Hundreds of F-35s will be produced before the jet has been properly tested -- meaning that the aircraft's financial and political backers remain largely in the dark about what they have been supporting. Wheeler describes the result as a "virtual flying piano" -- a plane that lacks agility and also the payload capacity for bombing runs.
Above, Sgt. Brian West guides an F-35 to a stop for the first time at Eglin Air Force Base.
U.S. Air Force via Flickr