Friday, May 05, 2006

Lockheed's Flying Dud: The Self-Locking F-22

Last week, Lockheed Martin announced that its profits were up a hefty 60 percent in the first quarter. The company earned $591 million in profit on revenues of $9.2 billion. Now, if the company could just figure out how to put a door handle on its new $361 million F-22 fighter, its prospects would really soar.

On April 10, at Langley Air Force Base, an F-22 pilot, Capt. Brad Spears, was locked inside the cockpit of his aircraft for five hours. No one in the U.S. Air Force or from Lockheed Martin could figure out how to open the aircraft's canopy. At about 1:15 pm, chainsaw-wielding firefighters from the 1st Fighter Wing finally extracted Spears after they cut through the F-22's three-quarter inch-thick polycarbonate canopy.

Total damage to the airplane, according to sources inside the Pentagon: $1.28 million. Not only did the firefighters ruin the canopy, which cost $286,000, they also scuffed the coating on the airplane's skin which will cost about $1 million to replace.

The Pentagon currently plans to buy 181 copies of the F-22 from Lockheed Martin, the world's biggest weapons vendor. The total price tag: $65.4 billion.

Here are more photos of the incident.

Cost expectations of this program were $40 billion in 2000. Not so bad, eh...wrong. The figures from 2000 considered the purchase of 339 planes~!!!


Post a Comment

<< Home