May 15th, 2012
02:54 PM ET

Military limits F-22 flights after oxygen issues

The military is taking new measures as it tries to determine the root cause of possible oxygen-supply problems in the F-22 fighter jet.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has mandated that all F-22 flights "remain within the proximity of potential landing locations" to ensure the ability to recover and land should a pilot run into "unanticipated physiological conditions," Pentagon spokesman George Little said on Tuesday.

In addition, the Air Force is speeding up the installation of an automatic backup oxygen system in all the fighters, Little also announced a Pentagon press conference.

Panetta also has requested a monthly progress report about the service's progress in finding the cause of the oxygen problems on the fighter jets.

The Air Force has been looking into a number of reports that pilots experienced "hypoxia-like symptoms" aboard F-22s since April 2008. Hypoxia is oxygen deficiency.

Even more mysterious, the Air Force has also been looking into a number of reports that mechanics have been getting sick as well.

The fleet was grounded in May 2011 so the service could check the hypoxia reports, but the order was lifted in September under a "return to fly" plan, with equipment modifications and new rules including daily inspections of the life-support systems.

Since then, five mechanics have reported hypoxia symptoms, according Gen. Daniel Wyman, command surgeon for the Air Combat Command.

The plane's manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, has started an online campaign to combat the negative publicity.

Here's more about the new measures from the Pentagon briefing:

QUESTION: George, on that topic, did the secretary consider grounding the aircraft again? And also, does this restriction on proximity of a landing site affect the deployment of the F-22s that are in the Middle East at the moment?

PENTAGON SPOKESMAN GEORGE LITTLE: The secretary believes that this is the prudent course of action to take at this time. As I indicated, he will be receiving regular updates, and all options remain on the table going forward.

In terms of the deployment in Southwest Asia, we believe that we can safely continue that deployment, given the geography of the region.

QUESTION: Why not just ground the fleet until you know what's causing the oxygen problem?

PENTAGON SPOKESMAN CAPT. JOHN KIRBY: Well, I think George said it well. The secretary believes this is the prudent course right now. It allows us to continue to examine the aircraft closely and to try to figure out what happened.

There's a trouble-shooting process that's going on right now. So the aircraft being in operation assists in that process. We believe we've mitigated the risks as much as possible.

And, again, safety of flight's paramount. The secretary's going to continue to get updates and if he has to make future decisions about the fleet, he'll do that. But right now he believes and he has - and he has been briefed very recently on this, very deeply on it, he believes that this is the right course right now.

QUESTION: Can I follow on that?

KIRBY: Sure.

QUESTION: The two "60" - the two pilots who flew the F-22 that were interviewed on "60 Minutes" addressed that issue about how the Air Force needs - says it needs to take, you know, tests from flights in the air to figure out what the problem is. They described themselves as guinea pigs.

How do you ensure that, you know, airmen who are flying the Raptor aren't being used as guinea pigs in this case.

KIRBY: I don't think we would ever refer to a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force as a guinea pig.

They are highly trained, highly skilled. We value their service and their expertise. And, frankly, that service and expertise is critical to helping us figure out what the problem is here.

QUESTION: On that same topic, this quick recovery issue, how - what is - how far can they fly, essentially, under that new guideline? You said that they don't do any long-duration flights, so what's their limitation now?

KIRBY: I believe it's situational more than anything. I don't - I don't believe there's a nautical-mile limit here. It's just about an appropriate level of proximity to strips so that if they needed to get down in an emergency, they could in a relatively easy, quick fashion.

But I don't - there hasn't been a - there's not a mile radius put on this.

QUESTION: So - so it's about proximity to strips in Alaska, let's say, so they have to be aware of landing strips there lengthy enough to accommodate their landing.

KIRBY: Well, certainly the strips have got to be - they have to be capable of handling that type of air - aircraft, absolutely. But it's about just general proximity here.

QUESTION: Is it indefinite until the problem is solved? And what about if (inaudible)

Post by:
Filed under: Air Force • Defense Spending • F-22 • Military
soundoff (340 Responses)
  1. park city pilot

    My qualifications include working on Gemini manned space program back in the 60s. Involved with aerospace ever since. This is an interesting (albeit repetitive) discussion. It's impressive that the whistleblowers (F-22 pilots) seem to be protected, so far, by our system of laws (however messy and inefficient). Having dipped into a few of these CNN discussion boards before, I want to congratulate the huge majority of you who have resisted the common tendency to fall into flaming others with profanity or turning the discussion into religion or the presidency. Impressive.

    May 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  2. UCBwill

    More reason to get rid of those pilots and start flying some remote controlled UAVs. Cheaper, can fly longer missions, smaller, no loss of life (pilot). Call of Duty games are a far cry from real war, but the basics are there to remote control aircraft. C'mon Congress, let's lean it out. Check out Boeing's X-37B.

    May 16, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • dreamer96


      Someday our passenger flights will be by remote pilots, or on board computer pilots..then the only problem will be the few times we have a walking robot pilot have to leave the cockpit, and have to ask a passenger to hit the reboot button on his belly, because he has a blue screen of death..

      May 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply
      • UCBwill

        Ummm agreed. I'm not for robot pilots flying hundreds of lives 30,000 ft up. That just doesn't seem ok. However, for combat/reconnaissance, why the heck not? We have some really good satellites in space that are able to relay telemetry to these birds anywhere/anytime. And now we have our own UAV in space, possibly carrying warheads or even a tactical laser – soon as we give the go, bye bye enemy comm satellites. leave them deaf and blind. Of course reality may be different.

        May 16, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
      • dreamer96


        And our satellite connections become our weakest link....signal jammers are cheap..and we have pre programmed reconnaissance planes already..working on enemy recognition systems that target enemy military equipment..but what about the people..that is really hard to tell a bad guy, from a good guy..

        May 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
      • dreamer96


        You know China targeted one of our satellites with their land based lasers, even moveable ground based lasers..They could take out our satellites with ground lasers pretty easy...So could Russia...

        May 16, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Kruzerone

      That is a very good point. I was thinking about that when this problem first surfaced. Perhaps, this is the time to start evolving our military aircraft into R.C. It's a very logical solution. I don't believe retrofitting these aircraft would be that expensive. Certainly, it would be more logical than the possibility of scrapping these aircraft, or rendering them ineffective due to this problem. I, also, think the AF needs to examine the cockpit position relative to airflow.
      It sounds remote, but there may be an oxygem robbing problem around the cockpit.

      May 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply
    • Greg

      Does Skynet mean anything to you??? 🙂

      May 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  3. Manuel

    Some exotic materials and composites can be toxic, I'm sure they are already looking into that posibility.

    May 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  4. Groundwrench

    Anyone else consider the problem to be a sound frenquency problem as did T-Bone in a previous comment? Some things just don't comply with the human body....

    May 16, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  5. Bob Loblaw

    Wouldn't be the first time the Military has used "questionable" materials in their equipment. Agent Orange, Napalm, and the list goes on. Now it's the "high-tech" problems. How about lead in wiring? The paint? The materials used in the plastics of the cockpit? The gasses that are found in new car interiors that make the windows fog over...too much to pinpoint, yet I hope they do!

    May 16, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
  6. Greg

    So a $150 million, state of the art fighter jet has a problem with the oxygen supply to the pilot? Nice job Lockheed Martin. So much for your quality testing. Wonder if they are going to refund the cost of repair back to the Air Force? As much as we paid for them there should be zero defects. (Yes, we the American Tax Payer, paid for this aircraft.) Congress wants to investigate stupid crap like Major League Baseball and the NFL, how about investigating how Lockheed Martin screwed this up?

    May 16, 2012 at 11:46 am | Reply
    • FifthApe

      Greg: Obviously you have never worked on any sort of complex development project in your life. I'll assume that is the reason for your ignorance.

      May 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Reply
    • Adam

      They did. This wasn't an issue in almost a decade of testing. You can't listen to outsiders on a subject like this. The pilots in the field aren't even good for comment beyond what they are experiencing. Only former test pilots of this airframe currently flying the 22 out in the regular Air Force or current test pilots for the project are the only ones worth talking to beyond the question, "What are you experiencing?". There's A LOT of information not covered by news media, much of which is well beyond the knowledge and interest of the general public.
      Too often civilians think, oh new plane with problems, the government dropped the ball on testing this plane before buying it. But what they don't know, this plane has been in development since 1990.

      May 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  7. Matt

    BTW, why is the "Publish" button in Spanish?

    May 16, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply
  8. Matt

    As an engineer with the DOD, I can tell you that it probably took engineers a day to isolate the issue. The problem is no one wants to spend the money to correct the issue.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
  9. Trey

    I can't believe it! All along all these people working on the issue have yet to think of the things these commenters think of. My God! we need to fire all these engineers and hire CNN comment board posters, they know the real solution!

    May 16, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply
  10. sielingfan

    The plane is alive. It breathes in human suffering and exhales lethal doses of bad@ss.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:35 am | Reply
  11. jbird68

    I briefly found a site indicating the oxygen system was made in China. Didnt we have a problem yrs ago, with China putting kill switches in things they built for us? They would have had the ability to turn off OUR weapons. There's your sign!

    May 16, 2012 at 11:22 am | Reply
    • Andrey

      It is on Internet: so it must be true!

      May 16, 2012 at 11:33 am | Reply
  12. swohio

    How many other countries publicly broadcast the flaws of their military equipment?

    May 16, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • Scott

      Its a testament to the fact no one poses a threat to us.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:28 am | Reply
    • sam


      May 16, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
  13. jaysargos


    May 16, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • Mark S

      Hypoxia brought on by carbon monoxide and cyanides displace the oxyen in the blood because they are more reactive to and tend to detach more slowly from the red blood cells. They can build up over time and take time for the body to get rid of them like carbon dioxide. That way that they deprive the pilots and the mechanics who operate the engine during maintenance and sit in the pilots seat to check all systems can be affected. Ozone attacks rubber and possibly silicone rubber. It causes rubber products to age much quicker than anticipated. The activated carbon may cause the cough but wouldn't cause the hypoxia unless it coated their lungs severely. -Doctors could see that in x-rays and the pilots would be coughing it up a lot of it if that were the case. Ozone is smog essentially – it may be, that where they pull the oxygen off the engine there is some – but I'm guessing. It may also cause hypoxia effects as it does to joggers on a hot city summer day. Ozone and hydrogen cyanide are small reactive compounds that may elude detection because they break down quickly. Carbon monoxide causes hypoxia but is doesn't break down fast and is easily detectable.

      May 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Reply
      • Mark S

        Sometimes its the simple little compounds, not the complex ones that are hard to find and are leathal.

        May 16, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  14. Ex-USAF Crew Chief - F-111

    I always questioned Mechanical oxygen separators, I am curious there is not some sort of a redundant system that uses tried and true LOX systems. I am guessing an Urgent Action TCTO is coming down. Interesting to me is how the Crew Chiefs are getting sick by working on this, and that news does not make the mainstream media.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply
  15. Hellion

    Don't forget the F16 had wire chaffing issues when it was deployed or the mechanism inside the wings of the F/A-18 Super Hornet that is wearing out prematurely or F-15's that have a defective beam, a defect that caused one plane to break apart in mid-air.

    Every fighter has had it's problems, all have been fixed except the F-22's but I see that coming in the near future.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:14 am | Reply
  16. richunix

    @ T

    Let put that challenge with some history:

    WWII: The Germans planes/armor were far superior than the Russian tanks/ planes they won (they had more and did not care about the losses to achieve that goal)

    Indochina: We had the best equipment of that time: hummmmm, they won for the same reason we lost….too much reliance on equipment

    Iraq/Afghanistan: Owww that’s a tough one, granted we defeated there Army, but with all the equipment drones, etc…Will still don’t own the country side.

    In short Equipment is are only tools to help achieve a goal….too much reliance on material / equipment reminds me a modern marvel of stupidity; The Maginot line.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • oberver9

      well, ok, for the WW2 senario, if the rest of the world (meaning other than Germany, Japan and Italy) have equally good weapons, Germany would never ever dare to make a I right? say it! say it! admit it! 🙂
      ok, so, we are still reliant on the cold war term: "MAD", Mutual Assured Destruction, to a lesser degree to deter agressor and world-citizen-behaving-badly (cough! cough! North korea! cough! cough! Iran! Cough!) from doing stupid things like invading their weaker neighbours, more like making sure that "AD" Assured Destruction for them, all curtesy of our ultra advance tech.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Well said. In the last 30 or so years, probably longer, the US military has put the emphasis on "buying 'better' equipment to reduce the risk to the troops. Damn the cost." While no soldier's life should ever be wasted – anyone willing to put their life on the line for their country is to be respected – we seem to have lost sight of the fact that the US lost more people at Normandy than they did in the entire Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns.

      Superior weapons are a Good Thing ™ and make life safer for the men and women who choose to serve, but there's limits. To borrow a quote: "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it." 97% survivablity for 100 Million, vs 95% for a tenth that. Hate to put a price on it, but the tradeoff is very real in a world without unlimited resources. In either case, the survivability is orders of magnitude better than it was for our parents or grandparents when they fought wars that actually mattered on a global scale..

      May 16, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
  17. Scott

    They should by all means strive to fix whatever issue there is with the planes... until they do though the order should be "Pilots Man Your Planes". These are warships, not amusement park rides. Our pilots during WWII and other wars flew planes with HOLES in them. Any pilot refusing to man a plane should be disciplined... Safety is always a secondary issue.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
    • tez07

      take the Patton approach and slap them around a bit, that will get those yellow cowards back in the planes

      May 16, 2012 at 11:12 am | Reply
    • Ted Striker

      Sweet, I hope they do a test run over your house, so as soon as the plane stalls out because the pilot is unconcious, your house will soften then impact of the crash landing.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
      • NassauAviatior

        People just dont understand Ted. lets say that your car has a oxygen problem SOMETIMES . but your job is to drive the car around and deliver packages. You have to use the same car all the time but your company cant find the problem. you have to hope to god your oxygen is there.

        May 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • reformed republicant

      Seriously Scott. Military aviation just isn't your forte. Safety is a PRIMARY consideration...period!!

      May 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  18. Ryan

    Being that the mechanics are getting symptoms, you'd have to suspect it is something in the materials or paint. Some strange chemical compound that causes this. I wonder what they're using, must be some terrible stuff.

    May 16, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
  19. tez07

    Mechanics are potentially getting ill, so it might be more than an operational issue......perhaps they should investigate the glue holding the composite parts together. I always get a bit light headed when sniffing glue.

    May 16, 2012 at 10:54 am | Reply
    • peter

      Don't you just hate that? I always punch a small hole in the top of the bag!

      May 16, 2012 at 10:56 am | Reply
    • tez07

      signed by Steve McCroskey

      May 16, 2012 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • Al

      Maybe the mechanics had a physical fitness test coming up and they needed to find an excuse to not run it?

      May 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  20. mike

    When MECHANICS on the ground are getting hypoxia symptoms, something is very, very wrong. Doesn't sound like this has anything to do with the oxygen systems at all. Sounds more like hypoxia-LIKE symptoms caused by lord-knows-what classified materials are used on this thing.

    It's an awful lot of trouble for a plane that nobody needed...

    May 16, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • Joe

      you're right. it might be the paint.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:54 am | Reply
      • mike

        There's a lot more beyond "paint" on this thing. The radar absorbent materials aren't exactly all the sort of thing you can just buy at the local Autozone...

        May 16, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • oberver9

      Mike, do you carry jumper cable in your vehicle you drive everyday you work? some people do and some people don't. What does the above have to do with the F-22? We have these "tools" for the "what-if" senarios. To protect USA, you can't afford to have a single layer for protection in terms of military tech, F-15, F-16 and F-18 are great tools, but so last generation, in fact so-2-generations ago. There are so many "hungry wolves" in the world eyeing for a piece of USA, the world is a very dangerous place and what we have to protect is far too precious not to be prepared. The F-22s are necessary, but we can do with better program management for the F-22 program, especially in terms of funds management. Do you recall how many times the B-1 bombers were revived because we needed them again? even the battleships from WW2 were recalled several times. It is my hope that I won't see another major war in my life time or my children's life time, but if it happens, the F-22 would sure to be there for us.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
      • mike

        What specific known threat does the F-22 counter that the "old" generation couldn't? The F-22 program was a product of an arms race that ended decades before the Air Force even took its first delivery. Simply being a "new gen" is hardly justification in and of itself. That's fighter fanboy talk, not logic.

        If anything, the F-22 has sparked a new and expensive arms race. In that sense, it created its own justification (should any of these other programs go anywhere, e.g. Russia's T-50). The only winners are the global defense contractors who design these plans.

        May 16, 2012 at 11:18 am |
      • mike

        Also, we DIDN'T need those B-1s. They were revived so its supporters could save face.

        May 16, 2012 at 11:19 am |
      • DaveD

        Except the F-22 is not fulfilling a role not already fulfilled by existing capability. Someone redesigned a microchip and the F-22 was needed to incoporate the new technology.

        May 16, 2012 at 11:22 am |
      • Dave

        Great plan, mike - let's just pretend like we live in a Utopian world where everyone wants to hold hands and sing songs around a campfire. How about the PAK-FA?
        I wish I could live in the blissfully ignorant bubble that must be your world, but for better or worse, I need to be aware of the threats that we face today and in the FUTURE because I don't want my USAF friends or myself dying because we became complacent.

        May 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • oberver9

      ok, Mike, you have a point, several good points in fact, can't dispute them. I guess for some of us, driven by fear, have a need for some sort of assurance or protection, from things we learn from history, past wars, and acts of aggression. just don't want to get caught defenseless, like in WW2. What we have is still plenty good, but who knows who is developing something that can counter us, or they have the illusion that they built something that can harm us. The need for things like B-1s or F-22s from people like me exist, the feeling of waste of money for these things from people like you also exist. i bet you are ready to say that you are completely right and I am completely wrong, I feel that you are right but I am not totally wrong with my point of view.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:38 am | Reply
    • Frank

      We just need to get rid of human pilots. Computers don't need oxygen, and don't care about pulling Gs.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:51 am | Reply
      • oberver9

        ah ha! I think we are already one foot in that boat, the fore runners are the Predator drones, and the are already several programs in the development stages. hum, robot army, I am worried, they can turn on us some day....a hundred years from now, after I am long gone, our children may have to address those robot mutiny issues.....

        May 16, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • dreamer96

      These Mechanics sometimes fly the planes after they fix them, or sit inside the planes and run ground engines, systems tests...You know all helicopter mechanics fly the helicopters after they fix them..some of the required mechanics flight tests are pretty wild for the helicopter mechanics, or pilots...

      May 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Reply
      • reformed republicant


        May 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
      • dreamer96

        reformed republicant

        Fittings...hmmm I would think they would find a lose fitting...

        And by the way, reformed republicant, the DOD has a few places for dreamers...they call one of them dreamland...

        May 16, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Al

      We never needed the F-16 or F-18 either, OSD forced the light fighter concept onto the Air Force and Navy. Being "multi-mission" and cheap became the big selling point for these planes. Thing is, the F-14 and F-15 both became more capable multi-mission platforms and, at least when compared to the F/A-18, not that much more expensive to acquire. Grumman was making the F-14 capable of air-to-ground and the Marines were ready to purchase it, but work on that was stopped so it wouldn't threaten what would become the F/A-18. Making and selling weapons of war is a huge industry and the F-16 and F/A-18 were easily marketable. Since noone will buy the F-22 other than us, I'm thinking some people would love to keep the F-16 and F-18 on the assembly line so we can keep pusing those products on random governments.

      May 16, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  21. Gee

    If this was Toyota, we'd be talking about a Recall.....

    May 16, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • JLS639

      If this were a Toyota, there would be dozens of other plane models capable of doing the exact same jobs just as well that could be used instead...

      If this were a Toyota, replacement of defective vehicles would cost on the order of $20,000 each, not on the order of $120 million each.

      If this were a Toyota, switching over to a Chevy or a Honda would not require special training.

      There are reasons the USAF proceeds as it does.

      Of course, it would have been better just to upgrade the old F-16's than buy new F-22's even before these problems, but the F-22 is a pork barrel project.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
      • DJ

        You forgot Toyotas don't fall out of the sky.

        May 16, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  22. gary

    waste-o-money. Defense contractors steal us blind. Military madness is killing America.

    May 16, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
  23. oberver9

    ok, if the mechanics are also getting sick, then that means that whatever is making them sick is in and around the entire air frame. Whatever ultra secret ingredients that they are using to make these super jets is giving off some chemicals, it could be anything, the skin, the frame, sealants, anti-radar materials, the glass, the electronics....something else other than the lack of oxygen is causing the problem, a chemical that inhibits a human from taking in oxygen normally.....if the pilots continue to suffer from the problem even after the backup oxygen system is installed, that would confirm it. I am sure the engineers are aware of it.....wake up boys and girls!

    May 16, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
  24. tez07

    Easy enough to fix.....if you start to feel light headed or oxygen deprived, just roll down the window and stick your head out for some fresh air.

    May 16, 2012 at 10:37 am | Reply
  25. SidAirfoil

    There;'s the F-14, F-15, F-16, F-18 and F-22. I think that the F117 stealth fighter is the "F17" of the series (maybe not). What happened to the F-19, F-20, and F-21? Are they still secret?


    May 16, 2012 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • 86Timewarp

      I bet they were concept planes that were fighting for contracts but were canceled and or still maybe secret. For example the YF-23, it was concept plane to compete with the YF-22 (F-22). Ultimately the YF-22 won so the YF-23 was scrapped. After that, they skip numbers to avoid confusion for the most part, unless they're still continuing the project unofficially.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:49 am | Reply
    • ptarmigan

      the f -17 morphed into the F-18...

      May 16, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
      • mike

        Right. The F-16 and F-17 competed for an Air Force contract and the F-16 won (this ultimately killed the F-20's chances as well). Then the Navy decided that the F-17 was closer to their own needs, so they tricked it out to be a carrier-based aircraft and voila: F-18.

        May 16, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • JustSaying

      The YF-17 was a Northup Prototype light fighter, F-19 is believed to have become the F-117, the F-20 Tigershark is a light fighter and the F-21 is actually Israeli built but used as adversarial aircraft at the US Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program popularly called TOPGUN.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:57 am | Reply
      • mike

        Correction: The F-21 would have been a light fighter. They never manufactured any beyond the prototypes.

        May 16, 2012 at 11:08 am |
      • mike

        Argh...I mean the F-20...

        May 16, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Mark Zuckerburg

      Don't you watch TV ? American math scores are 17th on the list of developed nations. We cannot count as a country, hence we skip numbers. F17 -> F22 -> F117 -> F345498

      May 16, 2012 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • mike

      "What happened to the F-19, F-20, and F-21?"

      First of all, they order is somewhat arbitrary. For example, in the 1950s-1970s there was an F-101. And from the 1960s-1990s there was the F-111 (which inspired the Navy's F-14).

      There was never officially an F-19, though it is speculated that it was applied to a secret aircraft that became the F-117 (do a search for "Have Blue").

      There WAS an F-20, aka the "Tigershark". It was a highly updated version of the F-5 (if you ever saw "Top Gun", the so-called "MiG-28s" were actually F-5s...the F-20 looked just like those). The F-20 was cancelled. The F-16 filled the same role it would have.

      There was a "real" F-21. In the 1980s the US borrowed a handful of Israeli Kfir fighters (basically, glorified French Mirage IIIs) as "adversary" planes in combat training, and called them "F-21s" .

      Combat aircraft history is fun, ain't it? It's full of inconsistencies like these.

      May 16, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
      • mike

        Meant to say "there was NEVER a real F-21".

        May 16, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  26. dreamer96

    KIRBY: I don't think we would ever refer to a fighter pilot in the United States Air Force as a guinea pig.

    Oh Boy...

    They should ask any Test Pilot this question, or the members of the early space fights..those with the "Right Stuff"..or the X-15 pilots...Those "Right Stuff" guys were one step above a trained monkey...only because the pilots could talk back to the designers, tell them what was going on...

    May 16, 2012 at 10:18 am | Reply
  27. Rob

    This about says it all...

    May 16, 2012 at 9:58 am | Reply
  28. Oodoodanoo

    The prototype YF-22 was accepted for production in 1991. 21 years ago. This is not new or radical technology anymore. If this thing were almost-fixable, it should have been done by now. Fourteen years of development followed by seven years of pseudo-operational status means this thing has failed the practical test of military readiness.

    It needs to be canceled.

    May 16, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
    • Tabula Rasa

      True, this is 21-yr old technology but compared to what everybody else is flying out there, the F-22 is so advanced that nothing else even compares. We built a plane that nobody can challenge in an actual shooting war.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
      • Joe

        the "ENEMY" will challenge anything,do you think this jet will scare them?

        May 16, 2012 at 10:14 am |
      • Joe

        the plane is NOT flyable for any length of time,it" worthless.the F-15,16 and 18 are all we need.

        May 16, 2012 at 10:18 am |
      • richunix

        Let put that challenge with some history:

        WWII: The Germans planes/armor were far superior than the Russian tanks/ planes they won (they had more and did not care about the losses to achieve that goal)

        Indochina: We had the best equipment of that time: hummmmm, they won for the same reason we lost….too much reliance on equipment

        Iraq/Afghanistan: Owww that’s a tough one, granted we defeated there Army, but with all the equipment drones, etc…Will still don’t own the country side.

        In short Equipment is are only tools to help achieve a goal….too much reliance on material / equipment reminds me a modern marvel of stupidity; The Maginot line.

        May 16, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • vbscript2

      They stopped producing them a few years ago... it has been cancelled. That doesn't mean we don't still use the ones we have.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • dreamer96

      They are finding small amounts of carbon inside the breathing masks an air either it is coming from the carbon filters, or the something made of carbon is breaking the composite air frame body?...Why would the carbon filters be breaking down now after years of flying... hydraulic fluid eating up the epoxy glue over time?...many new rubbers are made from corn or soybean oils...are the seals breaking down? silicone seals, and rubber give off formaldehyde gas,...but that is for new seals..some material is breaking down after years of exposure to chemicals in the environment..Are we buying our carbon air filters from China now??

      May 16, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply
      • oberver9

        well said, you sound like an engineer, a mechanical or electrical major! if not, you should be one! well, engineering jobs are leaving our country, not sure if that is as good as an idea compare to 15 years ago.

        May 16, 2012 at 10:56 am |
      • dreamer96


        Thank you for the observation, I was once a Navy Avionics Analyst...but was over qualified for any jobs I applied for since I left the DOD civilian world..even working in a warehouse..Ironic what happens to Engineers/Scientists/Analyst in this country isn't it...they are wasted all the time...

        May 16, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

    So, they will just fly from one end of runway to the other? hahahahaha

    Sounds funny!

    May 16, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
    • Prediction

      Most defense contractors, hire retired military brass as consultants with very very large salaries. When contractors ere asked why there is no evidence retired military defense contractor employees ever entered the contractor facilities. They said it is not a necessary condition of employment. Hey, guys just because someone cannot get you contracts, it does not mean you should plant burning cross in the whistle blowers front yard.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
      • CW

        Um, what did you just try to say?

        May 16, 2012 at 10:38 am |
      • Mark S

        I'll take a shot at translating: the Pentagon elite, just because your jet isn't raking in the dough you thought it would, don't pick on the pilots and their families when they try to correct a problem publicly that you refused to address when they brought it up in private; not just for themselves but for also for the man beside them and all their families. Usually when you wistle blow it means you have tried every other means to get it done. These guys are sticking their necks out quite far and may have to change career's depending on the backlash. To a pilot trained to face danger every day, taking on your own boss is an all new fear. These guys are hero's if they save lives. Trained pilots are worth more than the weapon they weild at any price.

        Prediction is my second language. I'm actually half prediction on my mother's side.

        May 16, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  30. Samuel R. Preston, III

    I wonder if the alien technology we harvested from Area 51 is causing a change to the structure of human red blood cells, limiting their ability to carry oxygen? That would explain the mechanics getting sick, too.

    May 16, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • John in NY

      I see that someone's off their meds again.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
    • Mark

      Sounds like you are experiencing some oxygen deprivation yourself

      May 16, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • Joe

      Let those college punks at the EPA figure it out,that"s thier jobs.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
    • peter

      I think you are quite correct, it's time to pay the devil for his dance!

      May 16, 2012 at 10:58 am | Reply
  31. Brent Dow

    I was an aeronautics/aerospace engineering student prior to the economic crash and I will stand on it as much today as I did then... Northrup had a WAY better design and product (F-23). But as usual, Lockheed somehow won that contract. Just like Boeing had a better Delta Rocket design, yet Lockheed won that one. AND Northrup had a superior design for the JointStrikeFighter.....and yet again Lockheed won it. Maybe this should be a wake up call! If we can't even fly our military aircraft a reasonable distance away from their bases, what good are they???

    May 16, 2012 at 9:41 am | Reply
    • Dan

      it's NORTHROP....our name is NORTHROP

      May 16, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
      • Brent Dow

        Sorry Dan. Wasn't paying attention. Science was my bag, not English.

        May 16, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Tabula Rasa

      Govt contracts are always awarded to the lowest bidder, but you already knew that.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
    • crashcarlson

      The YF-23 even used existing parts that would have been cheaper to produce. I think there was some kind of "incident" during testing that scared everybody away from the YF-23. I wonder if anybody is regretting not giving it a chance? I remember reading about the YF-23 as a kid when Popular Science ran a story on the race. Personally I liked the YF-23 design, it just looked mean sitting still.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
      • Howard

        Yes, it did, but apparently the F-22 had better thrust vectoring performance and a little better top speed. And when it comes to fighter jocks, there never too much speed.

        Some years ago, there was a bulletin board in the Pentagon where someone had posted a sign that said, "Speed Kills." And someone else posted one underneath that said, "Not here it doesn't. It only awes."

        May 16, 2012 at 10:45 am |
  32. swan_50

    Leave it to the DoD to spend the US into bankruptcy for the sake of Afghanistan, Iraq and a bunch of weapons that have no chance or working.

    May 16, 2012 at 9:34 am | Reply
    • sawolf

      Yeah, better to give taxpayer dollars to the multigenerational welfare parasites and fund a government bureaucracy of know nothings to administer what was the finest health care system on this planet.

      May 16, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
    • D

      Even if we eliminated the defense budget completely, this President and congress will still have a deficit of 500 – 700 billion per year, more than GB ever had.

      May 16, 2012 at 9:51 am | Reply
      • peter

        Just where are you getting that information? Karl Rove? All lies GW ruined this country and his thieving henchmen, GW never had a brain cell in his horrid little life!

        May 16, 2012 at 11:00 am |
    • JackLM

      Agreed. Our bloated military is a worthless waste of money. Military spending is what collapsed the Soviet Union, and it looks like we are headed the same direction.
      Investing in our citizens is a better deal every time. We need to be following the lead of Countries like Sweden, who have made college universal, and have a healthcare system with better results (longer life spans, lower surgical error, quicker visit times) than our poorly ranked one.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
      • phugoid

        are u nuts? you cant compare Sweden's system to the US. for one, they only have a few million citizens, mostly all white. to think u can just "copy" their system to ours shows ur lack of common sense!

        May 16, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  33. Jannai

    What a waste.

    May 16, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
  34. michaelfury

    May 16, 2012 at 9:19 am | Reply
  35. tankette

    Wonder how many Commie Chinese parts are in that plane?

    May 16, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply
    • fjord

      probably none..they're planes dont even compare to ours..

      May 16, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
    • vbscript2

      None unless they're commercial off-the-shelf parts. It's illegal to manufacture ITAR items (as any part specific to the F-22 would be) in China.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:16 am | Reply
  36. erich2112x

    Roll the damn windows down, dumb-a s ses.

    May 16, 2012 at 8:57 am | Reply
    • James

      USAF pilots can't do that, silly. It might make it look like they're asking for directions.

      May 16, 2012 at 9:58 am | Reply
  37. jasonn13

    What's different between the F-22 oxygen system vs the F-117, F-35, FA-18 systems that aren't causing the hypoxia symptoms? Where is the intake for that system located and could it be sucking in hazardous fumes being emitted from the F-22 magic coating, or other onboard systems?

    May 16, 2012 at 8:56 am | Reply
    • swan_50

      The F-22 is designed to use less "bleed air" out of the engine's compressor stages than the other aircraft you mention. Traditional oxygen systems rely on taking some air away from the engine.

      May 16, 2012 at 9:31 am | Reply
  38. Whombatt

    As issue-plagued programs go, the F-22 program is right up there but it will be eclipsed by the really big boondoggle, the JSF F-35 program. Any number of experts now say that the F-35 is a weapon in search of a mission that will never come. And, the weapon in its current design state is not even approaching its original design envelope which was to be a common base for all three arms of our air-fighting forces, the Navy, the Air Force and the Marines.

    Whoops–back up. It will serve our Marine Corps even in its current screwed-up configuration–a Marine will fly anything with an engine and wings and wings are optional.

    May 16, 2012 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • honest john

      Well if the mission never comes, then the mission it fulfilled was deterrence.

      May 16, 2012 at 8:31 am | Reply
      • Dan


        May 16, 2012 at 8:45 am |
      • tom

        Ci vis pacem para bellum.

        May 16, 2012 at 9:15 am |
      • Oodoodanoo

        If I built a space heater on top of a unicycle, its mission would never come, either. What did it deter?

        The original poster is correct that both of these planes are in search of a mission. We've had two wars during which time the F-22 became operational. It's been AWOL from both. Why? 1) We don't need it there. 2) It would break if we sent it.

        Yeah, mission accomplished. I'll bet the enemy is real scared.

        May 16, 2012 at 9:38 am |
    • Howard

      Yeah, ya gotta love those flying jarheads. Their first priority is keeping the mud marines alive, not outliving them.

      Semper Fi!

      May 16, 2012 at 8:41 am | Reply
    • Howard

      Both the F-22 and the F-35 employ radical new technologies. Every new aircraft that employed radical new technologies had its growing pains, but that didn't prevent them from eventually proving their worth. Does anyone remember when the F-117 (hero of the 1991 Irag air campaign) was dubbed "th' wobblin' goblin?"

      They'll figure out the problem and solve it, and the naysayers will be eating their words once again.

      May 16, 2012 at 8:47 am | Reply
      • Oodoodanoo

        The F-35 is underpowered, so it has a poor thrust-to-weight ratio. It has terrible climb rate and high wing loading, so it's a sitting duck. It has no external tanks, so its range is short. It's totally dependent on flying tankers, which are definitely not fast or stealthy. For similar stealth reasons, it has limited weapons capability because it has to keep its missiles inside.

        One of its missions is close air support for ground troops. However, it can't fly slow enough over a target to get involved. Furthermore, it has no armor, so it's vulnerable to small arm-fire when it gets close.

        Australia, which is planning on buying the F-35, did simulations of the F-35 in real life. The Chinese killed all the tankers first, starving the F-35s. The F-35s ran out of missiles before they ran out of targets. Then the Chinese just followed the F-35s around until they ran out of gas or they came into range.

        The F-35 is a great big pile of treasonous pork.

        May 16, 2012 at 9:28 am |
      • John

        What planet are you from? Get the facts. Too slow to fly Close Air Support (CAS)....this is coming from a guy who flown how many CAS I would presume. I've flown hundreds and that is just idiot talk! You are reading some real garbage.....Fly a fighter and come back and talk to me. Otherwise stick to whatever profession you know something about.

        May 16, 2012 at 9:44 am |
      • Oodoodanoo

        Oh, by the way - if you want to have faith in something, have faith in your god. Faith in technology means nothing. People used to really believe flying cars were just around the corner.

        If you really believe the F-35 is fixable, you're in that same boat.

        May 16, 2012 at 9:29 am |
      • Oodoodanoo

        @John tell me how many of those hundreds were in the F-35, and what's its minimum air speed.

        May 16, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  39. pbernasc

    Half billion dollars a piece .. the enemy can't see it and if it dares to fight it, it will be killed by it. Of course .. in the hope that it will not kill its own pilot before killing the enemy.

    Enemy of the USA air force .. good news, the F-22 is on your side, it will kill its pilot for you .. just give it enough time.

    Half a billion dollars!!! U gotta be kidding ..

    May 16, 2012 at 8:18 am | Reply
    • honest john

      You actually get 2 for that price. They are on sale.

      May 16, 2012 at 8:32 am | Reply
    • jdrock

      Half a BILLION $$$$'s each!!!!! This fighter is great for flying in the USA skies only. This jet is useless fighting the enemy if they don't have jets also. Let's see... does Afghanistan have jets, let me think about this~

      This is typical US government spending habits, waste waste and more government waste. Don't get me wrong here, I'm all for homeland security but enough is enough with the spending.

      May 16, 2012 at 8:49 am | Reply
      • Brendan

        Actually, say that to the countless Taliban ninjas who have had 2,000 pound bombs dropped on their heads from Close Air Support.

        May 16, 2012 at 9:28 am |
      • ElectricalEngineer

        The F-22 had nothing to do with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The F-35 was more suited for air-to-ground combat and was being designed to be the militaries workhorse. The F-22 is about air superiority, which is more about competing with other superpowers. The F-22 is actually hindered by the pilot. If the F-22 was made to be an unmanned fighter, it would be far more useful. The future of war technology will eventually eliminate the pilot so the need for oxygen supplies will not be an issue.

        May 16, 2012 at 9:38 am |
      • Trevor

        Nice to know that you think Afghanistan is the only thing on the military's radar especially the USAF...go do a little research "weight of effort" has shifted for CENTCOM in the past year...let me clue you in, it doesn't involve COIN operations in Afghanistan where there are no fighter aircraft and IADS. There was just an article yesterday referencing an Exercise called EAGER LION, this may "educate" you before you open your mouth again griping and saying WTF...

        May 16, 2012 at 9:39 am |
      • pbernasc

        well .. so was said for the B2 and B1 bombers and yet the techno effort done is why there is a superior military in the world and it's the USA, not someone else, Trust much better so. I don't mind spending the money, I just want it to be spent with better efficiency.
        The B2 is 2 billions a piece .. obviously that's an inflated price, but at least it works.
        The F-22, superior to anybody else by far .. but it can't fly and cost half a billion each ($425M)
        This kind of error .. like the pilot can't breath is not acceptable on a $425M vehicle.
        This needs fixing, free of charges

        May 17, 2012 at 1:18 am |
  40. John

    Listen I have over 2,500 hrs in military fighters, this isn't a big deal. This is not uncommon, the F-18 has had oxygen problems for years now and lost pilots because of it, have you heard about it.....nope. The F-22 is a complex machine and I have both faith in the jet and the USAF, and I'm not even an Air Force pilot. Most modern fighters use a system call OBOGS (on-board oxygen generating system). It scrubs the air and separates oxygen from nitrogen. It's an amazing system that I have used for years. Additionally, all pilots have a 8 minute emergency oxygen bottle as part of seat. You need emergency you pull an O2 handle and you decend below 10,000 ft. Also, we get annual training on hypoxia so really people this isn't a big deal. Lets talk about some real news please.

    May 16, 2012 at 8:17 am | Reply
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey now!
      There is no room for facts and objective thinking here. We are on a witch hunt and dam!t we are going to burn someone at the stake!

      May 16, 2012 at 8:25 am | Reply
    • SomeNobody

      Hey, just because some pilots died because of the problem, it's no big deal.

      May 16, 2012 at 8:41 am | Reply
      • Jim

        The pilots died because they didn't follow procedure. There is a reason we get hypoxia training: to recognize it. But invariably there are the pilots that think they can beat hypoxia and then we all get a good laugh watching it on video later. Unfortunately it's no laughing matter when it happens in the plane...

        May 16, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Raven

      I suggest you go watch the very excellent piece that the two officers did – in uniform – on camera on 60 minutes about these planes, they're so concerned. One became so disoriented, he couldn't FIND the emergency oxygen tank ring to pull it. He knew it was there, but was so unable to think properly, he could not find the ring that would have saved him. Also, once these planes went back into the air after being grounded, they were all fitted with special hoses from the oxygen unit to the pilots to see if they were being poisoned – those tubes started breaking down and the pilots started breathing in charcoal; they started calling it 'raptor cough' until they figured out what it was. These pilots LOVE these planes; they think they're the best in the world, but in droves, they're getting medical excuses to remove them from active flying service. They don't feel safe. It was an excellent interview, and I've seen two articles on CNN since then which makes me think the military is starting to feel the pressure of a CYA attitude, but it may not protect these brave pilots who spoke out.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:51 am | Reply
  41. D

    Get NASA to look at the problem. They've tested and perfected oxygen systems and engine systems. If it's not already being done.

    May 16, 2012 at 8:07 am | Reply
    • Big Tex

      Yep, Nasa will fix it... And it will only cost about a Billion per plane!

      May 16, 2012 at 9:36 am | Reply
    • Raven

      They've HAD NASA working on the problem. NASA can't figure it out either.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:53 am | Reply
  42. jrh

    The F-22 is a relic of the Cold War that should have been canceled in 1992 before we spent BILLIONS on this big ugly boondoggle. It's an aircraft with no mission, and now it's incapable of performing even that. How long do we keep throwing good money (that we don't have) after bad?

    May 16, 2012 at 8:00 am | Reply
    • Mark S

      The arctic is becoming accessable to mining operations for all the countries around it. Change happens. Could that trigger a new cold war? A new war? Who knows...

      May 16, 2012 at 8:14 am | Reply
  43. Jason K

    I'm sorry, but...why would the engineers who DON'T FLY THE PLANE be affected by Hypoxia? Did anyone else see that part?

    May 16, 2012 at 7:51 am | Reply
    • ChiefGunner

      If you mean the "mechanics". They have to test (use) the O2 systems during maintenance/repair. If there is a contaminate in the system, they are breathing it too.

      May 16, 2012 at 8:21 am | Reply
    • Raven

      The two pilots on 60 minutes spoke about longer term effects, like bed spins later on, general nausea, breathing problems, problems with sight. It's starting to affect them even when they're not in the plane. They talked about one pilot who flew into a tree in Alaska, and had no idea he had even flown into a tree, he was that far out of it.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:56 am | Reply
  44. Peter E

    The great thing about being a military contractor is that you can make any crappy plane, and the government will pay for it. In fact, if you mess up the plane, the government gives you even more money to fix the problem you created. In how many jobs can you say that? You are given more money for messing up?

    May 16, 2012 at 7:42 am | Reply
    • Steve

      Doctors... 20 doctors later and they get paid if they find the problem or not. 5 surgeries later and I still have big burning black spot on my right side hip as big as my hand. They gave up and don't even try anymore. But I sure can feel my intestines rumble in my right hip and it swells. And I get so sick and dizzy I about fall over. They just say "did you fall or something?" Morons. But they sure can bill for it still.

      May 16, 2012 at 7:59 am | Reply
    • jrh

      @Steve – if doctors were responsible for designing and building faulty babies, your argument would be valid. Otherwise it's a ridiculous comparison. Lockheed designed a lemon from day one in the F-22, and we've been falling over ourselves to pay them money to try to fix it ever since.

      May 16, 2012 at 8:02 am | Reply
    • Lou

      The Military gives it's troops money for screwing up all the time.

      May 16, 2012 at 8:16 am | Reply
      • John

        Same for you... someone pays you and believe it or not you screw up on occasion too.

        May 16, 2012 at 9:23 am |
      • Raven

        Does it give them money for being poisoned or going up in an unsafe machine? Are they getting extra hazard pay? Are they getting testing pay because they are – essentially – guinea pigs because the military can't get a handle on the problem even after grounding the planes and then sending them back up in an unsafe condition? These guys can't find emergency equipment in the cockpit they've been trained in for years – what does that tell you? They're not going to be able to punch out or switch to emergency oxygen, as demonstrated before when they become so disoriented. I'm surprised the military thinks they'd be able to LAND a friggin' plane in that condition and not take themselves and perhaps a ground crew out.

        May 16, 2012 at 11:01 am |
  45. Bob B

    As far back a can remember, the F-22 has had one problem or another. What a mess and waste of money.

    May 16, 2012 at 7:25 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Every aircraft has problems. They literally all leak, have something going wrong at some time or another, and have bugs that need to be worked out of the new systems. This is just for some reason done in public now. For the life of me I dont know why this issue is allowed to be known by the public. It just tells our enemies that we have a problem controlling our own skies.

      May 16, 2012 at 7:40 am | Reply
      • David

        I've known about it for a while. Not sure why they released it. But, 2 pilots were on TV last weekend, 60 Minutes I think, talking about it. So the world knows now.

        May 16, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • jrh

      @Mike – "leak"? The F-22's problems are hardly a few spots of oil on the pavement underneath it. It's been a worthless boondoggle from the first time it flew. It has no mission (the USSR is long gone), and it's a COLOSSAL waste of tax dollars that we simply don't have.

      May 16, 2012 at 8:04 am | Reply
      • Lou

        Thank the Bushes for the boondoggle

        May 16, 2012 at 8:18 am |
  46. michaelfury

    May 16, 2012 at 7:24 am | Reply
  47. Thenextstep

    So is the fancy back-up system a couple of spare oxygen tanks in the back with lines running to them ???

    May 16, 2012 at 7:24 am | Reply
    • scott

      That's the regular system.

      May 16, 2012 at 8:17 am | Reply
  48. S.V.P.YADAV

    Respected, Mr. Leon Panetta Garu , Secretory of Defence,
    F-22 Flights need to U S. F-22 having some minor repairs and it is not a controversy. F-22 Flights will fly on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China territorys successfully . So U S need F-22 Flights at least 10 years.

    May 16, 2012 at 7:16 am | Reply
  49. Jorge

    Eisenhower was right about the military-industrial complex, but that was just skimming the surface. The U.S. economy has become a free-for-all feeding frenzy for carpetbaggers, crooks and carnies, the financial system has become a giant ponzi scheme and the bu11$h!tt&rs in congress are the ventriloquist puppets for them.

    May 16, 2012 at 7:13 am | Reply
  50. sam

    More JUNK in the AIR,,Hey what's a few trillion worthless dollars wasted anyway

    May 16, 2012 at 6:49 am | Reply
    • Jt_flyer

      "more junky the air"? Ok genious. Tell us about all the others junk. I don't think you know anything about American aviation. If I had a lifetime I'd explain it to you junior.

      May 16, 2012 at 7:07 am | Reply
      • Dan

        I'm also a pilot and I'd like to know about all this "junk" flying around too. I guess you didn't know that aircraft are much safer, built to much higher tolerances, and built with much higher quality materials than whatever it is you drive... Doesn't matter what make or model it is.

        My 1974 Piper Warrior II is probably older than anything you drive and I guarantee it will outlast the next 3 cars you buy with no issues other than normal maintenance and engine overhauls.

        May 16, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  51. George Siciliano

    Ah! The manufacturer is "mounting a campaign" to counter the adverse publicity. BULL Mount a campaign and find out whats wrong you idiots. Our men and woman's lives are in danger, not to mention the victims at the crash site.

    May 16, 2012 at 6:46 am | Reply
    • Andy

      Good point! If carmakers have to pay for warranty work on safety recalls, why can't Lockheed pay for recall work on the F22?

      May 16, 2012 at 7:43 am | Reply
  52. Mark S

    On a side note, this was fun and I and am enjoying reading all these posts. I'll say one thing in defence of the Pentagon: you can't just turn on and shut down industries without huge impact on the people who work there. Most of this jet is made in the USA I bet.

    May 16, 2012 at 6:37 am | Reply
    • Aash

      Did you think they were going to keep building them forever? They didn't cut anything short. There's a difference between cancelling orders and not making new ones. A single F-22 can simultaneously knock out *8* fourth generation fighters from BVR. Do you think we need one for every 8 military planes in the world so we can shoot down the entire world's air force at once? I suppose we should spend $100bn annually to have the entire army all trained to be special forces as well? That seems to fit your logic here.

      May 16, 2012 at 6:54 am | Reply
      • Mark S

        The larger the machine the harder it is to stop. I am neither for or against anything the Pentagon decides I am merely making an observance. This train started long before the first fighter flew. The R and D costs are never mentioned. I am neutral on the costs versus worth because things change.

        May 16, 2012 at 7:09 am |
      • sinbad

        Aash I suggest you check out the link, for an unbiased view on the numbers of F22's required.


        May 16, 2012 at 7:27 am |
  53. JDavis

    At a third of a billion each and too expensive and too dangerous to use in combat, the F-22's constitute one of the largest welfare programs for the military ever, not to be exceeded except by the F-35's.

    May 16, 2012 at 6:12 am | Reply
    • Aash

      Because the growing costs of the F-35 were cited as the primary reason for not placing new orders of F-22s?

      May 16, 2012 at 6:55 am | Reply
  54. Darkguardian1314

    If I recall there were problems with the oxygen during early testing. A test pilot had a leak in the oxygen system coming from under his seat during flight. He had to sit on his flight plan book to protect him form the cold oxygen gas leaking leaking out until he could make an emergency landing.

    It's ironic that a very advance plane with all the latest technologies is set back by something that jet planes have had since the WWII.

    May 16, 2012 at 5:58 am | Reply
  55. Joe

    Just watched the footage that is on right now. Why did you include the F-35 in the F-22 footage?

    May 16, 2012 at 5:35 am | Reply
    • MightyMoo

      If I remember right reading from an earlier article, they share the same oxygen problems when this whole thing started.

      May 16, 2012 at 6:36 am | Reply
  56. ngc1300

    The most advanced fighter in the world below 20000 ft altitude and no more than a few hundred miles from base. I'm so glad I paid all those taxes for such exceptional protection.

    May 16, 2012 at 5:10 am | Reply
  57. SixDegrees

    "five mechanics have reported hypoxia symptoms" – which indicates that the problem likely isn't oxygen related, since these incidents occurred on the ground.

    May 16, 2012 at 4:57 am | Reply
    • JWoody907

      Yes, Room, did an article on the matter reporting that ground mechanics are getting the symptoms "off-mask" but while the engines were running.
      Perhaps this indicates some sort of back feed from the aircraft exhaust into the cockpit to a limited extent?

      May 16, 2012 at 5:29 am | Reply
      • Colin in Florida

        Your idea is possible. Another possible scenario is one of mass psychogenic illness, where one person 'thinks' they are getting an illness, and others around them start to exhibit similar symptoms. This is a disease, because the symptoms do manifest themselves. This happened last year in an up-state New York LeRoy high school, as an example.

        May 16, 2012 at 7:33 am |
  58. Waste of money

    Can you say cut military spending?

    May 16, 2012 at 4:49 am | Reply
    • Bill

      Can you say, "Cut Welfare"?? Believe it or not, spending on social welfare programs (Welfare, Food Stamps, Section 8 Housing Assistance, etc) exceeds military spending in this country.

      At least, with the military, we're getting something for our money. Social welfare programs just breed generations of people who contribute NOTHING to society, except a bigger burden.

      May 16, 2012 at 7:21 am | Reply
      • David

        I say cut BOTH. However, if I had to choose only one, military.

        May 16, 2012 at 7:49 am |
      • Mark S

        Playing devil's advocate Bill, couldn't the bad parts of the Pentagon machine be considered welfare for defense corporation's high level people? If we spent less on the corporate military elite and more on the front line troops of all of our branches of forces I think we would have a better overall military.

        May 16, 2012 at 8:10 am |
      • Truefax

        Bill are you serious? Oh you're just looking at a pie chart that includes the DoD budget. How about the wars, insurance payouts, pentions, etc... that are included in other parts of the budget? How about the Discretionary spending % allocation that goes to the military?

        For a long time the LIONS SHARE of our tax dollars went to the military. Can't wait for the the cuts to come, when was the last time an F-22 did anything for us in the afgan?

        Cut these stupid programs and increase the pay and training of our people. Much more bang, much less buck. Seriously it's time to get the 1% of the government teet.

        May 16, 2012 at 8:31 am |
      • honest john

        When was the last time you used a 1500 psi pressure washer to clean your windows?

        May 16, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  59. Chuck

    Pilots in flight are getting sick on these planes, and the manufacturer mounts a PR campaign "to combat the negative publicity"? Lockheed Martin's resources should be applied to identifying and solving the problem, *NOT* PR.

    May 16, 2012 at 4:15 am | Reply
  60. Everett Wallace

    These "pilots" who complained could NOT have been one of my ANGELS be that you're in an F-22 or a spitfire it's not the aircraft even though I am connected to ALL weapons systems that's including the M-1 tank to the pistol a police officer carry, it's about the person and the HOLYSPIRIT! who lives in them, it's a birth right thang you carnel folk "religious folk" would not understand.

    May 16, 2012 at 3:53 am | Reply
    • Dave

      Please don't post anymore.

      May 16, 2012 at 7:38 am | Reply
    • PghBuckeye

      F-22, Military spending and The HOLYSPIRIT he trio of power, illness and wackadoodleness! Some of these somments are hilarious. This should be a reality TV show. Military spending is omportant to maintain our protective and offensive capability. HOWEVER it must be wise spending and I am not sure how wise these decisions have been. I agree the PR campaign is bullSh#t, find and fix the problem you maggots!!

      May 16, 2012 at 7:49 am | Reply
  61. FU


    May 16, 2012 at 2:43 am | Reply
    • China is a joke

      Don't laugh too hard, when the plane is ready it's headed your way.

      May 16, 2012 at 3:17 am | Reply
  62. toadears

    Why can't they just send them up with an auxillary oxygen tank? Fear of explosions? I know they can fly with them.

    May 16, 2012 at 2:17 am | Reply
    • MightyMoo

      The tank might not hold enough to last as long as the original system was intended to provide. Also you pay all that money for a plane it damn well better work right.

      May 16, 2012 at 6:38 am | Reply
    • sinbad

      They are retrofitting backup oxygen cylinders but it isn't as simple as it sounds. The pilot has to manually switch, which is difficult when you have already blacked out. They have to find out what the problem is and fix it.

      May 16, 2012 at 7:37 am | Reply
  63. DC

    You can thank Boeing and Lockeed for the multi-billion dollar debacle.

    May 16, 2012 at 2:12 am | Reply
    • micuqu

      to my understanding some of the parts for the f22 were made in china. what do you think of that? so we need to ask why is china
      building/making parts /equipment for are militray

      May 16, 2012 at 6:03 am | Reply
      • MightyMoo

        Ever hear of the lowest bidder for buying things from. It's to save the tax payers money.

        May 16, 2012 at 6:39 am |
    • micuqu

      to my understanding some of the parts for the f22 were made in china. what do you think of that? so we need to ask why is china
      building/making parts /equipment for are military?

      May 16, 2012 at 6:04 am | Reply
  64. PhilG.

    Pilots have crashed and died because of this glaring flaw.

    The oxygen supply is one of the most essential and simplest systems on any modern jet fighter.

    That there is ANY problem with this most essential system means that the contractors building the plane need to fix it for free and to refund a couple of billion dollars to the U.S. taxpayer as they do it.

    May 16, 2012 at 1:46 am | Reply
    • sinbad

      You think warming just the right amount of liquid oxygen to just the right temperature is simple?

      May 16, 2012 at 7:39 am | Reply
  65. Zulux

    What's with all the fuss??...Why don't they just roll down the windows or open the sunroof.

    May 16, 2012 at 1:09 am | Reply
    • lolcatzftw

      Ummm, on jet planes, you don't have windshields, or sunroofs... just one piece of transparent armor/glass that covers the cockpit, and opening the cockpit to the outside air can be somewhat fatal. They're flying at high altitiudes where the air is very thin, and oxygen is scarce. Add that extreme speed jets usually fly at, and you'll end up withj a broken neck/hypoxia by the time you land/crash to the ground. Jet planes are not like your car, so remember to do research before commenting .(ignorant people... sigh...)

      May 16, 2012 at 6:47 am | Reply
      • Zaph

        I really think the post was meant as a joke. You really need to lighten up a bit.

        May 16, 2012 at 7:24 am |
      • regarola

        ummm, you reckon' zulux might have been funning around?

        May 16, 2012 at 7:35 am |
      • dangerkittie

        Having so much fun chuckling at the "ignorant people...sigh" ending of that comment...

        May 16, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  66. Sgt. Rutz

    It's alien technology!

    May 16, 2012 at 12:51 am | Reply
    • James

      can't put the window down Sgt, the air conditioner is on!

      May 16, 2012 at 6:37 am | Reply
  67. Thomas

    I would think that the problems with the F-22 are unique to it's use of composites, we have the stealth fighter and bomber using composites and stealth coatings with out this problem. We also have 787 that is 80% composite and so far we haven't heard of any problems like this.

    I truly hope we find where the fault lies and that we are able to fix in a timely manner. Not only for the health of the pilots and mechanics but also for future Air Force designs. This is an amazing aircraft that I would like to see in our skies for the next few decades!

    May 16, 2012 at 12:36 am | Reply
  68. Richard

    Outgassing of composite materials (plastics) in near airless (high altitude) situations. Unlike for example the F-15 which is made of titanium and never produced these effects.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Reply
    • sinbad

      Possible, but why are mechanics getting sick on the ground?

      May 16, 2012 at 7:42 am | Reply
  69. Mister James

    If the mechanics on the ground are having similar symptoms to the pilots in the air, it seems probably that another gas is being vented from the aircraft that is displacing the oxygen, not that the aircraft is necessarily lacking oxygen in the first place. Presumably this is an avenue that is being looked into. Since I believe pilots in this sort of aircraft are wearing respirators most of the time, the possibility of a non-breathable gas leaking into the O2 system is likely something they're looking into specifically. I'd be surprised if this wasn't fixed relatively quickly.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  70. Cranky

    Onboard oxygen generator systems work on compressor bleed air, not on engine exhaust. Exhaust would be ludicrous, because the oxygen has been depleted and replaced with products of combustion. Compressor bleed air is cooled and filtered, then passed through a molecular sieve bed. The molecular sieves take up nitrogen, with the output consisting mostly of oxygen and argon. The molecular sieves eventually saturate with nitrogen, so there typically are two beds that are used in alternation: one is in the breathing path, while the other is being purged of accumulated nitrogen, using a portion of the oxygen-enriched output of the other bed.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    • Mark S

      Thanks cranky. So my theory is definitely down. The exhaust of turbines contains oxygen levels bellow the required 19% needed to sustain human breathing but I thought maybe they could add to it or concentrate it somehow. Then I thought that most defense people may not know that turbines produce a 2-5% nitrous content in thier overall nitrogen oxides of the combustion by product. Side reactions could produce cyanic compounds I thought. I don't know flight systems so thanks again for the insight.

      May 16, 2012 at 6:31 am | Reply
  71. chizzlin sam

    how much did these cost a piece? now they're guarding ten square miles in alaska.... the defense dept's own enron.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Reply
    • eveonline100

      about 195 million dollars mind you we already bult 187 of these things so all in all 3,646,500,000,000,000 worth in planes are sitting doing nothing and at this rate will never be used(this isn't aking into a account cost of mataining these jets, paying the pilots etc...) Your right this jet is a hunk of metal we really don't need to put this is in prepestive we haven't engage another air force since the vietnam war or about 37 years ago.

      May 15, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Reply
      • the bard

        3 quadrillion dollars? really, stupid?

        May 16, 2012 at 12:18 am |
      • the bard

        Also, stupid: Let me correct your spelling/grammar: "Your right' (sic) should be 'You're right'; 'mataining' = maintaining; 'prepestive' (really?!?) = perspective. Too stupid to speak the language? Too stupid to post.

        May 16, 2012 at 12:27 am |
      • funked

        MALAPROPISMS.... A true sign of Intelligence.

        May 16, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • China is a joke

      How much is freedom worth to you? In China they beat up women and blind lawyers. Run over girls in traffic without a second thought. How much is it worth it to you to not have to live like that barbaric society?

      May 16, 2012 at 3:19 am | Reply
  72. asd

    let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love, and once we begin to love each other naturally we want to do something.

    --《seniorconnecting.C^o^m》---,it is a nice place for over 40 people.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Reply
  73. Visit_AesopsRetreat Dot


    The Obama agents, through the DHS and other assorted colluders, are plotting a major ‘Reichstag’ event to generate racial riots and produce the justification for martial law, delaying the November 2012 elections, possibly indefinitely, a DHS whistleblower informed the Canada Free Press on Tuesday.
    The ‘Reichstag Event’ would take the form of a staged assassination attempt against Barack Obama, “carefully choreographed” and manufactured by Obama operatives. It would subsequently be blamed on “white supremacists” and used to enrage the black community to rioting and looting, the DHS source warned.

    May 15, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      this is the job for the EPA,POS fighter.

      May 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Reply
      • John

        Why would a President delay an eletion that he's going to win easily? Doesn't make sense.

        May 16, 2012 at 7:12 am |
    • Thor the Badass Thunder God

      Bush tried to do that with the Iraq war, had he had a definitive (and real) objective list on it, he could have done the same thing. Keep your crap to yourself

      May 15, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Reply
    • Jorge

      Somebody needs to loosen the backstrap on his/her tin foil hat, WOOHOO...

      May 16, 2012 at 7:20 am | Reply
    • dangerkittie

      Tin foil hats can cause cancer, ya know...

      May 16, 2012 at 11:56 am | Reply
  74. acajunthatsagun

    What happened the Air Force didn't pay its oxygen bill?

    May 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  75. TexMan

    Surely all of these rocket scientists have examined aerobic chemicals released by all of the composite materials used in the construction of the f-22

    May 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  76. Jason S

    It's the composites. The plane is 80% composites.

    May 15, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      Neo – Composites?

      May 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Reply
  77. thelittlep

    Reblogged this on thelittlep.

    May 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Reply
  78. Chu is our US Sec.Dept of Energy

    Why does the Energy Secretary diddle with the Dept of Defense when windmills do nt win wars?

    May 15, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Reply
  79. Jaimie

    Its obvious there is a problem . Hopefully it is found sooner than later

    May 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  80. Mark

    And we retired the Tomcat why?

    May 15, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Reply
    • Bryan

      uhm, because it was obsolete 20 years ago.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Reply
    • James

      F-14"tomcat" was navy. F-22 is air force

      May 15, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      They were hideously expensive to operate and broke down three times as often as the F/A-18 does. The cost per flight hour of a Hornet or Super Hornet is less than that of some big helicopters, the least costly twin engined tactical jet to fly there is right now.

      May 16, 2012 at 12:33 am | Reply
  81. Dr. Bombay

    Fighter jets and f1! What life's about. LOUD enough to knock ya down

    May 15, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  82. JL in Atlanta

    Killdeer: I worked for LM on the F-22 program. The air going into the OBOGS is compressor bleed air, not exhaust.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Reply
    • Mark S

      COOL! Someone in the know as it were. Thanks for joining JL. So my theory is disproved? Or do you think there would be nitrous oxide at that extrusion point? Again, my chemistry is rusty so nitrous my not be the cause but I bet its some form of cyanide causing the hypoxia.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Reply
      • Mike

        Mark, you are speaking out your but. There is no nitrous oxide. It is air that is compressed through stages and jp8 added and burned to produce thrust. Suck bang blow. The air is bleed off at a certain stage to run different things / anti-ice / oboggs.

        There not sucking in laughing gas.

        May 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
      • Mark S

        As I said just a theory. My field is air pollution not turbines hence my hope to engage the more knowledgable like yourself and JL. I was hoping a better chemist than I would hop in as well...

        May 15, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
      • Mark S

        What about ozone formation at that stage?

        May 15, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
      • Mark S

        This is the ABC news article which led me to the combustion theory – and yes I know how often they get things wrong but its all I had to work with and this is my first attempt at Monday Morning Aerospace Wiz:
        ""The F-22 Raptor is designed to feed its pilots air by pulling oxygen from the engine combustion system and filtering out any dangerous fumes or chemicals. Known as on-board oxygen generation, which differs from previous planes' systems that used air from inside the cockpit as part of the oxygen delivery, the system is meant to allow the planes to fly through noxious or poisonous air without endangering the pilots. ""

        May 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
  83. Newport Pagnell

    Can the Government invoke the "Lemon Law" ?

    May 15, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Reply
  84. Edward

    Love the comment about China will destroy the US Air Force easily... wow you shouldmove to China buddy... what everyone here dosent understand is that the F-22 is the most formidable fighter aircraft ever designed, it is nessecary for national defense and a vital asset to the preservation of peace... yes it clearly has no real adversary at the moment... however the key to defense is to always be prepared, and I am glad the F-22 is alive and well. The Air Force will correct the oxygen related deficiency no doubt. These systems are not perfect, occassionaly they do fail, it's the nature of the beast... Oh and I wouldn't take anything in Wikipedia for accurate information... just an observation

    May 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Reply
    • Aaron

      It's not a problem with the oxygen it is the extremely toxic stealth coatings which are easily removed by simple air friction and need constant repair. These toxic coatings get sucked into the engine inlits which then gets taken up by the oxygen system removing oxygen from the jet exhaust. Watch the video below of the law suit filed by the chemical engineer about the toxicity and the danger to pilots and crew. Just copy the watch part below behind youtube dot com.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Reply
      • Mark S

        Solid theory. I didn't think of ablation and then sucking that material into the turbine.

        May 15, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Eddie

      Yeah, the F-22 is awesome ... at air-to-air. And when was the last time we did any of that?

      May 15, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Reply
      • tnskier29

        Actually it's called the F/A-22 Raptor. It's a multi faceted jet fighter and not just for air to air. It can release sugerical strike bombs/missles on ground targets too. Wow didn;t know some of you were that dumb.

        May 16, 2012 at 2:30 am |
      • JWoody907


        Actually you're completely dead-wrong. The F-22 is relegated to the role of an Air-Superiority/Control fighter. While the F-22 does possess a very limited capacity to mount bombs, she is prevented from handling the Attack role by virtue of the fact she can't aim them. The F-22 carries no on-board laser designator, and the USAF has very intentionally left the "/A" (Indicative of a multi-role fighter) off the F-22 designator.

        The F-35 JSF will be classified as a Multi-Role fighter, with ground-attack mission capability, but it has yet to be confirmed as the F/A-35, and likely will be left as a question mark until it is operational.

        May 16, 2012 at 5:23 am |
    • SL

      Until China steals it

      May 15, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Reply
    • day

      Check the Euro typhoon, they did a bunch of test between the 2 and the typhon won majority of the fights

      May 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  85. Aaron

    The composite material and epoxies etc. used to build the plane could be part of the problem. I know that there was a story about how working on the plane involved being around very toxic material and that there are a lot of precautions required to do certain maintenance. There is probably some toxin which is contained in the plane which is why even mechanics are getting sick...

    May 15, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Reply
    • aurelius

      There is so much to make American sick these days, especially in politics, that this F-22 problem seems quite minor. Perhaps we should give them to the Israeli so they can fight their own war and quit manipulating the American public and media to the point where they choose our elected president.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Reply
      • xx4zu1

        So you are saying we should stop watching Fox news, listening to Limbaugh, Beck O'riely, Hannity and Coulter?

        May 16, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • Aaron

      youtube watch?v=3eLQ7m_lnSE

      Here is the wife of a F22 / stealth bomber chemical engineer regarding toxic materials in stealth coatings.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Reply
    • China is a joke

      Imagine how sick the Chinese mechanics of the crap immitation are.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Reply
    • Toxins are everywhere

      Some people may not realize that there are toxic materials of one kind or another in almost all kinds of construction these days, from houses to cars to personal computers. Even the epoxy used to make common fiberglas boats gives off potentially dangerous fumes. Those things have been around long enough for the dangers to be well-known to those who make them. It seems likely that newer chemicals used in stealth fighter production are going to have a learning curve for the hazards they pose.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  86. aurelius

    What potential enemy is the F-22 supposed to be countering? No nation has that kind of technology even on its book. Guess it's part of the GOP's plan to fight terrorism while criticizing Obama for spending too much.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Reply
    • Mike500

      Wrong. Both Russia and China have test flown 5th generation fighters.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Reply
    • China is a joke

      It's to fight China dumba$$

      May 15, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Reply
    • fair question

      Establishing Air Superiority/Supremacy is the first step in any modern land war the US may need to fight. Before you sent in troops, you need to own the skies, so your bombers, ground attack planes, AWACs, and other aircraft that support the ground troops will be safe from enemy fighters. That is what the F-22 is for, like the F-15 that came before it. It is not just for threats that exist now, but for the next 20 years.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Reply
    • aurelius

      Those explanations have been used since the end of WWII and yet, we are still at war. The kind of wars that we still can't win because we fail to address the roots of wars we are fighting. Keep talking . . . and spending guys.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Reply
    • davetharave

      If (big if) our Air Force was ever 'compromised', we'd just send in thousands of cruise missiles.

      May 16, 2012 at 12:11 am | Reply
  87. LookToChina

    this plane is was a myth a paper tiger, i called it over 5 years ago. what a piece of junk china will destroy the entire US airforce easily

    May 15, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Reply
    • LOL China

      I love these Chinese trolls who think people in the west are as susceptible to propaganda as those who are born and raised in a propaganda state like China.

      An oxygen supply problem makes it a myth? Virtually all aircraft have bugs that need to be worked out, especially advanced cutting-edge ones. Are you aware that a single F-22 defeated five of the latest generation F-15 Eagles in air-to-air war games contests, getting missile lock on all of them and simulated missile hits without ever showing up on their radar? Those same F-15s are a match for anything China has in the air. China's air force is a joke. Their Navy is a bigger joke. Their army can go nowhere overseas for these reasons.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Reply
      • LOL China

        Just to clarify, those five F-15s were defeated by an F-22 at the same time, 5 vs. 1

        May 15, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
      • sawolf

        Thought it was six F 15's?

        May 15, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
      • Aash

        Military has stated the radar can process 8 targets, but I'm sure real world plays a heavy factor in actually maximizing the potential of such a system

        May 16, 2012 at 7:00 am |
    • China is a joke

      China is the biggest joke ever. It copied this plane, I wonder how many problems their cheap crap copy has.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Reply
    • China is a joke

      China is crap. When I think of China I think of a big smelly turd that needs to be flushed.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Reply
    • sawolf

      Yeah right, even the russians are sick and tired of chinese theft of technology, they stopped selling the chinese the Su 30 MK2, you know the airship the chinese claim as their J 16.

      May 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Reply
  88. DR

    Really – do you smart folks really think none of this, none of it hasn't been thought of? Really – here is the strangest part of this I have never heard. Ground (non flying) crewmemebers are getting sick – "Even more mysterious, the Air Force has also been looking into a number of reports that mechanics have been getting sick as well."

    My theory – manufacturer used some substance or chemical or mineral either never used before or never in the manner used in the manufacturing process. How else can you explain the ground members experiencing issues? I suspect they are linked and it may have nothing to do with the oxygen system!

    May 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      It's the special metals they are using.... recovered from the Roswell crash site.

      May 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • Mark S

      As I said, they must know more than little old me. But I am putting my theory out there in the hopes they they check it out if they have not already. The articles I read mentioned that the mechanics were running the turbine for a significant time during maintenance. Also, I believe using oxygen from the jet exhaust is a "new technology" and therefore may be the cause. Organic vapors are easy to detect and so is carbon monoxide. It may be some other form of cyanide possibly deposited in and on the jet but that would build up over time. Air pollution is my field. Smarts are irrelivant, it would be a sin not to risk my two cents in fear of being laughed at.

      May 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Reply
      • Mark S

        I believe the mechanics need to sit in the cockpit – and possibly they must close the canopy – same position as the pilot, just on the ground.

        May 15, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
      • Bill

        Following your line of thought – carbon dioxide is much heavier than carbon monoxide and would be very prevalent during ground testing. Could settle in the cockpit and persist. High sulfur fuels could lead to sulfur dioxide – but that would be pungent (breath taking). Hydrogen sulfide – obnoxious – but more toxic than cyanide. Unlike statements by DR, the two "exposures" may not be related.

        May 15, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
      • Mark S

        Jet fuel has a very low sulfur – to control sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid mist – the latter leading to corrosion in the turbine. Hydrogen sulfide is not a typical product of normal combustion and you can smell it down to the part per billion range. Paper mills produce it in large concentrations becuase they burn the sap residue left over by the pulping process – its called black liquor and it has a lot of sulfur by content. My point that the odor would give H2S away as the culprit. Cyanide in the coating of the aircraft would be a possibility. If you read wikpedias definiation of hypoxia and the known causes....that's were I figured cyanide. They probably have CO detectors in the cockpit already. H2S overdose usually causes outright death.

        May 15, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
      • Bill

        Mark – Yes would probably be a substance with poor warning properties. What you are saying is credible – many people can not smell the "almonds" of hydrogen cyanide so maybe. This compound, whatever it is, must bind fairly well to hemoglobin. Carbon monoxide, cyanide, and aniline all do this pretty well....... and the treatment for them identical I understand.

        Some Freon substitutes (used for oxygen system cleaning) have no warning property at all, and will make you dizzy and light headed.

        May 15, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
      • Mark S

        Here's to being dizzy and light headed (mark then raises his glass in a toast to Bill).

        May 15, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
      • cd

        Actual informed discussion? Bill, Mark S: hats of to you gentleman.

        May 16, 2012 at 8:39 am |
  89. rad666

    Anyone heard from the commander-in-chief about the pilot's safety? Or is he busy trying to get re-elected?

    May 15, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  90. db

    Why not just fix the darn things and quit the nonsince and bandaiding. Look at other jets and use their type systems.

    May 15, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  91. Gromit

    Time to convert these jets to unmanned aerial vehicles

    May 15, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  92. Bill

    Most planes of this type derive their breathing gas from liquid oxygen (LOX). The whole story sounds ridiculous-billions of dollars spent in development and they cannnot run a few GC – GC/MS analyses to confirm what the pilots are breathing?

    May 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Reply
    • Mark S

      A liquid oxygen system is would contribute heavily to weight and would also limit the pilot's time using it in flight. I read somewhere that they are infact using the exhaust to supply the breathing air. The idea is to protect the pilot from chemical or biological air attack. The high temperature of the turbine exhaust should destroy most organic compounds (1800+ deg F), filters would do the rest. Thanks for the the input Bill. I'm really just guessing on the exact chemical mechanism and I maybe totally off. You never know what others know until you start firing out the ideas. Hey, any other scientists out there dig on in.

      May 15, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Reply
      • Bill

        Perhaps....But I have sampled LOX off of such aircraft many times. Does not mean they have not come up with new systems since then. Anyway, just feel something not right with the story – way to easy to get a grab sample and analyze quickly – civilian and military have ready access to labs that make these kinds of determinations daily....

        May 15, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
      • Mark S

        Agreed which is why I give my theory little credence. They have to know more than me. However, I find in the stack testing industry that some facilities can be near sighted or blind in regards to anything but what they are selling.

        May 15, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
      • Mark S

        Additionally, the symptoms only seem to appear when the turbine is running – ground crew or pilot.

        May 15, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
      • Bill

        I agree – have seen things missed. This may be a case of poor QA at a vendor – could be cabin pressure control – dozens of things. It will be interesting to follow the story to see how it resolves.

        May 15, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  93. Mark S

    I am an air pollution control engineer for a state government and a chemist by edjucation. From what I have read, the fighter jet is designed to use, clean and concentrate the oxygen in the exhaust of the turbines . Turbine engines have an exhaust oxygen content of about 15%. Particulates can be filtered out. Potassium Hydroxide can be used to scrub carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. A pH adjuster of some kind can be used to make sure the air does not become corrosive. Carbon can be used to filter out most anything else except very light volitile compounds – methane, methanol, chloromethane excetra. Reading up on hypoxia – two of the most common compounds which could cause it are carbon monoxide and cyanides. Hydrogen Cyanide is a compound of carbon triple bonded to nitrogen with hygdrogen molecules at both ends. It is light enough to possible get thru the carbon filter. The longer the carbon filter is exposed the more likely the break through to the pilot. Turbines also produce Nitrogen Oxides. Most is NO2. However turbines are known to have a certain level of N20 – Nitrous Oxide – laughing gas. So, my guess is that:
    N20+2CO2+H20 = 2HCN +3O2 : the chemical reaction occurs somewhere between where they capture the exhaust and process it to the pilot. It won't show up on some organic vapor detectors and if they are searching for a carbon monoxide source, they may be missing this. Just a guess. I only graduated with a "C" grade point average. Hope it saves lives if I'm right. I hope somebody from the military is reading this.

    May 15, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Reply
    • Mark S

      Yes I spelled education wrong. I just love the letter j.

      May 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      Carbon dioxide can be removed using a hydroxide – usually lithium hydroxide. Carbon monoxide can not be removed with hydroxide – it is usually converted to the less toxic carbon dioxide with catalysts using a bit of oxygen in the process.

      May 15, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Reply
    • Killdeer

      Thank you.
      I've fixed turbine engines read turbine powered aircraft my entire career. If, (and I don't know that it is true) they are pulling exhaust gas to supply o2 why in the world are they not using say 5th, 9th, or 12th stage bleed air to supply o2. This air is coming before the hot section of the engine and thus not subject to the pollutants associated with the burning of fuel, Seems to me that would be a much simpler solution to the problem.

      May 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Reply
      • Mark S

        If the intent is to make the pilot imune to chemical and biological effects without limiting the pilot's time on mission, you need the high tempurature to destroy the organic compounds. Almost everything breaks down at 1800 degrees F. Modern trash to energy plants operate at 1500 degrees F and higher to control dioxins. Biological waste incinerators operate higher I think. By using the exhaust and in air refueling the pilot becomes limited only by his endurance and any snacks and water and other comsumables – diaper fill...ugh.

        May 15, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • dangerkittie

      Oh dear God, you're so smart my head hurts. 🙂

      May 16, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • SuperHornetDriver

      I'm not sure if you are referring to fighter jets in general or just the F-22. There are two types of systems: OBOGS (onboard oxygen generating system) and LOX (liquid oxygen) setups. The OBOGS system while better in terms of maintenance (it requires little to none) has more hypoxia related events than LOX systems. The OBOGS system was actually the contributing factor to a fatal crash back in 2009 if I'm not mistaken. The Hornet I fly however, (F-18 model E, Block 2, Lot 26, BuNo 166432) has a LOX system and never once have I experienced the symptoms of hypoxia. The downside is that it requires significantly more man hours to maintain. All parts of the system must be checked after every flight and the LOX bottle must be filled every 5 or 6 flights. It's a pain in the ass, but I personally am glad to have it over the OBOGS.

      May 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  94. gingersrule1

    Isn't it strange how when the pilots recently started protesting recently the military came out on the defensive saying that there is nothing wrong with the oxygen system and now they are doing a 180?

    May 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Reply
    • gingersrule1

      Oops. Too many recently. My bad.

      May 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Reply
    • Kamal

      I think this is how the military is trained to respond to allegations of this sort. First they'd turn into a ball (defensive posture) and then if it does not go away, will start attacking anyone around them – a cover-up.

      I don't know too much about air crafts; is this the only way they can get outside air into the cabin? Is this how it works in a commercial plane, intake via the engines?

      May 16, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
  95. Yoshinobu Tokugawa

    Give the planes to the Iranian Air Farce. Let them get sick.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Reply
    • Iranian

      We don't want them!

      May 15, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Reply
      • Bill

        Why? Would they be like MOSQUITO's to you?

        May 15, 2012 at 9:33 pm |

    I was wondering why anyone would be allowed to fly the F-22 Planes when it clearly states in Wikipedia's site that the asslembly could possibly cause health problems. This was a problem in the early developement of the crafts?

    May 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • David Engh

      I'm guessing Wikipedia is not an authoritative source of information on things like this.

      May 15, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Reply
      • Pedro

        Wikipedia - a gift from the elite left/MSM

        May 15, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • tnskier29

      Why would you rely on Wikipedia for accurate information. Wikipedia is an open source material, meaning anyone can add to it. May be what you read is correct but the idiot who posted it intentionally didn't disclose all the info. As in that though the material is highly toxic...a special layer and coating is applied to ensure the toxicity isn;t released. A friendly piece of advise to you. Don;t believe everything you read from Wikipedia.

      May 16, 2012 at 2:34 am | Reply
      • SixDegrees

        Probably because several studies have shown that Wikipedia is roughly as accurate as the Encyclopedia Brittannica.

        Another observation: if you believe something on Wikipedia is wrong, why haven't you fixed it?

        May 16, 2012 at 4:59 am |
      • vbscript2

        LOL at SixDegrees. Wikipedia is great and all – I use it often – but its quality is very good for non-controversial subjects and not-so-good for controversial ones. On average, it might be about as accurate as the Brittannica, but the accuracy of the articles varies much more widely than those of Brittannica. If I want to know about some IETF protocol, I'll use Wiki. If I want to know about a controversial topic, I'd look for a better source.

        May 16, 2012 at 10:26 am |
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