The Thunderbuck Jet Fighter Burns Money to Save Money
The F-1,000,000 Fiscal Fighter program will revolutionize the way we buy warplanes
With oil prices projected to rise in the future and the defense budget continuing to shrink, visionary U.S. Air Force leaders have launched an exciting new fighter jet program that promises to be much more affordable than recent efforts.
The so-called Fiscal Fighter, officially designated the F-1,000,000 Thunderbuck, delivers most of its savings by using dollar bills as fuel instead of petroleum products.
A plane that runs on money, you say? Don’t we have a couple of those already? No. No, we do not. The Dollar Burner is genuinely a new idea, no matter what you may have heard about those other jets. Our highly reliable budget forecasts indicate the Thunderbuck will be much less expensive than its predecessors.
It’s worth noting that the brilliance of this new concept in efficiency is not limited to the aircraft’s fuel tank. For example, all the documentation necessary to acquire the Thunderbuck, including the contracts, the organizational charts, the schedules and the PowerPoint briefings—especially the PowerPoint briefings—were printed in triplicate directly on fresh, uncut sheets of crisp U.S. currency.
After the contracts were signed and the briefings delivered, rather than storing the documentation in binders to wastefully collect dust, these officially-ornamented greenbacks flowed directly into the fuel tanks of American’s newest wonder weapon, putting them to better use than any official PowerPoint briefing in the history of official PowerPoint briefings.
Now that’s what I call Better Buying Power!
The brilliance of this strategy is immediately apparent to anyone who has ever tried to reform the defense acquisition business. Rather than requiring a difficult, extensive effort aimed at changing people’s behavior and attitudes, the Thunderbuck leverages the military-industrial complex’s natural inclination towards expansive, unrestrained growth.
The more meetings and reports and oversight it is subjected to, the more time spent on documentation and justification and hypothetical hyperbolic hyperplanning, the more fuel is available to keep the thing flying. Everybody wins!
From a technical perspective, the Thunderbuck is the most complex thing ever built, and in fact is so big and complicated it can actually aerial-refuel itself. An explanation of that procedure is beyond the scope of this report and is probably classified anyway.
What can be revealed however is that the jet uses the latest in paper mâché technology. The entire airframe is painstakingly covered in thick layers of specially designed thousand dollar bills, resulting in an airframe that is both stealthy and bullet-proof.
Like any military development program, the Thunderbuck is not without its problems, and some of our allies in particular had difficulties with the jet. For example, the Canadians inadvisably tried fueling their version, the CF-1,000,000, with loonies, their gold-colored one-dollar coins.
That made the fuel tanks so heavy the Thunderbuck could not take off. It’s just as well—the sound of all those coins jangling around would have negated its stealth capabilities anyway.
The Royal Air Force had the opposite problem. Due to a sudden, brief fluctuation in the exchange rate, an RAF pilot flying the British variant—the “Thunderquid”—almost went into orbit when his £-based fuel started delivering exponentially more energy than it had earlier in the flight.
However, the bright side is that enterprising engineering officers in Space Command were inspired to begin developing Inflation Assisted Boosters that should help reduce the cost of future satellite launches.
Not to be outdone, Cyber Command experimented with using Bitcoins as fuel for a cybercraft. Unfortunately, nobody understood how any part of that would work, so the effort was abandoned.
In terms of combat capability, the Thunderbuck’s armaments initially included a full range of nuclear bombs, guns, missiles, rockets, slingshots, crossbows, ninja throwing stars and, for some reason, one of those spring-loaded-boxing-glove-on-an-accordion-arm things that are so popular with certain types of clown.
But then it was announced that the upgraded B-61 nuclear bomb would cost twice its weight in gold. The Thunderbuck leadership committee immediately decided, as a cost saving measure, that the F-1,000,000 would only carry bombs made entirely from gold.
Since such bombs only cost half as much as the B-61 munition, this was regarded as an excellent, thrifty decision by those who made it.
The switch to gold bombs had an immensely positive effect on the Thunderbuck’s test and evaluation plans. While previous aircraft programs have been known to reduce their number of test flights in response to technical difficulties and budget pressure, the Thunderbuck actually expanded its test schedule when several members of Congress insisted on a thorough, rigorous test phase and clamored to have the F-1,000,000 drop its shiny new munitions in their states and districts.
In an admirable show of selfless patriotism, some even offered their personal ranches, estates and backyards as test ranges.
In completely unrelated news, Air Force pilots in the venerable A-10 Warthog flew combat missions over Syria. They were immediately charged with treason.
Dan Ward is the author of F.I.R.E. — How Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation. He was an acquisitions officer in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years and retired at the rank of lieutenant colonel.