Docs show F-35 afterburners use may be higher than publicly predicted, August 29, 2019

Documents obtained by VTDigger reveal that the Air Force is internally predicting that, at other bases hosting the F-35, afterburners might be used as much as 10 times more frequently than they originally publicly predicted. The Vermont National Guard, however, says that they still plan to use the boosters in a limited way.

A local activist plans to challenge that claim in court.

Originally, the Vermont Air National Guard and the Pentagon estimated that the F-35s coming to Vermont starting this fall would rarely use afterburners. In their detailed 2013 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the military estimated that the planes would use afterburners for roughly 5% of flight operations. This estimate not only influenced the contours of the resulting noise maps, but also the overall decision of whether Vermont was a good fit for the planes.

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Video of press conference

The EIS for Truax Field also assumes that the afterburners on the F-35A fighter jets would only be used 5% of time. This is when the jet is its loudest. If used more than 5% of the time, the noise modeling in the Truax EIS is inaccurate and more homes would be included in the 65 dB DNL area requiring noise abatement or home buyouts.

Here is the Burlington TV news coverage: Concerns grow over F-35 planes