Satirical website Duffel Blog lampooned the F-35s recent troubles with air-to-air combat, saying the fifth generation fighter had been defeated by a World War I Fokker Dr.I tri-plane like the one flown by famous German pilot the Red Baron.
“Lockheed officials have separately downplayed reports that the same F-35, flown by the same pilot, previously lost mock dogfights with the Goodyear Blimp and a beagle on a flying doghouse,” said the satirical post published Aug. 31.
Duffel Blog’s post comes after a widely-publicized internal Lockheed-Martin memo that was leaked earlier this year. The memo found that when pitted against each other, the F-35 was easily defeated by an F-16 in close air combat.
Air Force officials have said the F-35 is meant for long-range engagements, not dogfighting – another thing Duffle Blog made fun of.
“The Dr.I triplane might out climb, out turn, and out dive the F-35, but where is its radar, huh?” a Lockheed spokesperson is quoted as saying in the satirical post. “Where are its sensors? Where is the laser terrain guidance? Huh? Sure, up close, in a knife fight, the Dr.I has machine guns, and an F-35 pilot just has his sidearm…But we have ‘the world’s most advanced fighter jet.’”
The Pentagon recently announced that it would also test the F-35 against the A-10 in an attempt to see which plane is better at close air support.