Written by By Jeremy C. Owens, CNN
Those who have studied the Japan Aviation Program report on CAVEN-19, which is about 50% smaller than US military aircraft built over the past 50 years, is that between 2011 and 2013, more than 20 were sold to individual users.
The US CAVEN-19 F-22 Raptor. Credit: Sue Hicks/Wikimedia Commons
“This aircraft is a good example of how important aircraft engineering, which we don’t see in this area of companies in this country, can be in a variety of different areas,” Maj. Gen. Scott Cochran, deputy commander for a joint research, development and integration office, said during a talk at the Government Aviation Forum in 2016.
Whether it has stealth or is slow — all considered necessary to keep in check — the aircraft will bear a lot of the blame for maintaining, or even promoting the death toll of the US military and civilians over the past several decades.
In the wake of the first day of summer, many are focusing on the nearly 135,000 people the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says have died in crashes in the last 50 years in the United States. For example, in 2016, there were more than 3,000 incidents of aircraft and people causing or having injuries to one another or not adhering to FAA safety rules.
“Back in 1956, when the aviation industry was coming off the Vietnam War, it was touted as a great way to expand our economy, expand our social role and it was truly supposed to bring our way of life to a new level,” said Christopher Cummings, chief executive officer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
However, “never once did the political support to adequately fund airline safety and civil aviation for the safety of its citizens, starting with airplanes into space, hold in the face of all the economic, social and political hurdles.”
Technological advancement has, over the years, shown where initial mission objectives for aircraft can be poorly thought out, leading to bad decisions.
For example, in 1990, Neil Armstrong was being used for a space walk when a fireball cloud of as many as 250 pounds of pressurized gas opened up inside his space suit. Three years later, two passengers died as a result of a single airplane that went into the approach path of another plane, possibly due to ground radar echoes from its landing gear or instrumentation problems.
In the 1960s, aviation safety increased dramatically with increased automation and procedures, which led to fatal mistakes, like in 1960, when an airman mistakenly gave his launch control to two fighter pilots at the start of a midnight run. The aircraft took off and crashed.