back to article Lockheed engineer: F-22 Raptor Stealth tech is 'defective'

An engineer formerly employed by Lockheed, maker of the famous F-22 Raptor stealth jet, has mounted a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that Lockheed has supplied the controversial superfighter with "defective" stealth coatings. The claims are sure to add fuel to the fiery debate raging at present in Washington over whether to …

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Joke

Lockheeds Lawyers

I wonder if Lockheed's Lawyers saw this coming?

I'll get my coat ing

Rich.

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FAIL

Well never mind about a pesky paint job

It looks lovely and can make extremely photogenic supersonic pictures and that's all that matters.

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FAIL

Title here

They should just have bought some Eurofighters instead of the dodgy raptors. I hear the Trache 3 is gona be even perfecter than the trache 2

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Joke

Not very stealthy

I can see it, and someone took a photo, wouldn't it be better to have it change colour as well ?

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Thumb Up

it makes sense

even though there's no denying the F-22 is a superior air-dominance fighter and has no equel (except maybe for the SU-37 terminator), the times have changed and the chance of massive dogfights between fighter pilots are well behind us. nowadays the F-35 is the best choice, as it is a multi-role plane (i believe the F-35c is carrier based). the F-35 may not sport the stealth ability the F-22 has, it's still stealthy enough due to it's massive range. another point in favour of the F-35 is that it's nearly impossible to blow it out of the sky (i've read that the machine can actually keep flying even when both wings AND it's tail is shot).

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Currently working on...?

So he's worked on the F-117 and F22 in the past, what's the betting he's working on the F-35 now though?

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Silver badge

@Danny 5

> i've read that the machine can actually keep flying even when both wings AND it's tail is shot

Heh heh. I wonder which poor sod was at the controls when they discovered that?

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Grenade

Blame The Soviets

Personally, I blame the soviets; we knew where we stood with them. Life was so much easier then, now we have to go out and actively find/make up new enemies.

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Pirate

home addess

Wow, its got his address and everything. I'm sure he can expect a visit from someone delivering "Chinese Food" as they insist on calling it, with a bonus shot of sodium pentathol (sp?) to help expand the stealth knowledge of a particularly populous Asian nation.

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Coat

Quotable (Mis)Quote

"Who cares if the damn thing works? We'd have made millions from spares ans service contracts" - Dick Jones, Omni Consumer Products (RoboCop)

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Thumb Down

Skunk Doesn't-Works

Didn't the B-2 have stealth problems as well? Something about if it flew through rain then it lost its stealth edge. Skunk Works last two expensive ventures have both had embarrassments after initial roll out.

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RPF
Stop

@Danny 5

"it's still stealthy enough due to it's massive range" - sooooo, the U-2, the Airbus A340-500 or B777-300ER are REALLY stealthy?

"i've read that the machine can actually keep flying even when both wings AND it's tail is shot" - did it say in this piece for how long? I'd suggest it would be 'flying' a parabola at that stage and definitely no further!

Maybe you need to check your sources of "information".

Personally I think that F-22 is the ultimate fighter, even if possibly not quite as stealthy as claimed (shock!) and to say that they're not needed is like saying dodos never needed to fly!

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IT Angle

Eh?

"worsened the radar and infrared visibility of the F-22"

Shouldn't that be:

"IMPROVED the radar and infrared visibility of the F-22"

Or is this some kind of "In communist Russia, stealth planes..." joke?

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Coat

Paris

No wonder it never turned up the Paris Air Show...

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Alert

Worsened?

<pedant>

"...low-quality stealth coatings have not only worsened the radar and infrared visibility of the F-22..."

Surely that should be either

a) improved the radar and infrared visibility

or

b) worsened the radar and infrared invisibility

</pedant>

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Go

You need the FU-222

"i've read that the machine can actually keep flying even when both wings AND it's tail is shot".

That's nothing. The FU-222 we're selling will also fly without most of its fuselage. Just the right stuff at the controls and long arms and ... <clickety, clickety> ... a mere snip at a billion dollars.

"I can see it, and someone took a photo, wouldn't it be better to have it change colour as well ?"

Available in a choice of fashionable colours.

"It looks lovely and can make extremely photogenic supersonic pictures and that's all that matters."

We like your style. Each aircraft supplied with a blonde babe. Sure to take you supersonic.

We also have a range of incentive schemes. Air miles, buy one get one free. Additional private arrangements available.

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Coat

Smoke & mirrors

The whole lawsuit is a spoof. The plane is very stealthy. However, the CIA wants this lawsuit to go forward so our enemies believe the plane is really defective. Thus they will not worry about a plane sneaking past their radar facilities. In reality, the F22 is already behind enemy lines bombing the snot out of them.

After all, we screwed up with the B-2. They publicly canceled the contract. They should have secretly canceled the contract and told everyone that we made thousands of them. They are invisible on radar, so just try to prove us wrong!

Mine's the one with the attached tinfoil hat.

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FAIL

It's all in the wording...

To the grammar police above... You are both incorrect in your statements due to the known meaning of the term when used in said context. But, since you kids obviously have issues with it, I will say that you should have have enough brain mass to determine that the most appropriate replacement would have been the word "decreased."

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Troll

oh no...

if only there was a swing roll aircraft that was available at bargain basement prices due to overproduction.

If only...

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Joke

@Stef 4 (sorry have to)

In Soviet Russia stealth plane flies you

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Gold badge
Boffin

Was it the B2 or the F117 that needed an aircon hangar

As its stealth coating was prone to breakdown in a (relatively ) damp climate. Like Northern Europe.

A fact (IIRC) discovered by Serbian AA gunners. And at least 1 crew.

Worked great in high temperature dry environments though.

Like Kuwait, or somewhere else in the Middle East.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

@RPF

"...to say that they're not needed is like saying dodos never needed to fly!"

Er... dodos didn't need to fly, at least not within the evolutionary niche they occupied for hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of years. They didn't start wishing they'd kept the wings until man blattered into their peaceful world and massacred them for food/entertainment.

Are you therefore suggesting we need F22s in case ET turns up and is not friendly?

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Boffin

Bloody aerospace engineers...

Last time I checked, this was a plane that could turn off its stealth features to allow a radar like a thermal lance to run at full power, and when set to auto control, those same stealth features would intentionally disable because they reduced the aircraft's ability to engage in ACM.

It was never marketed to be stealthy by comparison to even the F117. It was sold as 'low observable', with handling and weapons assignment characteristics superior to the competitor at Engineering evaluation. Stealth came a firm second to having a plane with a thrust:weight ratio of ~2, a 700 degree/sec roll rate and a 250 nm radar range.

I should imagine, to a F15 pilot used to flying what is in essence a Mach 2.5 chaff packet, any stealth would be a good start, when the new kite has more power, more range, more powerful sensors and a nose that won't suddenly fall off.

I'm just wondering how a 'top low-observable engineer' doesn't realize *all* stealth coatings are in some way defective, being plastics...

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It's Okay...

...they can just ask Lockheed to sell them a new formula paint at massive expense!

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Black Helicopters

Sour grapes.

I've seen it plenty of times. Olsen is very, very upset that the people in charge refused to accept his obvious super-geniusness and shower him with money and blowjobs and personal interviews with Real Actual Pilot Men. So now he's gone into kook mode. "goddamnit they WOULDN'T LISTEN to my ENTIRELY VALID CONCERNS, well I'll show him I'LL FUCKING SHOW THEM ALL I'll just go PUBLIC with this, shine the LIGHT of the LAW into this DEN of THIEVES AND LIARS."

*****

Incidentally, this is about the only article we'll ever see on this issue. Those who actually know anything about the subject know damn well that they shouldn't talk about it. The conclusion in re: Olson's knowledge of the subject is obvious.

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Er, flying?

"i've read that the machine can actually keep flying even when both wings AND it's tail is shot"

I think at that point it would've been in "Coffin Corner". Wikipedia, if not familiar with the term.

Aside: I remember one TV quote -aircraft unknown- where a presenter asked "What happens if one engine fails" Answer: "The other engine takes you straight to the scene of the accident."

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Grenade

Mr

"If its radar cross-section is in fact unacceptably high, one would expect the US armed services to know already "

Since when does any member of the services in a user role actually know the specification?

they are given kit they use it - no questions. Those who sit behind a desk ordering the kit from the shiny brouchures wouldn't know how to turn a radar on let alone measure a signature.

Wasn't there a story a while back about the eurofighter doing trials in Nevada?? didn't the top brass ask for it to 'try it on' with a raptor? wasn't that all aborted & hushed up when the euro fighter got a lock on the raptor??

On the other hand... Maybe the duff coatings are deliberate on 50% of the fleet used for everyday purposes (what with the high levels of espionage, and that they are out there in the real world for enemies to measure) so when the real stealth is required the real Mc Coy comes out to play and whoops what the enemy thaught they could see, they now cannot...

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Happy

@ By /\/\j17

"So he's worked on the F-117 and F22 in the past, what's the betting he's working on the F-35 now though?"

From the legal document on page 2 (I know, many people don't make it that far without getting bored!) it looks as though he is a "realtor" (estate agent?)

"On behalf of the United States of America, Realtor Darrol O. Olsen files this..........."

Must have been really good at his last job then?

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Silver badge
Happy

@Marty McFly

"The whole lawsuit is a spoof. The plane is very stealthy. However, the CIA wants this lawsuit to go forward so our enemies believe the plane is really defective. Thus they will not worry about a plane sneaking past their radar facilities. In reality, the F22 is already behind enemy lines bombing the snot out of them"

If the F22 is bombing the snot out of them, I think they'd already have noticed regardless of the stealthiness or the lawsuit :-)

Unless the bombs and the explosions are stealthy too. Made of air perhaps. 'I've just bombed you with my stealth bomber and my stealth bombs. They're so stealthy it looks like nothing's happened - ha harr!'

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Happy

We will hear

We will hear voice that will call this whistle blower a communist and anti american but what he really is doing is saving the tax payer further wasted money.

Thank you so much!

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@Danny F

SU-37 is a Flanker?? Flanker-F if memory serves, it was a prototype or something like that. And I very much doubt the F-35 is particularly survivable, indeed if it can fly as claimed above, it would be more survivable than the A-10 which was more or less designed with soaking up bullets in mind.

As for the range - I'm assuming you mean weapons range? In an air to air engagement the F-22 would cream it, and in an Air-to-Ground engagement they wouldn't be using F-22's anyway :p

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Stop

What about the simple truth

Wow fellas you guys sound about as kooky as this guy is made out to be. How about perhaps the lawsuit is based on his patriot concerns, having dedicated a significant portion of his entire life to stealth technologies? Maybe he just wants to ensure that a keystone aircraft in America's arsenal isn't... arse?

It is no small thing to present your name to the public indicating your intimate knowledge of a classified program, let alone directly challenge Lockheed Martin on a very sensitive subject. Ya'll think so hard you appear stupid.

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Joke

Paint?

I'm sorry sir, you have a problem with the paint on your vehicle? If you book it into the Paint shop we will see if we can t-cut out the problem with stealth t-cut.

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Lockheed: What's the cure?

Lockheed is a like an enormous, sucking parasite attached to the U.S. government, too large to brush off without causing a hemorrhage yet toxic and sapping all the same.

Upside down G-sensors resulting in the partial destruction of decade-long deep space missions, satellites dropped by Lockheed followed by bills from Lockheed for their repairs, expensive and ineffective cargo sniffing systems followed by proposals for "improved" systems twice as expensive yet only 1/5th more useful, useless merchant marine identification schemes, the list seems endless. They've completely metastasized. Yet they're too large to fail, too large to ignore when letting contracts.

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