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23 votes
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Why is the F-35 engine nozzle exposed?

The F-22 is intended (and the competing YF-23 was intended) to be an air superiority fighter to replace the F-15. The F-15 was a twin-engine model, as was the F-4 Phantom that it replaced. Twin ...
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22 votes
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How does the F-35's roll posts work, and how does its engine turn down 90 degrees?

The purpose of the roll posts is to let the pilot have some control authority in hover and stabilization, along with controlling aircraft attitude. Basically, the Rolls Royce Lift System used in the ...
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22 votes
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Why do VTOL aircraft (F-35 or Harrier) have only one engine?

VTOL aircraft can have more than one engine. It is just that the design process of the Harrier and F-35 led to a situation where only one engine was required. The main challenge in any VTOL aircraft ...
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19 votes
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Why do the F-22 and F-35 look similar to each other and different from previous designs?

ymb1 is right - stealth and not styling determine the looks of both the F-22 and the F-35. But there is more to it. Watch Lockheed test pilot Tom Morgenfeld talk about them in this video: ...
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18 votes
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Why is the end of the F-35's jet nozzle 'spiky'?

Stealth. The F-35's nozzle is designed in that manner to reduce the IR and radar emissions from the aircraft (sometimes called Low Observable Axisymmetric Nozzle (LOAN)). From the press release which ...
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18 votes
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How does the F-35B not flip over during transition?

To try and change lift by changing fan blade speed would be too slow to modify the lift for "tiny" and "delicate" changes in how the plane hovers. Like a helicopter, the F-35 is ...
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17 votes

How does the F-35B not flip over during transition?

Your assumptions (constant thrust for both lift fan and exhaust) are wrong. From wikipedia: "For pitch control, the areas of exhaust nozzle and LiftFan inlet are varied conversely to change the ...
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15 votes

Why is the F-35 engine nozzle exposed?

The answer to both of your questions lies in the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capability of the F-35. In order to provide vertical thrust, the rear part of the engine rotates downward. This is ...
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13 votes
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Can the signature of stealth fighters be uncovered, and then used for future detections?

I would like to make some general comments, as having worked on programs stood up to build sensors for various military threats. In these programs we were always attempting to get data on relevant ...
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13 votes

How does the F-35B not flip over during transition?

From what is available on the internet, the F35B's lift fan is more than just a simple shrouded fan. There is at least some variable guide vanes functioning as nozzle. So to answer your question, no, ...
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10 votes

How does the F-35 hover?

The F-35 has what is called the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem. This Contains one lift fan in the middle of the aircraft, and a rotating jet exhaust to provide vertical thrust, and two rotating nozzles to ...
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9 votes
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Can a F-35 shoot while hovering?

No, it cannot, at least there is no reason for it to do so... A) The stick while in "hover mode" does not control the pitch/roll of the aircraft, but the forward/lateral position of the aircraft. ...
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9 votes

Why do modern fighter aircraft still use transparent canopies instead of cameras feeding imagery to screens?

There is no major problem to be solved by moving the cockpit inside. The canopy adds minimal drag, considering how much drag the whole of a fighter's airframe produces. It also offers the highest ...
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9 votes
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Does F-35 flight stick have a trackball?

That appears to be a button, not a trackball. From pg. 17 in a presentation, Active Stick & Throttle for F-35 - Joseph Krumenacker - NAVAIR Flight Controls / JSF Vehicle Systems - 16 October 2008, ...
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8 votes

Why is the F-35 engine nozzle exposed?

Why does the F-35 have only one engine unlike the older models The USMC wanted the aircraft to have S/VTOL capability. This meant that the aircraft should have a single large engine as the best ...
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8 votes
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Can a bird strike destroy the stealth capability of F-35?

The F-35 is a plane that relies on safety via stealth, rather than armor. The F-35 fuselage can be dented much like any other plane. The F-35 uses a variety of methods to reduce the its radar ...
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8 votes

Are modern fighter jets bulletproof and armored?

With very select exceptions like the Su-34, and the A-10 if you consider it modern, they are not. Even in these cases only the pilot and a few critical parts are armored. Most of the aircraft's skin ...
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7 votes
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How fast do the F-35 weapons bay doors open/close during combat ops?

3-4 seconds may lead to a detection, but then again 1-2 seconds could too with a sophisticated radar system. The important thing is that 3-4 seconds is short enough that a detection would be extremely ...
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7 votes
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What are the two blisters on F-35 upper wing surface?

Those are Luneberg Reflectors. They enhance the radar cross section of the aircraft. For two reasons; to be more safe around civilian traffic due to being easier spotted by traffic control radars, ...
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6 votes
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Has the F-35 Lightning II overheating problem been resolved?

As to the first question, it appears as fuel cooling of electronic components and other equipment is integral in the F-35 design, all branches of the armed services will not be able to remedy this ...
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6 votes
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Why did the RAF buy the F-35B model and not the A model

The most probable reason is because of commonality, to reduce costs and support logistics. But, it also increases operational flexibility. The UK MOD want to operate them off the Queen Elizabeth ...
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6 votes

Why do modern fighter aircraft still use transparent canopies instead of cameras feeding imagery to screens?

Unless you can have a continuous display over the entire field of vision WITH fail-safes I dont think it'll ever happen. Anything less will either require transitioning from one display(screen) to ...
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6 votes

Why do modern fighter aircraft still use transparent canopies instead of cameras feeding imagery to screens?

In addition to all the other reasons: Every camera-to-screen system has lag. Lag in a dogfight can be fatal. There will be some distortion between the camera and the screen, no matter how well ...
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5 votes

What is the difference in VTOL technology between British Aerospace Harrier II and F-35B?

the F35 has a ton of electronics that the Harrier could only dream about, but I will focus on propulsion differences. The biggest is that the F35B uses a separate lift fan in front of the engine, ...
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5 votes
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What material is used for the skin of a modern fighter jet?

The F35's skin consists of a/several composite(s). Although it's obviously classified, I suspect the main reason it's chosen has something to do with stealth rather than strength. Interestingly, there ...
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5 votes

What material is used for the skin of a modern fighter jet?

"Modern fighter jet" and "F-35" are not synonymous. The F-35 is just one out of 20-30 fighter jets currently in full-scale production (depending on how you define "full-scale"), and it's not ...
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5 votes

Why were the F-35B lift fan doors changed after flight testing?

It was due to flow issues. Here's an excerpt form Air & Space Magazine We discovered a few things that would need to change before the aircraft entered production. On the X-35B’s STOVL ...
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5 votes

Why is the F-35B's elevator not in neutral position when in vertical flight mode?

In this video you can see it better I think: I drew on a screenshot of the video from the side where you can see the air moving under the aircraft. Compare this to ...
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