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October 27, 2011 12:56 PM Subscribe
The Sad Odyssey of the F-22: America’s Big Broken Toy [SLGM].
posted by VikingSword (72 comments total)
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'The F-22 has been okayed to fly again, after being grounded, cleared, grounded, then cleared once more—all within a year. And yet, the Air Force hasn't fixed the plane's life threatening flaw. It doesn't seem like it cares.'
'It was plagued from the start. A year after the USAF and Pentagon high-fived over the super billion dollar plan, the first and only F-22 crashed and exploded due to a computer guidance glitch.' ' It's not just the oxygen supply problems of recent months. After formally entering service in 2005, the plane has proven to be a mechanical' nightmare.
'It flies exercises, rather than fighting. In May, Wired's David Axe summed up the plane's material woes:
Last year, rust problems briefly grounded most of the F-22 force. A whole squadron of Raptors had to turn back from a planned flight from Virginia to Japan in 2007 when their navigational systems went haywire as the planes crossed the International Date Line. In 2006, an F-22 pilot was stuck in his plane on the ground for five hours because the canopy wouldn't open
'Mixed in to all of this, of course, is the aforementioned oxygen problem, which has caused hypoxia-like symptoms—pilots can't breathe. This might have already killed one pilot in a crash last year, and poses a threat to literally every single plane, every single time it's in the sky. The Pentagon's taken a wait and see approach with the F-22's oxygen defect—but what more needs to be seen? Repeated groundings have yielded no fix at all, and after each embarrassment, the Air Force simply says it'll take precautions and collect data, to no end.'