Aviation Week & Space Technology

Podcast: From F-16 To F-35: A Test Pilot's View

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Pentagon Editor Lara Seligman interviews Lockheed Martin test pilot Billie Flynn, the man that flew the F-35's premiere aerobatic performance at the Paris Air Show this summer, about what it's like to flight test both the F-16 and the Joint Strike Fighter. In this episode, Flynn discusses his decades of experience testing cutting-edge aviation technology, including his work on development of thrust vectoring on the F-16 and the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System, as well as what's next for the F-35.

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Discuss this Video 42

on Aug 23, 2017

Of course, propagande bs. we saw in Bourget, slow, unstable, inefficient, just laughable, F16 will more efficient, that is reality, bring the F22 next time for the show, not the crappy J.S.Fail

on Aug 23, 2017

Of course you haven't got a clue what you are talking about, slow in learning, unstable in mind, inefficient at work. F-16 will be more dead, that is reality.
Fail.

on Aug 23, 2017

@Viper550 Of course he doesn't. He is just a putinbot.

on Aug 23, 2017

[Comment removed by staff.]

on Aug 24, 2017

"Of course, propagande bs. we saw in Bourget,", I agree they forgot to add the multicolored smoke, and wingwalkers!; total BS!
:)

on Aug 23, 2017

time does not wait for any body we are moving on F35 F22 and the next generation fighter

JP7
on Aug 23, 2017

Now let's hear from all the forum experts who've flown their chairs or once rode in or flew a Cessna as to why he's a shill, crazy, blah blah moan, whine.

on Aug 23, 2017

From an armchair pilot, Norway:
Paris Airshow video did not exactly stir up expectations over here, no. How come?
Our new symbol of power, yet to arrive and everything (we still hope ...) ??
Possible reason, most Norwegians are familiar with our excellent F16's, seen combat action in Libya etc...and a few celebrities here as passengers in F16 trainers, spectacular videos on national TV. Then sorry, the F35 underwhelming, can't help, a nation of 'armchairers' ...-but also a few real pilots, silence ...

on Aug 23, 2017

All excellent reasons not to upgrade. With that rationale, why did you get rid of your F5s?

on Aug 23, 2017

If the sole reason not to upgrade is that the single seat F-35 can't take up a few celebrities on demo flights, then perhaps the evaluation process needs to be changed. ; )

on Aug 23, 2017

They do not play. the ad blockers are off.
What do I do to operate. I believe they worked in the past.
AJS

on Aug 23, 2017

Maybe call your local tech support instead of posting a comment?

on Aug 23, 2017

As part of an integrated weapons system, the F35 is incredibly deadly. Proven.

on Aug 23, 2017

Proven?
Tell us all exactly what combat action the Wundercraft has seen.
Here's a hint: the answer looks very much like a doughnut.

on Aug 25, 2017

Yes, I recall hearing that exact same argument about the B-1b, F-18, F-117, B-2, etc.

It is true that an aircraft has no combat record before it sees combat. You are obviously very perceptive.

on Aug 27, 2017

Proven is a little premature, the truth is we won't know how well they perform until they meet peer level adversaries. My best estimate is that the F-35 will do its job very well. The folks flying it wouldn't lie to us completely. It does have some real weaknesses. It cannot replace the A-10 like a lot of people claim. It cannot replace the F-22 or even older F-15s. It's probably a pretty good replacement of the F-16 for 90% of what the F-16 is used for. Here is what is truly bad about the F-35. It is and has been so ridiculously expensive that it has taken all of the money that should have been available to develop other systems that are needed.

on Aug 30, 2017

Peer level adversaries like Red Flag aggressor F-15Cs and F-16Cs flying in home-turf sorties that stack the deck against Blue Air?

on Aug 23, 2017

You gotta love Billie's accent. It's abboouuut perfect :-)

on Aug 23, 2017

I wouldn't want to be in an unfriendly F16 60 miles away from an F35.I wouldn't wan't to be in a four plane of unfriendly F16s 60 miles away against a single F35. Airshows do not demonstrate the aircraft's tactical ability.

on Aug 23, 2017

Debriefing Atlantic Trident 2017, the French Air Force Chief said that the F35 demonstrated its capabilities as being an impressive player while entering first and engaging extremely well defended area, while providing French Rafale or US F15 strike fighters with massive informations from its sensors, and with its huge networking capabilities . Wether an F16, an F15, or F18 would certainly defeat the F35 in air combat is not the subject...

on Aug 23, 2017

...Lockheed Martin test pilot....

on Aug 23, 2017

Bingo

on Aug 23, 2017

LM Shill.

on Aug 27, 2017

Who spent 5 years as a F-16 test pilot, has thousands of hours in F-18's and Typhoons... your qualifications??? Yeah, thought so.

on Aug 23, 2017

Money has already been spent. Will the F-35 be a crap aircraft that morphs into a star? We'll see.

on Aug 23, 2017

Lockheed Martin struggles to stay relevant. The F-16 is basiacllly out of production, Lockheed is trying to sell the F-16 to our countries enemies to make a buck, and the F-35, all hype and no thrust. Sinlge engine failure. Actually the F-35 is a huge single point failure for the US. Like the motto states, Lockheed knows who they are working for, "themselves".

on Aug 23, 2017

Always wondered why MIG's & SU's never get a 'read' here. Now I know...
Gonna have to pull out my old '60's-70's AVWeeks and look...

on Aug 23, 2017

The audio quality of AVWeek podcasts makes it very difficult to listen to. The room, the microphones...I don't know what the problem is. It sounds like you are in a closet and the microphone is on the other side of the door! Spoken words are so muffled I can't understand what they are saying.

on Aug 24, 2017

Came here to say exactly the same thing. I would listen to these if the audio quality were better - it sounds like you've just recorded a Skype interview from a third computer with a bad connection. Even the podcast introduction is echoey. Please invest in a couple of decent microphones!

on Aug 23, 2017

War is also about "luck". If the F35 gets within visual range, it's dead meat and if it does not.....it survives with its stealth and advanced software. That's it !

Rob
on Aug 23, 2017

An informative piece regarding the F35. Interesting comments about the difficulty of genuine sensor fusion, thrust vectoring and flight safety. Cheers.

on Aug 23, 2017

Planet Earth calling devoted F-35 haters.

The game is over. The F-35 is an extremely sophisticated ground attack aircraft. During the years where it will have significant stealth and F-22 protection it will be effective.

Then it will become some stealthy drone equipped enemies very expensive kill.

Meanwhile we are stuck with it. As it will very probably be the last manned fighter aircraft the USAF ever has, expect to see many worshipful ads (articles) over the next 50-60 years or until it is rendered dead meat and all are shot down.

That the USAF may have produced a Wunderwaffen, or a strategic casualty of astounding proportions remains for the test of reality.

Learn new opponents. Think how much each B-21 will cost. Think how much shall be wasted on a new fighter design. These programs may be stopped before the USAF succeeds in soaking up the entire US defense budget on piloted anachronisms.

When budget pressures caused the British defense establishment to declare the manned aircraft to have no future 60 years ago the technology to make that prediction true did not exist.

It does now and the day when combat aircraft will no longer be manned is upon us. The last nation to waste money on toys for boys will go broke.

on Aug 23, 2017

and now we own the 'Edsel' F-35 ; dang uuugly from the first rendering - still is - I see them landing from time to time at the near by base, have had them at 12 in low level performance from my view - it looks like a plane! Black planes matter? The F-22 same viewing position, a bit scary to watch, appears like it should not be able to do what it's doing and recover from it.. fun - sorta -- after it's recovered, oh wow... it can do that. F-35 same bottaboom battabing, but it ain't no flying tank A-10 and it has a how many thousand million price tag! EACH. Needs so much special fooo fooo with a hot girls price tag and lots of fooo fooo required it seems to me it can't always show up at the fight. Maybe something will come of it - but will it be in time for right now? Don't think so.

on Aug 24, 2017

I have flown Tornado and I can tell that at beginning its operational capabilities were very very limited. After decades air forces are still flying it but with very improved and effective capabilities. Many other 3rd and 4th gen aa/cc have had same experience. I see F-35 as revolutionary, regarding design. technology, development, architecture and so on. Definitely expensive, tax-payers and politicians should also consider it, but I find unfair all bad comments about JSF operational capabilities. Even if old pilots like me like to speak about BFM, dog fights, G's, we have to switch our mind to 5th Gen mind. Nowadays it has no sense to speak about a/c vs a/c, today we think about system capability vs system cabability, and a system is aircraft, network, sensors, C2 and so on. This is not the future, this is the present, we have to live with it, and during a 6 min airshow it is not possible to show it...

on Aug 24, 2017

The F-22 and F-35 will in many cases sneak up onto the enemy and erase some of them, but then there is a difference as the F-22 can supercruise and fight back home and the F-35 can speed away thanks to its Engine and clean outside, the enemy chases the F-35's with supersonic speed with a few missiles hanging onto the wings trying to lock onto the hot end of the target. Having some Typhoons with IRIS-T's at Red Flag chasing escaping F-35's will tell how well it goes unless the USAF put restrictions onto the Typhoons making the chase meaningless.

on Aug 24, 2017

Is it a coincidence that the chief test pilots for jsf and the super hornet are both Canadian?

on Aug 24, 2017

haaretz.com/amp/israel-news/.premium-1.808556

Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel
“[The Americans] embarked on something very ambitious in its (F-35) capabilities. We already see what this plane has. Not everything is perfect. There are things you learn along the way. That’s been the case with every plane we acquired. But when you take off in this plane from Nevatim [base], you can’t believe it. At 5,000 feet, the whole Middle East is there for you in the cockpit. You see things, it’s inconceivable. American pilots who visit us haven’t seen anything like it, because they fly over Arizona or Florida, and here they suddenly see the [entire] Middle East as a combat zone – the threats, the different players, at both close range and long range. Only then do you grasp the enormous potential of this machine. We’re already seeing it with our eyes.”
....yep!, just another LM shill!
:)

on Aug 24, 2017

B.F. mentions the developments of both the F-16 and F-35 and in that vein, the delivery block software "3F" is coming off the F-35 production line this month "Aug 2017" to Luke AFB.
:)

on Aug 25, 2017

My problem with the F35 is COST ! I'm an armchair aerospace engineer but I try to gain as much knowledge before commenting. I believe the F-35 is a great airplane if you take away the cost of it. Unfortunately, nothing is free and we can't stop funding it and we can't go back in time. There should be an investigation into the whole program though.

on Aug 25, 2017

The F-35's flyaway cost -- the only cost that matters now -- is already competitive with the F-18E/F and the average cost will be fairly low after we have procured the 2500 that will eventually be purchased.

The F-35 is a very costly program mostly because we are building so many of them because they will be the backbone of many air forces for the next 30 years.

on Sep 1, 2017

The main problem with the F-35, aside from its' tremendous cost, is that it should have been called Tha A-35, not the F-35.

on Sep 2, 2017

To all the F-35 naysayers and F-35 believers, the "PROOF" of the F-35 performance will be evident when it is in an actual combat situation against an enemy power utilizing its best Fighter.

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