Didn’t Expect That!

Didn’t Expect That!

It has been more than a decade of the Canadian fighter procurement fiasco which has shown this nation’s inability to procure a new jet to replace the ones I started flying nearly 40 years ago.

Dinosaur Thinking for Training Hi Tech Pilots

Dinosaur Thinking for Training Hi Tech Pilots

For generations, we have taught humans to fly the same way.  Our pilot training programs were developed in WWII to fill the urgent needs of the air forces where our predecessors churned out as many pilots as possible in the shortest period of time.  Not much about how we train pilots has changed since then.  We are dinosaurs and have followed the same path to instruct young men and women to fly airplanes like our grandfathers, mom and dads and folks like me did.  Yet, pilots are the ultimate early adopters flying state of the art tech…the coolest and best aerospace vehicles that have ever flown.  If so, why have we taken so long adapt how we teach pilots to fly with better tools using newer technologies?

Conformal Fuel Tanks – No Free Lunch

Conformal Fuel Tanks – No Free Lunch

Putting Conformal Fuel Tanks flush mounted along the fuselage, reduces the drag penalty from those external fuel tanks, and increases range and endurance…almost for free it would seem. Except there is no free lunch. Boeing failed to qualify CFTs on the Block 3 Super Hornet which has a major effect on their bid for Canada’s next fighter aircraft.

F-35 War-Gaming – Fear Mongering?

F-35 War-Gaming – Fear Mongering?

I am not trying to shy away from writing but the opportunity to talk on the ‘Fighter Pilot Podcast’ series with Vincent ‘Jell-O’ Aiello was too good to pass up. I love this podcast and the many diverse airplane stories that have been posted. I am always learning something new and as an airplane geek, I love the trivia and often the context that is given to subjects I know little about. I wanted to join Jell-O to fight off the F-35 haters yet again.

F-35 Airshow – Seeing is Believing

F-35 Airshow – Seeing is Believing

The Paris Air Show routine was a transformational performance in front of the world’s most important aviation audience.  It ended more than a decade of doubt and signaled “turning the corner” on the maturity of the F-35 program.  The public’s perception was no longer of a slow, lumbering, non-maneuvering bomber but of an aggressive, super-maneuverable dogfighter. Since then, the United States Air Force has done a superb job of executing the F-35 demo in a longer, more crowd-friendly routine. 

The Canadian F-35 Dilemma – “It’s the Economy, Stupid”

The Canadian F-35 Dilemma – “It’s the Economy, Stupid”

The Canadian fighter competition scoring is purportedly heavily weighted 60% on capability, 20% on cost and 20% on economic benefits to Canada.  However, Canadian military procurement has never been about capability of the hardware for a peace-loving nation.  Instead, politics, geographical considerations and economics have always been the key drivers.  In 1992, one of Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign slogans running against incumbent George HW Bush was “It’s the Economy, Stupid”. 

Stealth Matters

Stealth Matters

5th Gen is not a marketing term. Instead, the technologies found in 5th Generation (Gen) fighters are the product of over $50 Billion in research and development (R&D) during a 20-year period to reach the threshold of a 5th generation capability.