F-35: „A Plane that Thinks for Itself”


F-35: „A Plane that Thinks for Itself”


Charles (Tom) Burbage, Head of the F-35 Program who is responsible for creating the „Lockheed Martin” airplane, has landed in Israel. He provided a rare sneak peak to the secrets of the next IAF Combat airplane: elusive abilities and cameras that project the aerial image directly to the pilot’s helmet

Tal Michael

In only a few short years, the F-35 will land in Israel and officially become the IAF’s most advanced combat airplane. It is large than the F-16, smaller than the F-15 and its ‘Brain’ is tremendously more sophisticated than tens of other operation systems.

„There is no doubt that this airplane replaces many others as a result of its abilities and advanced technology „, smiles Tom Burbage, Head of the F-35 Plan at „Lockheed Martin” Industries, the manufacturer of the aircraft. „For example, in the upcoming years the U.S Marines will replace three airplanes with one F-35”.

Turning Night into Day

What happened inside the airplanes? From the inside it seems as though „Lockheed” has made history. „Let’s begin in the airplane’s night vision. Infrared cameras are installed around it allowing the pilot to see what is happening outside from a projection within his helmet”, explains Burbage. „If he looks down he won’t see feet, but the ground, looking back he could see the airplanes in his structure. This way, the pilot can focus on his mission, while the airplane operates on its own”.

More than nine billion lines of code allow the airplane to ‘think outside the box’ and perform things that his predecessors could not. For contextual purposes, the average airplane has two million code lines installed. The technological advancement within the plane adds up to one significant advantage: stealth.

„Stealth isn’t trivial matter”, states Burbage. „This ability is one of our biggest challenges. We are still dealing with it although we’re in the airplane’s final stages”. One way of reducing the airplane’s exposure, for example, is with the help of a fan stationed in the back, allowing cold air to the hot spots within the plane. What next? „Now, the airplane continues on going through weaponry and advancement experiments that will lead him a several steps forward–into the future”.