Former F-16 pilot Nate “Buster” Jaros alerts us about a new fighter that is secretly being developed, but it appears to have lots of challenges.

There is a new fighter under development. In fact very little is known about this new asset as most of what is happening has been done under cover, and withheld from the public eye. Recently declassified documents have been located and what I’m about to report has never been heard before. This is said to be a possible next-generation fighter!

Before I reveal what this new fighter is, let’s take a look at what has been secretly emerging with its development process and highlight some of the important high points and low points that this fighter aircraft is facing.

Secret Fighter Testing

Reportedly, this new secret twin-engine aircraft is being developed by Lockheed. It was originally designed as a bomber-interceptor and actually never intended to be a fighter. Lockheed built it with weight savings and speed in mind, and it is actually far more advanced than any other modern counterparts. Once the initial model was finished, engineers quickly saw just how incredible this new technology would be, and gave the final design record-breaking agility and speed.

So by accident actually, a fighter was born.

Reports say it was actually flown for the first time a few years ago, and engineers were amazed to find that on a steady course, in level flight, it surpassed all known fighter speeds, and set a new aircraft speed record to boot. It set incredible time to climb records as well. It is reported that Lockheed also invested nearly $1M dollars of its own money to produce the prototype.

The mystery fighter has also had some setbacks and failures. During its initial test flight, recently declassified reports reveal that the test pilot reported heavy vibrations in the controls. This was later determined to be due to tail flutter. Installation of new fairings or “fillets” in the wing roots to improve airflow, as well as counterweights and horizontal stabilizer angle of incidence seemed to mend the control issues. Not a great start to an extremely fast new fighter, the first of its kind.

Another setback also occurred. On one of the early test missions, there is a report of an engine failure during approach to landing. This caused some instability and caused the aircraft to bank steeply and drop altitude at more than a rate the pilot could compensate for. The pilot, who was named in the report, Lt. Ben Kelsey, elected to not eject and salvaged the approach. The aircraft impacted short of the runway, and was destroyed. Kelsey barely survived.