VIDEO: USMC pilot likes his “bad-ass” F-35

Meet Major Joseph T. Bachmann, a developmental test pilot for the F-35 Lightning II. Since yesterday, he also happens to be the first US Marine Corps pilot to fly the jet. Not surprisingly, he enjoyed the experience, especially its “wickedly sharp roll-rate” and “bad-ass” maneuvering.

Watch the full interview with the DOD news crew below.

And here’s the full story, including flight video, below.


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13 Responses to VIDEO: USMC pilot likes his “bad-ass” F-35

  1. Hikari 20 March, 2009 at 5:45 pm #

    Wow. This guy better watch his 6 for a vengeful Sweetman.

  2. Hikari 20 March, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    Wait, this guy is a harrier jock? No wonder he thinks its badass. It’s like moving from a dump truck to a corvette.

  3. Dave 20 March, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    Major Bachmann has 400+ hours in the Hornet in addition to 1000+ hours in the AV-8. So it’s not a good point.

  4. Hikari 20 March, 2009 at 11:41 pm #

    For the dinero, it had better damn well be an upgrade over legacy hornets.

  5. SMSgt Mac 21 March, 2009 at 6:27 am #

    He’s also “flown the Hornet” (aka the “overweight version of the loser of the lightweight fighter competition”).

    Yep. Still a good point ;-)

  6. SMSgt Mac 21 March, 2009 at 6:31 am #

    You know the guy HAS to be a good stick, and he’s showed his stuff measures up in the real world.


    “During flight operations in Iraq, Bachmann earned four Air Medals and a Navy Commendation with a Combat V.”

  7. Dave 21 March, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

    Of course… just getting selected to the Navy or USAF Test Pilot School usually means the guy pretty damn good. Graduating and getting selected for a program like this means he’s one of the best the DoN has to offer.

  8. alloycowboy 22 March, 2009 at 1:05 am #

    Everyone keeps comparing the F-35 to the F-22. One on One the F-22 takes it. However two networked F-35 will certainly take out an F-22. Which is basicly the whole point of the F-35 progam. Getting a bigger bang for the buck!

  9. SMSgt Mac 22 March, 2009 at 4:41 am #

    RE: Test Pilots (aka Golden Arms) “usually means the guy pretty damn good”

    ‘Usually’ is the operative word, and don’t kid yourself: there’s a spectrum of super-jocks just like the general pilot population. There’s quite a few with big brains but you’d never want to fly with them on a mission with a high pucker-factor. There’s others that are great on any kind of test mission but you’ll want to put a bullet in your head if you have to fly with them on a cross country or have them fly with you on some other mundane mission. Those kind of guys make you really appreciate great sticks like this one:

  10. Craig Hoyle 23 March, 2009 at 2:41 pm #

    Maybe it’s just my eyesight, but it looks like he flew AA-1, rather than BF-1; what’s the logic behind that when the Corps is getting STOVL jets?

  11. Dave 23 March, 2009 at 7:05 pm #

    It looked like AA-1 to me also. The logic behind that is likely that AA-1 was available. All three versions have very similar characteristics in conventional flight, albeit with minor differences. The flight was less about gathering new data so much as familiarizing the Major with the handing characteristics of the jet- thus AA-1 was acceptable for that purpose since it overall handling is almost identical to the follow-on aircraft.

  12. Horde 25 March, 2009 at 8:20 am #

    Major Bachmann was flying AA-1.

    Couple of things to note:

    1. Significant amount of elevator input (~25 to 30 degs TE up) held for some time before any vertical movement of the nose wheel during take off. All JSF take offs so far viewed display this characteristic. CAT Question: What does this mean?

    2. The aileron rolls seen on the videos display relatively slow roll onset and average roll rate of around 180 degs per second.

    3. Altitude loss during single rolls was quite appreciable as were overshoots.

    To be fair, though observations fairly consistent over 5 roll events, data sample size is considered small.

    However, experience in F/A-18 aircraft that has a NATOPS flight manual “limit on maximum change in angle of bank” (a.k.a. roll limit) of 360 degrees and a maximum roll rate of around 200 degrees per second combined with the high gain nature of the first flight task, means your observation of ‘a good point’ lilkely to be a correct one, Steve.

    The B** A*** descriptor should be reserved for aircraft that can roll faster than ~540 degrees per second with roll onset rates that generate lateral loads that can slap the helmets of the unaware against canopies.

    CAT question: What aircraft have roll rates in excess of 540 degrees per second?

  13. Stephen Trimble 13 May, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    Good point.

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