| Opinion/The Review

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

F-35 analysis lousy

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

Daily Photo Galleries

Letter to the Editor
Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, 8:57 p.m.

Regarding the column “Big-budget F-35 ‘can't turn, can't climb, can't run'” by David Axe, national security editor at Mr. Axe clearly has one to grind.

This entire column is based on one cleverly dramatic quote, not actual test data. This kind of stone-throwing by a non-aviator, non-engineer really boils me.​ It's grossly simplistic solipsism to say that if something is expensive and part of the Department of Defense, it must perforce be a stupid purchase. Axe adds enough qualifiers in his text to cover his delicate sensibility, but this column is a waste of ink.

While in the Navy, I flew an A-7 Corsair — an absolute slug of a single-engine airplane — for over 2,000 flight hours and hundreds of carrier landings. It was grossly underpowered with a notoriously unreliable engine. Yet it was a hugely successful machine in the only place where it counts: actual combat. The A-7 proved itself in Vietnam, Libya, Grenada, Lebanon and even the first Gulf War.

How did we ever survive without some “analyst” telling the world about all its faults? We learned the airplane and played its strengths against the enemy's weaknesses. Based on what I read in the column, the RAND Corp. “study” was most likely a simple graph-versus-graph comparison of the F-35 and a number of nominally comparable Chinese fighters. It is a lousy analysis.

Dick McCrillis

Norfolk, Va.

The writer is a retired Navy fighter pilot.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Letters

  1. Cyber bullying law
  2. ObamaCare & the ATI lockout
  3. Tax credit boosts jobs
  4. Trump & free speech