Fox News anchor Jillian Mele mistakenly reported Wednesday on Fox & Friends that Russia’s new fighter jet can fly at nearly “twice the speed of light.”
“The jet features stealth characteristics and the ability to cruise at supersonic speeds,” Mele said in her description of the plane. “The new aircraft is smaller than other Russian fighter jets but can fly at a speed of almost twice the speed of light.”
In an online report, Fox News wrote:
The prospective warplane, marketed under the project name Checkmate, has one engine and is designed to be smaller and cheaper than Russia’s latest Su-57 two-engine stealth fighter, also built by Sukhoi. It can fly at a speed of 1.8-2 times the speed of sound, has a range of 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) and a payload of 7,400 kilograms (16,300 pounds), the jet’s makers said.
Task and Purpose noted that Mele’s “other hosts seemed unfazed by the claim that Russia had an aircraft capable of traveling at speeds on par with science fiction spacecraft.”
Instead, they were more astounded by the jet’s reported ability to be configured for unmanned flight — which is more believable than the idea that a Russian pilot could hit a button and jump to warp speed in the middle of a dogfight.
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