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Marine Test Pilots Prefer F-35 Over F-18

Posted by Colin Clark on

Patuxent River NAS: With all the cost overruns, schedule delays and political wrangling over the F-35 program, Boeing has been trying to pitch the F-18 Super Hornet to countries that be growing weary of all this turmoil.

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When my colleague Carlo Munoz spoke with Boeing Military Aircraft’s Chris Chadwick about all this recently, Chadwick put the case for buying the F-18 this way.

“Where is it going to end? Is it going to end?” he said of the price and schedules changes. “I think that will drive the decisions by the international customers.”

So during the recent press event for Lockheed Martin’s F-35B here, I asked two test pilots who’ve actually flown both the F-35 and the F/A-18 E/F for their opinion.

Their unequivocal opinion — I’d fly the F-35. That doesn’t mean some of the nine partner countries might not abandon the F-35 program if it encounters a new huge cost or schedule shift. But it is the word of those who fly these weapons. And their opinion matters.

What do you think?