“Lockheed F-35 Lightning, Is the performance worth the price?”
The F-35 is one of the most advanced and technologically diverse military aircraft in the world. It’s equipped with heavy guns, touch screens, and doesn’t show up on the radar. So why does the Lightning receive so much criticism?
Many aviation enthusiasts and even military personnel claim Lockheed’s F-35 costs “more than it’s worth”, “slow and unmaneuverable”, or even “just plain ugly”
But how true is this really? With all the F-35s given features, does the price really outweigh the pay-off? Despite the rumors, the F-35 is not the most expensive U.S military aircraft. Take a look at this:
Although significant, the cost of production is lower than that of the U.S F-22 Raptor by a whopping 22 million dollars.
Although production cost is far from the highest, there are far more expenses when it comes to a fighter.
After purchase, you still have cost to worry about such as maintenance and fuel.
However, the F-35 has an advantage here; for it requires very limited maintenance. Less, in fact than any U.S fighter jet.
This has a profound impact on the aircraft’s cost per hour.
Once again, the F-35 cost is significantly smaller than that of the Raptor.
The F-35 lightning flies at a low 1,930 km/h. Not far above the speed of an A-10 Warthog.
This combined with its large turn radius gives the Lightning a disadvantage in dogfights.
However, it is a multi-role aircraft- meaning it can function well in a fighter, but also as a bomber aircraft.
Additionally, vertical takeoff/landing capabilities eliminate the need for a mile of runway and allow it to be used virtually anywhere.
And these features give Lockheed’s F-35 Lightning a major advantage, above that of most aircraft.
So is the F35 worth its weight in gold? Tell us your thoughts!
By Ethan Peterson