Thursday, June 22, 2017

F-111 & F-35

FLG remembers years ago when he read that the F-35 was going to be a single fighter for all the services.   This shared platform would save money, they said.   Immediately, FLG thought of the F-111:

The U.S. Air Force and Navy were both seeking new aircraft when Robert McNamara was appointed U.S. Secretary of Defense in January 1961.The aircraft sought by the two armed services shared the need to carry heavy armament and fuel loads, feature high supersonic speed, twin engines and two seats, and probably use variable geometry wings. On 14 February 1961, McNamara formally directed the services to study the development of a single aircraft that would satisfy both requirements.
Long story short, it didn't work out, and the Air Force got the F-111, which never quite met the original needs, and the Navy ended up with the F-14 Tomcat of Top Gun fame.    The desire to save money by building a shared platform ended up wasting a bunch of time and money.

Getting back to the F-35, when reading about how building one aircraft for all of our services and also for allies would save money, FLG was skeptical.   But hoped it would turn out better.   At first glance, their were a lot of requirements built into the design (stealth, computer systems, etc) that seemed like it could lead to cost savings, even after tweaking for each service branch.  Turns out FLG's skepticism was valid, with a long history of cost overruns.   Though the Pentagon disagrees with that characterization.

What FLG has learned from F-35 program is that the requirements for the different services are so varied (the Navy needs to land on carriers, the Marines need to takeoff and land vertically, etc) that there isn't much cost savings to be had, and in fact trying to shoehorn them all into the same platform means the services have to accept less performance or add massively to the cost to keep their desired performance.

“Despite aspirations for a joint aircraft, the F-35A, F-35B and F-35C are essentially three distinct aircraft, with significantly different missions and capability requirements,” the Senate stated in its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017.
It seems the Navy and Air Force have learned that lesson AG for the second time:

Having learned from the $300 billion-plus, tri-service Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program that one size does not always fit all, the Pentagon will likely embark on separate next-generation fighter programs for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Quote of the day

William Deresiewicz:
everyone is in favor of their own free speech (including, for instance, Vladimir Putin). The test of your commitment to free speech as a general principle is whether you are willing to tolerate the speech of others, especially those with whom you most disagree. If you are using your speech to try to silence speech, you are not in favor of free speech. You are only in favor of yourself.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Leisure & Desire

Yesterday, FLG read this book review by Fr. Schall.   This passage reminded FLG of his thesis that the end goal of Marxism is Leisure, wrongly understood:

we are told that this “subjective freedom” constitutes the difference between classic/medieval and modern times. Classic/medieval freedom was based on reason, logos, not desire, on what is, not on will. Freedom is based on reason, not desire. To understand what is being said here, two more points need to be recalled. The first is that, according to Plato, desire, by itself, is unlimited. This unlimitedness is a good thing in itself for that is what desire, as such, is. The second point is that, according to Aristotle, the purpose of virtue is to rule our desires and so achieve our end, not just our desires. Desires allow no “end,” only more desires. In themselves, desires are good things but they are to be ruled by reason. The difference between modern and classic/medieval thought, then, has to do with where we locate the center of our being: in desire, which is unlimited, or in reason, which limits or rules desire because it knows the end which desires serve.

FLG probably should have more to say about this, but doesn't right now. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Quote of the day

Die, Workwear:
[G]ood tailoring is a beautiful thing, and it shouldn’t be beholden to some nut jobs. 

Recommended Reading

FLG knew he was going to like this one:
HOW FRENCH “INTELLECTUALS” RUINED THE WEST


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Quote of the day II

George Friedman:

I think we are looking at the prospect of a few weeks of quiet diplomacy and noisy public threats that will lead to war.

FLG is very concerned about this. The media is distracted with other, frankly, less important, stories. 

Quote of the day

Victor Davis Hanson:

One of the most surreal paradoxes of Washington, D.C., is the number of progressives (including the former president of the United States) who put their children in Sidwell-Friends while passionately opposing charter schools and vouchers.
 
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