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George V

What I remember of the F-16 (and the F-15 as well) is that they were designed and delivered pretty much on time and within budget. Certainly they were not years late and way over budget. I graduated from college and was commissioned in 1974 and so these planes were watched by us Navy guys as they would belong to those who would not be named.

Where did we lose the management capability in the past 20 years to deliver an airframe within budget? I understand there are new technologies in the F-35 but I can't believe it's enough to cause all the overruns and delays.

George V.

George V

Oops - correct previous post - Where did we lose management capability over the last 40 years...


Very simple, George. It's the difference between evolutionary vs. revolutionary.

Both the -15 and the -16 had new tech, but it was new tech that had been allowed to mature for a while during R&D, like fly by wire. One of the other differences was that the Air Force wanted simple air superiority planes to start with, although the planned day only, fair weather only design would be terribly limited.

One of the several problems of the F-35 program is that the DoD tried to force a "one size fits all" solution on the various branches, ignoring the historical lesson of the F-111 project.

Add to that the nearly-irresistible attraction of adding doodads on, and changes of mind by the buyer, it's no surprise the F-35 is running behind.

I'll also note that the F-14 had issues in development, and the early F-16 was at one point limited to "dead stick" landing distances from base until the engine problems were cleared up.

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