Gone to School on the F-22

The F-35’s cockpit oxygen system is “more robust” than the one installed in the F-22 in terms of design and redundancy, retired Gen. Gregory Martin told the House Armed Services Committee’s tactical air and land forces panel on Sept. 13. That’s important because “we know of no physiological incident” similar to those that have occurred with some F-22 pilots “in any of the F-35 flight operations to date,” Martin told the panel in testimony on F-22 pilot oxygen-deprivation issues. Martin chaired the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board’s aircraft oxygen-generation study group that examined what was causing the Raptor pilots to experience symptoms like dizziness and nausea in flight. “We have shared all of our information with the F-35 program office,” said Martin. He added, “From the lessons we’ve learned with respect to connections, potential for leakage, and of course the emergency oxygen system, they have applied those lessons in the F-35.” In fact, he noted, “it seems as if the F-35 has gone to school on the F-22.” (Martin’s written testimony)