Could RAFALE benefit from F-35 glitches?

 

JSF F-35 Lightning II
F-35 Lightning II

The British Harriers were to be replaced by the F-35Cs. Do you remember? You may have learnt from the recent news that the carrier variant of the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Joint Strike Fighter – CV JSF (Carrier Vessel variant’s Joint Strike Fighter) – F-35C was unable to catch the wire onboard the aircraft carrier during the latest landing tests.

Strange as it may seem, the F-35C’s designers may have not forecast what would unfold during a test flight while landing on an aircraft carrier:

The arresting hook (tailhook) never engaged the arresting wire as the clearance between the tail hook and the main landing gear’s tyre tread is too short for such a speed. An F-35C Lightning II missing her carrier landing has been reported even though some U.S. officials would have dismissed such information which might result from simulated tests.

Added to that is a software bug which had grounded the CV JSF for 6 days a few month earlier for the fifth-generation fighter aircraft might have encountered wing-folding input while flying!

As a result, the British Ministry of Defence might find a Plan-B solution as these design flaws, and some others which date back to November 2011 are deemed unacceptable for such an expensive fighter aircraft – $139.5 million for the F-35C (CATOBAR – Catapult Assisted Take Off But Arrested Recovery), and $150 million for the F-35B (STOVL – Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing). The latter can land on carriers but she is more expensive, and the JSF program costs have already increased several times.

 

Moreover, the JSF would not be able to fire AMRAAM air-to-air missiles as reported in this video:

 

 

RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 - © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/
RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

And there’s even more: according to a Pentagon study team report, 13 areas of concern that remained to be addressed in the F-35 would have been identified. For instance, the Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) would not work properly…

The British MoD is therefore considering the purchase of either F/A-18E Super Hornets or RAFALEs for the RAF. The French Dassault which has already lost the Swiss NAC tender due to replace the Swiss Air Force’s F-5s, would be proposing a new offer with 18 RAFALEs at a cost deemed lower than the 22 SAAB Gripens’ one according to the Swiss press.

The RAFALE is still in competition with the Eurofighter in the Indian MMRCA tender. the Indian officials are expected to make a decision this week. To be continued… ==> We have just learnt (on January 31, 2012) that the RAFALE has won the MMRCA tender… 🙂

 

Photo 1: © Recce 233 Savoie; Photo 2: © Xavier Cotton – http://passiondesavions.blogspot.de/

Rio-Paris AF 447 crash – Incomplete investigation report

Regarding the 2009 Air France Rio-Paris crash, and according to the BEA investigation, it seemed to show a lack of training. But it now seems to be more complicated- it turns up that the elements of the report on the investigation were actually incomplete. This scoop – according to this France24 video – comes from the French paper La Tribune. Several elements would have been taken out of this report, and more importantly an element about a malfunctioning stall alarm:

Airbus unfortunate glitches at Paris Air Show 2011

The Airbus flagship A380 had a winglet clipped off by a building while taxiing or parking:

Moreover, the brand new Airbus A400M military cargo aircraft got an engine failure. The A380 would have flown back to Toulouse so that it can be fixed, and take part to the Paris Air Show again. As far as the A400M is concerned, it is likely to remain grounded unless the engineering team find a solution to repair the gearbox.

Special thanks to Xavier Cotton (http://passiondesavions.blogspot.com/) who passed the video link on.

JAPANESE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT EXPLOSION

Japanese officials have just confirmed a radiation leak at Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant. A radiation level of 1,015 μSv/h (mircrosieverts per hour) has been measured near the plant before the blast. The situation is deemed almost as serious as the Three Mile Island partial reactor meltdown in the 70s, and the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Cesium would have been detected. Therefore, the reactor number one might be having a meltdown.

The U.S. is sending special coolant. Four workers have been injured. The cordoned-off area has been widened to a 20km-radius zone. The roof of the reactor would have collapsed in the aftermath of the explosion. A scram (shutdown) might not be achieved on another reactor because of a glitch in the emergency cooling system.

VIDEO:

Air Traffic Control – Interesting voice communications with scripts

Caution: As far as this video is concerned, it would be well advised not to use some of the phrases heard on its soundtrack during an FCL 1.200/1.028 speaking examination…