes. To transform scraps of metal into a flying war machine will always be an impressive feat of engineering (and will always be cool to see).
Image Cache: This here is one helluva shot. The F-16 looks suspended in space and time, perfectly perpendicular to the ground and the horizon while shooting straight up to all that is holy. The vertical pose reveals the weaponry on its underside and the super slick manoeuvre shows just how incredible these aeroplanes are. Great, great photo.
Video: Wow, this is beyond incredible. Here's footage of an F-16 launching itself 15,000ft (4572m) into the air in less than 45 seconds. It's basically a vertical straight shot and you get to see how high — the fighter jet looks like its suspended in air for a moment there — the aeroplane goes and how small the rest of the world looks in what is essentially the aircraft's rear view. It gets so high that you half expect it to like, fall back to Earth.
Video: It's good to be rich. Because when you're rich you can easily justify the $US18,000 necessary to rent — yes, rent — a MiG-29 fighter jet that will take you on the flight of your life to the edge of space. You fly above the clouds in the stratosphere at 70,000 feet (21,300m) in the air, you reach supersonic speeds, you hit 9Gs, and you get to experience weightlessness. The best part though? You get to take control of the MiG-29 too. This is probably the best experience money can buy.