After the Pentagon announced it was increasing funds for the new model of the F-35 by another $289 million -- on top of the $379.4 billion already allocated to the program -- criticism of the ballooning budget has been sharp. As Winslow Wheeler writes for Foreign Policy, "[T]he F-35 will replace most of the air-combat aircraft in the inventories of the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and at least nine foreign allies, and it will be in those inventories for the next 55 years. It's no secret, however, that the program -- the most expensive in American history -- is a calamity."
Here's a visual tour of the planes that have caused all this controversy, a few of the alternative fighter jet models, and a sample of other designs of American planes.
Above, fighter crew chief Tech. Sgt. Brian West watches his aircraft approach for the first time at Eglin Air Force Base on July 14, 2011.