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USAF Gets F-35 Flight Simulator 252

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-many-quarters-does-it-take? dept.
cylonlover writes "Eglin Air Force Base has just taken delivery of a piece of hardware that would surely be the ultimate toy for flight sim gaming fans. The F-35 Lightning II Full Mission Simulator (FMS) system includes a high-fidelity 360-degree visual display system and a reconfigurable cockpit that can simulate all three variants of the F-35 Lightning II for US and international partner services – the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A, the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B, and the F-35C carrier variant."
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USAF Gets F-35 Flight Simulator

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  • Yes, but... (Score:4, Funny)

    by sycodon (149926) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @03:22PM (#35884292)

    Is it MMOG?

    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @04:09PM (#35884816) Journal

      This reprint of a reprinted Lockheed Martin press release is simply awesome and it has convinced me to enlist in the Air Force. I have also decided to call all my elected representatives and ask for more funding for Lockhe... the military. You should all do the same! And by the way, I totally do not work for Lockheed Martin and have no interest in promoting their excellent products... because they are so awesome, I don't need to! Now lets go blow up some brown people.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by c6gunner (950153)

        I totally do not work for Lockheed Martin and have no interest in promoting their excellent products...

        Obviously. Now put away that squeegee - I already told you my windshield is fine.

      • While I generally tend to agree with your sentiment... As a bona fide flightsim geek, I am still drooling right now. Can't help myself, sorry. Must... keep... control...
  • Top Gun (Score:5, Funny)

    by Beelzebud (1361137) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @03:24PM (#35884322)
    This will really help us battle the Al Qaeda Air Force.
    • no it won't... all we need to defeat al qaeda air force (AQAF) is a couple of Cessnas and some hand grenades.

      However, it WILL help us defeat the Chinese air force, if or when they invade Taiwan and start launching their new ballistic anti-ship missiles at our carriers.
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        There is no way we would go to war with China over Taiwan. They have nukes. That would be like China going to war with the USA if we decided to take Cuba. Not only are there nukes, but like my example geography highly favors the closer nation.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Wyatt Earp (1029)

          Geography didn't favor the Empire of Japan vs the United States or Germany vs the United States.

          China and the US won't go to war over Taiwan in the near-term simply because China lacks the ability to invade Taiwan. Even with high profile programs like the new Chinese stealth fighter and a Chinese aircraft carrier, the People's Republic of China lacks the ability to project power across the Straights of Taiwan conventionally, they can point missiles at Taiwan and threaten them with nuclear weapons, but that'

          • Re:Top Gun (Score:4, Informative)

            by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @03:50PM (#35884630)

            Geography never favors Japan, they have to import everything. Germany did not lose to the USA, it lost to the USSR. No male on my maternal grandmothers side lived through the war, all six of them died on the eastern front. Without the USSR in the war Germany would have lost the USA after berlin was nuked. If England did not fall first.

            • by Wyatt Earp (1029)

              Germany lost to the Allies.

              Without the United Kingdom and the United States bombing the ever living crap out of Germany day and night, the Germans would have had the fuel, aircraft, armor and super weapons to end the Soviet Union.

              The Eastern Front was a body dump for both sides while the Atlantic Wall, the North African campaign and air war in the west ground down Germany's extra man power and material, just like the western front did in WW1 for Germany.

              Example, the Atlantic Wall in France alone had a garri

              • by icebike (68054)

                >

                Had those men and vehicles been at Stalingrad, the initial strength could have gone from 270,000 to 470,000 men and 500 tanks to 2500 tanks.

                The German supply lines would have been just that much more critical and inadequate.

                Russia did not defeat the Germans as much as they simply slowed them down enough to let the weather defeat them.

              • Re:Top Gun (Score:5, Informative)

                by Cyberax (705495) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @05:10PM (#35885384)

                "Without the United Kingdom and the United States bombing the ever living crap out of Germany day and night, the Germans would have had the fuel, aircraft, armor and super weapons to end the Soviet Union."

                Not really. The impact of firebombing is somewhat overestimated.

                "The Eastern Front was a body dump for both sides while the Atlantic Wall, the North African campaign and air war in the west ground down Germany's extra man power and material, just like the western front did in WW1 for Germany."

                North Africa? LOL! It was minuscule by the scales of the battles on the Eastern Front. In the end the USSR was responsible for the 80% of German casualties in manpower and equipment.

                Read and weep: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Front_(World_War_II) [wikipedia.org]

        • by DarkOx (621550)

          Kinda like we never went to war in Vietnam because Russia had nukes. If anything the smartest play for us would be to tell the Chinese if they attack Taiwan we will respond by invading Cuba (again).

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            Vietnam was not openly backed by Russia. Russian troops were not boots on the ground. If DPRK invaded Taiwan at the behest of China that would be a similar situation and we would fight the DPRK.

      • We owe China more than the expected value of Taiwan ATW (After the War)
        • by tnk1 (899206)

          That sounds more like something we have over the Chinese, not vice versa.

          We get into a war with China, and we will cancel the debt and flatten their economy even before our bombers even take off for Shanghai. China might "own" us, but only while they are playing our game.

  • ... is just garbage and Australia and the RAND corporation SAYS it's garbage.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITbGBmaqQkk [youtube.com]

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      Last I heard it was going to be more expensive than the F-22. WTF is the point of this aircraft?

      Look the airforce, navy and marines want different things, it will never be cheaper to try to kludge one plane into all these roles.

      • by c6gunner (950153)

        Last I heard it was going to be more expensive than the F-22.

        A source would be nice. Even the most pessimistic estimates I've seen still put it at less than half the price of the F-22.

      • by mosb1000 (710161)

        The obvious difference is the F35B is a carrier launch vehicle, while the F22 is not. Since the US likes to maintain a global military presence, the F22 alone won't cut it. As for the replacement cost, I haven't seen one for the F35 yet, but I wouldn't be surprised is it matches or exceeds the $70 million it costs to replace an F22 (especially the vertical landing version). The aircraft are similar in terms of materials and technologies used, so it should cost about the same to make them. The main reaso

    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      The F-35 was never intended to be the top dog of the skies. That's what the F-22 was designed for. The F-35 is essentially a budget fighter/attack craft. They're designed to get a lot of them into the sky for minimum money (yes, that "minimum" cost still sounds high outside of context, but for a fighter it's pretty low).

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        I thought the F-35 Block 3 was going to cost as much or more than an F-22?

        • by MBGMorden (803437)

          I haven't seen any reports that puts them anywhere near the cost of an F-22.

          You have to think of it this way: MOST of the time we're not fighting the Chinas or Russias of the world. We're fighting small countries with air forces that might have a few dozen surplused 50 year old fighters. We simply don't need state of the art for those battles, so why waste the money on it.

          Bulk up the fleet with a cheaper plane that can do 99% of what our air forces need to do, and then keep a smaller number of F-22's read

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            Look at recent f-35 prices they are damn close these days. The predictions I read said they would soon cost more than an F22 if they did not already.

          • by icebike (68054)

            We simply don't need state of the art for those battles, so why waste the money on it.

            Bulk up the fleet with a cheaper plane that can do 99% of what our air forces need to do, and then keep a smaller number of F-22's ready for if we really do end up going to war with another superpower.

            For the states we have been going up against, the Ancient F16 does just fine.
            Keep a smaller number of F22s ready to maintain Air Superiority. The F16 is probably the most cost effective attack aircraft ever made. And yes, its been obsolete for 30 years. The saving grace is that everything any potential enemy has in quantity has been obsolete for longer.

            • by mosb1000 (710161)

              I don't usually like to nit-pick, but the F16 is a fighter aircraft, not an attack aircraft (that's what the F stands for). "A" stands for attack (like the A10), that's why you see the newer hornets with the F/A18 label. The distinction is that fighters are intended for air to air combat, while attack aircraft are air to ground.

              • by icebike (68054)

                Shhhhhh, not so loud.

                The Airforce hasn't figured that out and has been using F-16s in ground attack roles for years and years.

                http://defense-update.com/features/du-1-04/f-16-upgrades.htm [defense-update.com]

                USAF Block 40/42s and 50/52s and NATO's F-16s will have common core avionics and software. With the recent software upgrade, these aircraft will have the capability to deploy support smart weapons with inertial, GPS and laser guidance systems, supporting advanced weapons such as the GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW), CBU-103/104/105 Wind-Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) and EGBU-27 enhanced laser-guided bombs.

          • Re:Ugh the F-35... (Score:4, Informative)

            by ducomputergeek (595742) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @05:10PM (#35885376)

            In the past few wars, by far the most effective air craft have been the B-52 and the A-10. Most of the combat sorties have been air to ground. Problem is there really isn't anything to replace the A-10 in terms of being able to fly low, slow, take a lot of hits, and dish it out. An A-10 can loiter around a kill box for a couple hours for on call close air support. I believe the loiter time for an F-16 is about 30 minutes before they have to go tank up again with fuel.

            Drones are starting to fufill this role, but they can't carry the sheer amount of bombs, rockets, missiles, and the 30mm anti-tank gun the A-10's could.

            Thing is about the A-10 is the generals never wanted it because it ain't a sleek sexy fighter jet.

      • Re:Ugh the F-35... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @03:51PM (#35884634)
        The F-35 was supposed to be the replacement aircraft for the F/A-18, AV-8B Harrier and the F-16 - basically the mid-range strike fighter aircraft for the next 35 years for the USAF, USMC and the USN. It was also supposed to be a comparable replacement cost wise, with a lower cost per unit than the F-22 Raptor and lower maintenance than any of the aircraft it was replacing.

        The problem is, today its over budget, late and is still suffering from drastic design and development problems - the VSTOL variant is almost dead in the water, with the word around the industry that Lockheed needs to do a radical redesign of both the airframe and the lift system for the F-35B, with the result that the USMC has switched part of its order to the carrier borne variant instead.

        The lower maintenance cost requirement is going to be missed horrifically as well, with current estimates putting the aircraft to be more than 35% more expensive to maintain during its life than any of the aircraft it will be replacing.

        With over 1,600 airframes intended to be sold during its life, it was supposed to be the cheap next generation aircraft that would become the mainstay of the US air capability for the next quarter of a century, but instead its turned into a seriously overpriced, under performing white elephant.

        The F-35 was supposed to be second in the air only next to the F-22, it was supposed to be able to fight its way into a first world air defence zone, strike a ground target, and deal with any air threat whilst doing so - it was supposed to best anything the Russians or the Chinese could put in the sky.

        Currently, its just a big waste of time and money.
    • by MachDelta (704883)

      "But in a subsequent statement the organisation says RAND did not compare the fighting qualities of particular aircraft."
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/09/25/2373632.htm [abc.net.au]
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/09/29/2377266.htm [abc.net.au]

      So it only *might* be an overpriced piece of junk. We don't know yet.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @03:33PM (#35884440) Journal

    On a project that is already behind and overbudget. Wonderful, especially while the reps are trying to cripple aid to the poor and handicapped.

    And WTF do we need the F35 for exactly? Who the hell are we gonna fight that a well trained pilot in the F18 or even the F15-F16 won't be at the very least an even match? The Russians aren't building any new birds, the best they have is the Mg31 and those are rare, most of their is the MG 27 and SU27 which are 70s era tech. The Chinese? From the looks of their "stealth bird" it will be primitive as far as stealth and looks to be more for a national pride thing than a serious build up.

    The rest of the world consists of threats of irregulars with ex Soviet hardware, most of it out of date and falling apart. hell the Brits are so desperate for targets in Libya just to give them an excuse to keep the Typhoon (their personal money hole) that they are blowing up abandoned tanks that the Libyans left rotting for lack of parts years ago just to have some footage to show the public.

    This is stupid, its pointless, and it is nothing but more handouts to the top 1%ers in the MIC at a time when we can't afford it. We could have 10s of thousands of top o the line drones for less than this stupid ass plane, they would be cheaper, wouldn't risk multimillion dollar pilots, and are simple to replace. The age of fighter jocks is at an end, it is time for the government to face it and quit pissing money down a rathole.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      MiG 31 is an ancient plane, I think you mean Su30. The Su30 is an update to the Su27 platform.

    • by kevinNCSU (1531307) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @03:49PM (#35884626)
      Not that I think the F-35 is a good decision, but the ability of the United States to project power has been based on their military technology (especially air-force) having a FAR better then "even match" ratio.
      • Well, I worry that, like the B-2, the F-35 will be mission-incapable due to expense and maintenance requirements.
        • How so? The thing has flown many missions including both Iraq wars, Kosovo, and most recently Libya. It does what it is advertised to do: Flys in a lot of bombs without being detected.

          It is an exceedingly expensive bomber, but it does its job well.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_generation_jet_fighter

      Both the Chinese and Russians are in the process of developing 5th gen fighters. The Chinese are still a decade off, but the Russians are not. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_PAK_FA You also can't make any assumptions about the Chinese 5th Gen. The Chinese aren't stupid, and neither are they poor. Their top 25% is greater than our entire population, and they're trying to push out 600,000 engineers/year. To dismiss their ability to focus and solve
    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @04:01PM (#35884734) Homepage Journal

      "Who the hell are we gonna fight that a well trained pilot in the F18 or even the F15-F16 won't be at the very least an even match? "
      Do you know what the prize is for second place in air combat? A tombstone.

      I love strong opinion with weak knowledge. You go on about how the Russians planes are all 70s tech. Well they are not and lets just go through the list of current US aircraft shall we?
      F-15 first flight 1972 entered service 1976. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_F-15_Eagle [wikipedia.org].
      F-16 first flight 1974 entered service 1978 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-16 [wikipedia.org]
      F-18 first flight 1978 entered service 1983 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-18 [wikipedia.org]
      F-18E first flight 1995 entered service 1999 I will give the Super Hornet second timeline since it really is a massive update to the Hornet and really isn't the same aircraft even if it derived from it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_F/A-18E/F_Super_Hornet [wikipedia.org]

      So all of your examples are all based on 70s tech. Some of it early 70s tech. Yes they have been upgraded over the years but the basic airframes are all from the 1970s except for the F-18E/F which is sort of from the 90s.
      And the F-15 was considered way to expensive when new. The thing is that we will be flying the F-22 and probably the F-35 for the next 30 plus years. You do not build a new fighter for the threats of today but for the threats 20 years from now. And the Mig-31 isn't really a fighter it is an interceptor The real current threats from from the SU-3x line of fighters but I am guessing that you are not really into military aviation that much. Nice to see that you lack of knowledge didn't stop you from voice such a long and loud opinion.
      BTW the problem with drones is now and will be for a while is bandwidth. It takes a lot of bandwidth to uplink all the sensor data that a modern combat aircraft can gather and then you have the problem of time of signal for control. Until the drones are autonomous and pick pick their own targets "Wow how about that for a really bad idea?" and can handle air to air combat on their own they will be server limits to what they can do vs a manned aircraft.

      • by thrich81 (1357561)
        The issue is somewhat more complicated than you make it out to be. In no particular order ... The F-35 and F-22 will outperform the older fighters but are they so superior as to make up for the fewer numbers we can buy? We had similar arguments in the '80s about whether it was better to have 4 F-15s or 40 MIG-21s in a combat situation -- luckily we never had to find out. And many of the improvements in the new aircraft are to radars and other avionics which can be integrated into new builds of the older
    • by vlm (69642)

      Amusingly one design goal of the F-22 was to reduce cost of ownership over the F-15 ... didn't turn out that way, feature creep will kill any aerospace project, look at the shuttle. But at least that's one reason why they started the project.

      Also the mig-27 was retired by the russians when I was a little kid, and they gave them to 3rd world countries. You're probably thinking of something like the new mig-35 which is arguably just a highly modernized -29.

      Of course we could have built a modernized F15 to compete with the -35 instead of striking out in new territory...

    • Your point about the Typhoons isn't valid in the context you give - half of all targets hit in Libya have been estimated to be already unusable. For example, in the first wave of strikes, some of the primary targets were airfields that hadn't been used in a decade, TU-22 Blinder bombers that have sat on jacks and been covered in moss for 20 years and hardened aircraft shelters that house airframes that have long been stripped to the bone to keep a handful of other aircraft in the air.

      Yes, the UK has a p
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Dishevel (1105119)

      You 02c has been determined to be worthless.
      Second sentence.

      Wonderful, especially while the reps are trying to cripple aid to the poor and handicapped.

      Anyone who believes that the Republicans are Worse than the Democrats or the other way around has no opinion of merit.
      Neither gives a shit about you. They both only want more power for the government.
      They only differ in what they tell you is the reason for grabbing more power.

    • you're completelly out of touch with reality, aren't you ?

      since the break-up of the soviet union, the ruskies already fielded the mig-29M2, su-30, su-34, su-35 and they're already testing the PAK-FA, a stealth fighter they're developing in partnership with india.

      and even if the chinese stealth proves to be "primitive", if it comes out at a much lower price, they can field them in larger numbers, which will give them an advantage by sheer numbers. it's like stalin said: "quantity have a quality of it's own".

    • The major problem is the airframes the airforce are flying are between 25 - 40 years old. There are only so many hours you can long on one before it has to be retired. While most have be refitted and upgraded, the fighters them selves are 1960's/early 70's design.

      Still I don't see a massive number of F-35's being built. A few will be needed to replaced aging F-16 airframes, but the future are drones and everyone knows it. You may need a few piloted air craft for certain missions, but a lot of it can be

  • by ComputerGeek01 (1182793) on Wednesday April 20, 2011 @03:35PM (#35884466)
    What I don't understand about this is how you build a simulator for a craft that only a handful of people have flown, is in limited production and for which there is no combat data in existence. I know that test pilots take their jobs pretty seriously but can they really have tried all of the stupid things that ALL of the multinational end-users are going to try?
    • by b0bby (201198)

      FTA "utilization of a significant amount of real aircraft parts and source code will allow us to train a wide variety of mission tasks previously not accomplished in simulators". As long as they get the physics right, it should be pretty realistic.

    • "The key to perfection lies not in never making mistakes; but in making sure nobody can see them."

      If the flight data are that limited, a sim based on a good model of the aircraft's shape and systems(which presumably was created during the design phase) is going to be substantially more accurate than the experiences of all but a few people on earth.
    • by Tom9729 (1134127)

      This may be naive but I think the point of a simulator is to model the plane's physical properties (things the engineer's already know, e.g. how much it weighs, how fast it can go) as closely as possible SO THAT you can use the computer to figure out the same things a test pilot would figure out without the risk an expense. It's probably also easier when the design changes to update the simulator than it is to update the prototypes.

    • Probably the same way they built simulators for Space missions before they went to space? I'd also guess that the software can probably be given updates as new things are discovered and changes to the planes are made.
    • In general, mission simulators are just that - simulators for the mission. Its to train the pilots on the systems in the cockpit, get them to know where things are and what to press to make stuff happen - these simulators are not meant to train pilots in the finer points of the actual aircraft handling, they will get that when they go to an Operational Conversion Unit (or the equivilent of). Basically its so when they get into the cockpit for the first time (since there won't be any two seater F-35s), t
  • by HRbnjR (12398)
    What kind of DLC is available for this game? Can I get an Insurgent Pack? How about Dudes with RPG's in Pickup Trucks? Rebel Strongholds Hidden Amongst Innocent Civilians?
  • It sounds like only an actual fighter pilot would likely be very good at it. Unless it has an extremely simplified mode for beginners and non-pilots, it's probably far too complex for your average flight sim gaming fan.

    tl;dr: It's a training tool, not a game.

    • It sounds like only an actual fighter pilot would likely be very good at it. Unless it has an extremely simplified mode for beginners and non-pilots, it's probably far too complex for your average flight sim gaming fan.

      tl;dr: It's a training tool, not a game.

      Well, the B1 sim had a "crash override" setting that let you fly subterranean...

    • Private Pilot flies the SR-71 simulator: http://www.wvi.com/~sr71webmaster/srsim~1.htm [wvi.com]

      Private Pilots fly the Mig-29 (with a Russian Pilot in the 2nd seat) http://plan9.bell-labs.com/who/ken/mig.html [bell-labs.com]
    • by jgtg32a (1173373)
      Some people like games like that
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV35B-vfT4U
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Combat_Simulator#A-10C_Warthog [wikipedia.org]
      • by _0xd0ad (1974778)

        No doubt, but you can at least turn down the realism in that:

        As with Black Shark a number of gameplay options provide the player with the possibility to customize the difficulty to their needs with the possibilities ranging from arcade settings to high realism simulator.

    • by CompMD (522020)

      Its designed for fighter pilots. I'm an aerospace engineer and pilot, and have flown the USAF T-6 simulator. Its an actual T-6 cockpit with full, real instrumentation and 120 degree wraparound screen. The T-6 is the most similar to the aircraft I normally fly. But you know what? This was HARD. The T-6 is a very unstable aircraft and I had to be more cautious with my maneuvers. The engine develops tons of shaft horsepower so on my takeoff roll I needed a lot more right rudder than I anticipated (and I

  • When does Stephen Harper get his? It's the only reason I can see why he would waste our tax money on F35s

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