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F-22: "I can’t see the bloody thing!"
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The new F-22 trots out its stuff at Red Flag, and apparently was quite impressive:
"Undercover" is an understatement for the F-22A Raptor.

A point clearly illustrated by pilots of the 94th Fighter Squadron, who delivered an aerial sucker punch to the seasoned Red Force opponents during the F-22A's debut at Red Flag here Feb. 3 -16.

Among the Blue Force participants were foreign pilots from the Royal Air Force of England and Royal Australian Air Force, flying the GR-4 and F-111C respectively. In addition, the F-22s flew with the B-2 Spirit and F-117 Nighthawk, the aircraft that pioneered stealth.

Though better known for its stealth capability, the F-22 packs a list of surprises cherished by Raptor pilots and coveted by others. In addition to radar evasion, this fifth-generation fighter features unmatched maneuverability, surprising power (supercruise) and integrated avionics or sensor fusion (multiple displays combined into one). Even aircraft maintainers said they enjoy superior logistics such as computerized technical orders, reduced trouble shooting and faster remove-and-replace components, such as engine changes. These Raptor advantages were demonstrated and sharpened at Red Flag.

[...]

"I can't see the [expletive deleted] thing," said RAAF Squadron Leader Stephen Chappell, exchange F-15 pilot in the 65th Aggressor Squadron. "It won't let me put a weapons system on it, even when I can see it visually through the canopy. [Flying against the F-22] annoys the hell out of me."

Lt. Col. Larry Bruce, 65th AS commander, admits flying against the Raptor is a very frustrating experience. Reluctantly, he admitted "it's humbling to fly against the F-22," - humbling, not only because of its stealth, but also its unmatched maneuverability and power.
That's not to say everything is hunky-dory with the new aircraft. While it may be humbling opposing fighter pilots, it has a real problem with the International Date Line:
"The new US stealth fighter, the F-22 Raptor, was deployed for the first time to Asia earlier this month. On Feb. 11, twelve Raptors flying from Hawaii to Japan were forced to turn back when a software glitch crashed all of the F-22s' on-board computers as they crossed the international date line. The delay in arrival in Japan was previously reported, with rumors of problems with the software. CNN television, however, this morning reported that every fighter completely lost all navigation and communications when they crossed the international date line. They reportedly had to turn around and follow their tankers by visual contact back to Hawaii. According to the CNN story, if they had not been with their tankers, or the weather had been bad, this would have been serious. CNN has not put up anything on their website yet."
Tough way to discover a bug, eh? And don't think that's exclusive to the F-22. Neptunus Lex relates a similar story during the development of the FA-18:
Hasn’t been confirmed yet, so it mayn’t be true, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Ages ago a software change for the FA-18 added some new capability to the APG-65 radar and AIM-7 Sparrow missile. Worked 4.0 out on the Pacific test ranges, which run east/west.

Failed miserably on the East Coast, whose ranges ran north/south. Missiles went stupid. Rapidly fixed once identfied, notbut a single line of mangled code.

Funny thing about software: Imagine if a single mis-spelled word made “War and Peace” unreadable.

Remember though: “Code is poetry.”
Indeed.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Unfortunately, I can see it being a very simple bug to fix, now that they’ve found it. Undoubtedly, part of the nav software is hooked into GPS, hence the problem when crossing the IDL. Software requirements probably didn’t allow for the date to change.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://inactivist.org/blog/keith_indy
"Allright, gentlemen, repeat after me:
I will test it in EVERY WAY POSSIBLE.
I will then find somebody with a really bad attitude and have them question all of it. Especially the parts I think are Really Neat.
Then I will test it ALL AGAIN.
Repeat as needed, until it ALL works.

Any questions?"
 
Written By: Firehand
URL: http://elmtreeforge.blogspot.com
I will test it in EVERY WAY POSSIBLE.
Not really possible unless your code is rather simple. Everyway possible leads to a combinatoric result.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Not really possible unless your code is rather simple. Everyway possible leads to a combinatoric result.
That won’t even come close to success. Most bugs come not from a single piece of code developed by one person, but in the integration between the pieces. I’ve seen more than one complex system that worked great when it was tested piecemeal. Each component was hooked to simulators for the other components and passed all tests. Then a full-up test was attempted. Fell flat on its face. All simple bugs, but still...

Any questions?
Yeah, you sure you want to pay for that?
 
Written By: Ryan
URL: http://
First rule of software engineering;

You can have it on time, feature rich and bug free. Pick any two.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Software requirements probably didn’t allow for the date to change.
I would venture that these planes and much of all the military hardware use GMT time so the time change probably wasn’t an issue. It was more likely an error in the navigation computer which didn’t include an exception for going from 179 59’59.99" W to 180, and then to 179 59’59.99" E
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
that could be too... Or someone forgot to tell someone that subroutine XYZ was supposed to be in GMT... Or someone added a "neat" feature that wasn’t in the specs.

Take your pick, it probably worked on the computer the developer tested it with. And they probably didn’t include testing across the IDL in the acceptance tests. So, everyone will be able to point their fingers and say, it wasn’t my fault.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://inactivist.org/blog/keith_indy
I would venture that these planes and much of all the military hardware use GMT time so the time change probably wasn’t an issue. It was more likely an error in the navigation computer which didn’t include an exception for going from 179 59’59.99" W to 180, and then to 179 59’59.99" E
It seems more likely, since any OS worth a cr*p keeps the system clock at UTC and formats the result according to the time zone.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
It’s an OK plane, but I really think that the mney spent on the F-22 could be far better spent:
1) Healthcare
2) Housing for the Poor and Homeless
3) Negotiations with AQ, the Taliban, and various insurgent groups in Iraq
4) Green House Gasses mitigation.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
It’s an OK plane, but I really think that the mney spent on the F-22 could be far better spent:
1) Healthcare
2) Housing for the Poor and Homeless
3) Negotiations with AQ, the Taliban, and various insurgent groups in Iraq
4) Green House Gasses mitigation.
You’re slipping Joe ... you forgot saving the polar bears on melting icebergs.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
You’re slipping Joe ... you forgot saving the polar bears on melting icebergs.

D@MN!

You’re right....please posters don’t talk about the F-22....OMG on some sites I visit the postings on the F-22 and French Rafale would total the complete output of this site for a fortnight....Seriously, please oh please talk not about the virtues of American Airpower or various alternatives.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Well, it’s a good thing the Air Force sorted this out, otherwise Tom Clancy’s Debt of Honor would have come out a little differently for the good guys!
 
Written By: MichaelB
URL: http://
I am told that changing the F-22 to the F/A-22 cost the Air Force appoximately $11,000. The change was to designate the F-22 from a fighter to a Fighter-bomber. The cost of the change was due solely to the change in Air Force stationary to reflect the change. No actual changes were made to the aircraft and the change in designation was made simply to try and make the overcost project more relevent to the current situation.

Remember, two Air Farce Generals said (when referring to Iraq and Afghanistan) that the Air Farce had control of its battlespace, why didn’t the Army and USMC have control over their battlespace.
 
Written By: civdiv
URL: http://
how about if we use the F22’s to strafe those poor polar bears stuck out on the ice flows. Put them out of their poor misery.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com/

 
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