Have you ever seen Stealth, that movie from 2005 with a 13 percent Rotten Tomatoes score?
That one with Jessica Biel and Jamie Foxx who play fighter pilots that have to, I dunno, beat up Sam Shepard who stole a jet with a cloaking device or something? No, alright, that’s all cool, not very many people other than me have. OK, have you ever seen Wonder Woman? No, not the classy movie that just came out! The freakin’ comic, where she has the invisible jet! How about Star Trek with those Klingon Bird of Prey that go invisible when someone yells ‘So'wI yIchu'?’
No? Jesus Christ, you gotta catch up on your invisible military technology pop culture, friend.
Anyhoo, I’m not here to talk about bad movies from my youth or comics and TV shows from the 60s. The reason we’re here, is because Donald Trump, took a break from fanning the ever growing flames of rage in his country and headed down to Riviera Beach in Florida to address the Coast Guard and talk about invisible fighter jets.
So for the second time in recent months, Trump kinda hinted that he thinks that F-35s are invisible. Look, Buzzfeed has the full transcription of his speech here, but what we’re going to break down here is this bit of it. Here’s Donald, is his own words.
“The Navy, I can tell you, we're ordering ships, with the Air Force i can tell you we're ordering a lot of planes, in particular the F-35 fighter jet, which is like almost like an invisible fighter. I was asking the Air Force guys, I said, how good is this plane? They said, well, sir, you can't see it.’ I said ‘but in a fight. You know, in a fight, like I watch on the movies. The fight, they're fighting. How good is this?’ They say, well, ‘it wins every time because the enemy cannot see it.’ Even if it's right next to them, it can't see it. I said that helps. That's a good thing.”
To be fair, it might just be a bit of rhetoric from Trump, surely the Commander-in-Chief knows that while yes, it is small for a fighter jet and tough to spot on radar—the super-duper expensive F-35 is quite visible to the human eye. Especially when it’s “right next to them.”
But this is your president America,—you’re lucky he didn’t get in the cockpit and just go "VROOSH VROOSH" for ten minutes.
The second biggest takeaway from this speech was Trump really likes the way dogfights look in the movies (honestly, who doesn’t, shout out to Iron Eagle). That’s good because it’s unlikely he’ll be watching the F-35 in a movie-style dogfight anytime soon (it’s yet to even fly a combat mission for the US)—given that dogfights have basically faded into military history.
Anyway, as mentioned above, THIS ISN’T EVEN THE FIRST TIME THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD INDICATED HE THINKS PLANES CAN BE INVISIBLE and you know what they say, fool me once, shame on you, etc, etc. So, Trump thinking that his military has invisible planes—it’s a pattern. Take a look for yourself:
“So amazing we are ordering hundreds of millions of dollars of new airplanes for the Air Force, especially the F-35. You like the F-35? ... You can't see it,” he said in October. “You literally can't see it. It's hard to fight a plane you can't see."
Now, this isn’t to say some sort of cloaking technology couldn’t happen, scientists have been working on it for years, but—what I can tell you here—is that it is, most certainly, not currently used on F-35s.
My best guess is that someone once told America’s president that F-35 were invisible to radar (they’re not) and that just rattled around in the melting collection of well-done steak and ketchup clogged neurons inside his brain, and came out the other side that they’re actually invisible.
Next stop: convincing Trump that the Marines need to take out Cobra.
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.