I would have just dismissed this article as more of the "same-ole-same-ole", but at the bottom they have a quote I just love:
But scrimping on flight testing isn’t a good idea, said Bill Lawrence of Aledo, a former Marine test pilot turned aviation legal consultant.
"They build the aircraft . . . and go fly it," he said. "Then you come back and fix the things you don’t like."
No amount of computer processing power, Lawrence said, can tell Lockheed and the military what they don’t know about the F-35.
Thank God for testers. This goes to the heart of the problems I have with the model validation (or lack there of) in climate change science.
From reading some of these posts, you might think I'm some sort of Luddite who doesn't like CFD or other high-fidelity simulations, but you'd be wrong. I love CFD, I've spent a big chunk of my (admittedly short) professional career developing or running or consuming CFD (and similar) analyses. I just didn't fall in love with the colourful fluid dynamics. I understand that bending metal (or buying expensive stuff) based on the results of modeling unconstrained by reality is the height of folly.
That folly is exacerbated by an 'old problem'. In another article on the F-35, I found this gem:
No one should be shocked by the continuing delays and cost increases, said Hans Weber, a prominent aerospace engineering executive and consultant. "The airplane is so ambitious, it was bound to have problems."
The real problem, Weber said, is an old one. Neither defense contractors nor military or civilian leaders in government will admit how difficult a program will be and, when problems do arise, how challenging and costly they will be to fix. "It's really hard," Weber said, "for anyone to be really honest."
Defense acquisition in a nutshell, Pentagon Wars anyone?
Defense procurement veterans said they fear that the Pentagon will be tempted to cut the flight-testing plan yet again to save money.
"You need to do the testing the engineers originally said needed to be done," Weber said. By cutting tests now, "you kick the can down the road," and someone else has to deal with problems that will inevitably arise later.