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F-22s may have been lost as a result of Hurricane Michael

Grey Havoc

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https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2018/10/12/f-22s-qf-16-likely-damaged-after-tyndall-hangars-hit-by-hurricane/

Not looking good.
 

jsport

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Should be a non-AF Inspector General investigation into why there was not someway to secure those craft. GOs involved need to be held accountable. Inexcuseable
 

Archibald

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Geez, this is so absurd.
Since only 187 F-22s were build, when twice as much were seen as a bare minimum, every single of them is precious.
so,
- why didn't they flew the Raptors away from the coming Hurricane ? damn it ! :mad:

Reminds me of the JASDF F-2 that were caught and damaged by the 2011 earthquake. But an earthquake is unpredictible, when a hurricane path is.
 

TomcatViP

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their where in maintenance, some cannibalized for parts and one that could have been flown out aborted prior to takeoff due to a malfunction...

“Four 43d F-22s were left behind to ride out the hurricane,” the anonymous poster wrote. “One of them was scheduled to leave but GABed [ground aborted] after an issue prior to taxi. The other three were jets that couldn't be spun up in time to fly.” Two had been cannibalized for parts, he said, and the others had “issues that couldn't be fixed. They were in hangars that [they] are usually put in according to hurricane plans.”
More here: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pages/2018/October%202018/Tyndall-F-22s-Left-Behind-Before-Michael-Hit-Possibly-Damaged-Beyond-Repair.aspx
 

jsport

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TomcatViP said:
their where in maintenance, some cannibalized for parts and one that could have been flown out aborted prior to takeoff due to a malfunction...

“Four 43d F-22s were left behind to ride out the hurricane,” the anonymous poster wrote. “One of them was scheduled to leave but GABed [ground aborted] after an issue prior to taxi. The other three were jets that couldn't be spun up in time to fly.” Two had been cannibalized for parts, he said, and the others had “issues that couldn't be fixed. They were in hangars that [they] are usually put in according to hurricane plans.”
More here: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pages/2018/October%202018/Tyndall-F-22s-Left-Behind-Before-Michael-Hit-Possibly-Damaged-Beyond-Repair.aspx
Not flying in no way preempts the need to safeguard the airframes and what is visible appears unsecured airframes. laziness. Sandbags around the inside hangar at a minimum.
 

Moose

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This was a hell of a storm, not anywhere near what was planned for when the base was built. But it highlights that the DoD's extreme weather/climate change prep is seriously lacking. Hardening some of the hangars to take a direct hit from a big storm should have become a priority after Tyndall was picked for F-22, and especially after the previous big storms the gulf has had.
 

harrier

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"JUST IN: @usairforce confirms that @SecAFOfficial, @GenDaveGoldfein and CMSAF Gen. Kaleth Wright just touched down at @TeamTyndall to survey the damage from #hurricanemicheal. About 600 military families have been displaced, and as many as 17 F-22s may be damaged or destroyed."

https://twitter.com/laraseligman/status/1051547478338736128

Almost 10% of the fleet if true.
 

AeroFranz

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on the bright side, now there's many more airframes to cannibalize for parts :mad:
 

sferrin

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Thank you Robert Gates. :mad:
 

SpudmanWP

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I would choose a stronger version of "Thank You". :mad:
 

bobbymike

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sferrin said:
Thank you Robert Gates. :mad:
At 40-60/year the 400th or so F-22 would be rolling off the assembly line...........
 

_Del_

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Surprised noone was bold enough to arrange to simply throw them on Guard flatbeds to get them out. Worst that happens is you drop a couple.
 

jeffb

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Harrier said:
"JUST IN: @usairforce confirms that @SecAFOfficial, @GenDaveGoldfein and CMSAF Gen. Kaleth Wright just touched down at @TeamTyndall to survey the damage from #hurricanemicheal. About 600 military families have been displaced, and as many as 17 F-22s may be damaged or destroyed."

https://twitter.com/laraseligman/status/1051547478338736128

Almost 10% of the fleet if true.
Surely this is 17 aircraft damaged in total and includes 4 F-22s that were left behind for various reasons.
The other reports seem to say only 4 couldn't be evacuated.
 

Hood

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Plus the F-22 that was damaged in a force landing at Elmendorf last week.
 

harrier

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USAF media statement attached
 

Attachments

jsport

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The flightline is composed of large flat faced buildings and the idea these craft were not surrounded by sand barriers of some type w/ heavy tarp overheard roof for even a cat 1 hurricane is outrageous.
 

Airplane

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AeroFranz said:
on the bright side, now there's many more airframes to cannibalize for parts :mad:
The only bright side is that it should be glaringly obvious to even a blind man what happens when you only buy < 1/2 the required number of airframes. Hopefully NGAD / PCA / Whatever it's called will see at least 400 built and not stationed in a place where Hurricanes routinely hit.
 

TomcatViP

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Well we will see what was the worst: buying half a fleet or paying twice more contractors for doing half the job...

As a side note (off topic), let's be honest: nails and planks as the main material to build residential housings in today hurricane torn regions is the real disaster. Today residential market are completely decorrelated with materials costs. There should be no more savings good enough to die.
 

kitnut617

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Airplane said:
not stationed in a place where Hurricanes routinely hit.
I'm surprised they didn't fly them out of there before hand, it's not like the Hurricane suddenly appeared is it ----
 

TomS

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kitnut617 said:
Airplane said:
not stationed in a place where Hurricanes routinely hit.
I'm surprised they didn't fly them out of there before hand, it's not like the Hurricane suddenly appeared is it ----
The damaged aircraft appear to have been non-flyable.
 

kitnut617

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TomS said:
kitnut617 said:
Airplane said:
not stationed in a place where Hurricanes routinely hit.
I'm surprised they didn't fly them out of there before hand, it's not like the Hurricane suddenly appeared is it ----
The damaged aircraft appear to have been non-flyable.
Does that mean they were damaged 'before' the hurricane ?
 

TomS

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kitnut617 said:
TomS said:
kitnut617 said:
Airplane said:
not stationed in a place where Hurricanes routinely hit.
I'm surprised they didn't fly them out of there before hand, it's not like the Hurricane suddenly appeared is it ----
The damaged aircraft appear to have been non-flyable.
Does that mean they were damaged 'before' the hurricane ?
Or in some level of deep maintenance that can't be easily put back together to flyable condition. Remember Michael was supposed to be a tropical storm just a couple of days earlier, which would have been easy to ride out.
 

Dreamfighter

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Seems a lot of the (few) F-22s are in no flyable condition these days, not only because of hurricanes... :(

I am also surprised such important assets are not kept in hardened aircraft-shelters with blastdoors etc.
Do most US airbases do not have such hardened shelters? :eek:
What in case of an attack or a war instead of a storm/hurricane?
 

kcran567

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Idiotic!!!
Billions lost because they couldn't be loaded on a flatbed and trucked out of state??

Someone's ass should be fired. They knew perfectly well how serious the storm was.

Should have been trucked out of the area
 

jsport

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kcran567 said:
Idiotic!!!
Billions lost because they couldn't be loaded on a flatbed and trucked out of state??

Someone's ass should be fired. They knew perfectly well how serious the storm was.

Should have been trucked out of the area
What he said.

thought about a tow job myself when first heard.
 

TomS

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It takes time to tear down and load a plane for flatbedding. Michael went from TS to Hurricane making landfall in basically two days. If they had tried to drive out, they would likely have had aircraft on trucks, out on the roads, in the middle of a hurricane.

As it is, we don't know at all the extent of the damage to these aircraft -- it's far too son to write them off.
 

LowObservable

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Not surprised to see the usual suspects blaming Gates.

I don't think Gates made a good decision. But there was one prime reason for chopping the F-22, which was to funnel cash into F-35, and the record is clear that Gates believed that the F-35 was on schedule (because that was what the prime and the JPO told him) and that it would cost less than half as much as the F-22, while being superior in many missions.

http://archive.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4469

http://archive.defense.gov/Speeches/Speech.aspx?SpeechID=1369

So hearing F-35 fans heap abuse on Gates is (shall we say) a little vexing.
 

sferrin

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LowObservable said:
Not surprised to see the usual suspects blaming Gates.

I don't think Gates made a good decision. But there was one prime reason for chopping the F-22, which was to funnel cash into F-35, and the record is clear that Gates believed that the F-35 was on schedule (because that was what the prime and the JPO told him) and that it would cost less than half as much as the F-22, while being superior in many missions.

http://archive.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4469

http://archive.defense.gov/Speeches/Speech.aspx?SpeechID=1369

So hearing F-35 fans heap abuse on Gates is (shall we say) a little vexing.
Many F-35 "fans" would have preferred more F-22s and fewer F-35s. Once that wasn't a possibility we'd prefer the F-35 over more F-teens. Some thought the F-22 should die (because it was a "compromised, single-mission, aircraft") and that it should be replaced by the F-35, "a true multirole aircraft". I told them at every opportunity that once the F-22 was dead the critics would turn their attention to the F-35. And that's exactly what happened. Some still can't stop chasing their white whale.

As for Gates, I thought Gordon England deserved a big piece of the blame?
 

SpudmanWP

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The F-35 was used as an "excuse", not a valid reason.

The gutting of the F-22 procurement plan started long before the F-35 ever flew.

https://www.airuniversity.af.mil/Portals/10/ASPJ/journals/Volume-26_Issue-6/F-Niemi.pdf
 

fredymac

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From one of the citations:
Having said that, the F-22 is clearly a capability we do need – a niche, silver-bullet solution for one or two potential scenarios – specifically the defeat of a highly advanced enemy fighter fleet. The F-22, to be blunt, does not make much sense anyplace else in the spectrum of conflict.

In other words, it’s the end of history and no more great power conflict so who needs air superiority against near peers. Especially with the great “reset” button having been pushed. Gates swung the axe but the political impetus came from higher up.

The F-35 didn’t kill the F-22. Advocates for the F-35 didn’t kill the F-22. As vexing as the F-35 may be to some, it isn’t to blame and it wasn’t even in the discussion until now.
 

DrRansom

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The problem with the AF's position is simple: if your premier airplane is both expensive and rare, then the USAF should spend money on base infrastructure to maintain and protect that force. Yes, hurricanes are rare, and so are tornados. But F-22s are rare and expensive too.
 

Archibald

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Reminds me of that tornado that had destroyed a handful of B-36s (at Carswell AFB ?)
 

F-14D

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SpudmanWP said:
The F-35 was used as an "excuse", not a valid reason.

The gutting of the F-22 procurement plan started long before the F-35 ever flew.

https://www.airuniversity.af.mil/Portals/10/ASPJ/journals/Volume-26_Issue-6/F-Niemi.pdf
Totally agree. One of the rationales used bv opponents, but not by JSF/F-35 proponents, for cutting the F-22 was that the "more versatile" F-35 was the plane really needed. At least part of that was that the big funding curve for the F-22 was three right now, whereas the funding spike for the F-35 was safely in the future where it would be someone else's problem. Congress/the bureaucracy could look "tough" on defense ("See, we're supporting something even better") while the can gets kicked down the road.
 

harrier

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355,000 dollars a pop to protect an F-35 from 300 mph winds apparently:
https://www.monolithic.org/commercial/monolithic-dome-airplane-hangars-and-the-invention-of-the-hangar-door

Seems like a no brainer if true.
 

sferrin

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Archibald said:
Reminds me of that tornado that had destroyed a handful of B-36s (at Carswell AFB ?)
There's a video of a tornado that narrowly missed a B-1B flight line as well. :eek:
 

Mark S.

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I'd rather doubt that the monolithic hangar door structure would offer as much protection as the sales flyer indicates. The biggest problem would be the effect on the structure by debris in the wind field of the storm. They still could pierce the structure and once that happens it's anybody's guess to the amount of damage to the aircraft including that from the structure itself. A few hangars made using pre-stressed concrete panels for walls and the roof would be durable and economical as well as fire proof. Three to four inches of concrete would work well. If you were really concerned and wanted a large degree of protection there's the proven TAB-V shelter.
 

jsport

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TomS said:
It takes time to tear down and load a plane for flatbedding. Michael went from TS to Hurricane making landfall in basically two days. If they had tried to drive out, they would likely have had aircraft on trucks, out on the roads, in the middle of a hurricane.

As it is, we don't know at all the extent of the damage to these aircraft -- it's far too son to write them off.
Would say some IG should determine when NOAA/DoD knew about this storm's possible path before any judgement whether these things could been on the road.
 
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