Both of the above are the pride of long-outdated technology; both are full of the exact same substance, by design. But unlike the mongers of the upper item, 19th century ceramicists of the caliber of Wedgewood would have never, in their wildest dreams, designed their wares so that the user of the lower item had to sit inside it. That attempted "improvement" has been solely the province of Lockheed-Martin, purveyors of a hoary line of solidly awful and craptastic designs since pretty much ever, after they got past the ubiquitous C-130 and the SR-71.
From Cold Fury today:
This is the U.S.’s Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the next generation of American fighter jets. It has been in development since 1992. All told the program is slated to cost upwards of a trillion dollars.
It’s also supposed to be a single plane shared between the Marines, Air Force, and Navy. This is where the problems start.
And it is one of the most colossal pieces of shit ever created.The F-35 Thunderjug (named as it ought to be, after the once-ubiquitous underbed depository of nightsoil, whose lineage to the F-35 is a direct line) is a testimony to the ghost of Robert MacNamara, the last genius who foisted such a colossal piece of offal on the DoD and the American people, his crowning gold-plated turdnugget being the FB-111, an imaginarily “joint” fighter bomber so horrid it was too heavy to land and take off from the carriers it was supposed to grace, and was sh*tcanned by SecNav and CNO, back when admirals and service chiefs still had a pair. So instead, both the F-4 and A-6 soldiered on until the F-14 and F-18 took over.
The supposed advantages of the F-35 are illusory, the compromises to produce an AF, Navy, and Marine aircraft are legion, and the best thing SecDef Mattis and Trump could do to cement the renaissance of the US military is to kill the entire boondoggle, tie it around the necks of the Obozo, Clinton, and Bush (both of them) administrations, and start all over with appropriate aircraft tailored to be world-beating fire breathers for each of those services, in the respective services’ intended roles.
If sub-assemblies, whether one or many, happen to be shared in common, well and good, but the point of an aircraft is to win in the role it is designed for, and you can no more make a Marine expeditionary CAS bird, a Navy carrier-based tactical bomber, and a USAF ground-based bomber the same aircraft than you can take a surface sailor and put him in a USAF air wing or Marine grunt battalion.
They are complementary roles, and similar, but not identical. Sandpaper and toilet paper are both useful items, but hardly interchangeable.
And anyone in charge of the F-35 with service rank should be cashiered from the military, in any grade from O-10 down to W-1, and the entire production team punished and penalized to the legal limits of DoD’s discretion for future work. They have sold out the country for promotions and contracts, and that needs punishing.
Instead of trying to cram everything including the kitchen sink into a mythical all-in-one A-6/A-10/F-14/F-16/F-18 replacement (and also Piper Cub/B-17/C-47/PBY/B-52/Zeppelin replacement, if you read the sales brochures), figure out what made each service’s airframe needing replacement work, and make each of those better, to the limit of 2018 technology, rather than that of 1985. It may be that they can largely share a cockpit, but everything from forward of the stick and behind the pilot’s seat to the tail should probably be hugely different in each version, for 10,000 good, sound aeronautical engineering and tactical reasons. This is why a B-2 doesn’t look anything like a C-17, or an F-22, and all of those are in the same service.
The F-35 isn’t having teething problems; it’s a thalidomide baby. It’s not an actual human fetus, so abort that disaster, with extreme prejudice, and don’t spend another penny on the catastrophe it was always going to be, is, and will always be.
Make the F-35 Thunderjug, the prototypical DoD Turd With Wings, go away forever.
Stop rewarding Lockheed's horrid sub-standard aeronautical engineering and superb ability to bamboozle and bribe their way to contracts, instead of make world-beating aircraft.
Like James Cameron should have done decades ago with the atrocious sequels to Aliens: pretend they were all just a horribly bad dream, and never really happened, and the fans will instantly forgive you. Put first you must have that "come to Jesus" moment, admit the error, and then you have pull the "flush" handle on the prior effort.
After a good advance on a trillion dollars has been utterly wasted, America and her military have been punished enough.