Aviation Experts Say Iran's Stealth Jet is a Hoax That Probably Can't Even Fly

Doubt has already been cast on Iran's recent claims that it successfully sent a monkey into orbit, and now it looks like the Iranian propaganda machine has spit out another gem. Aviation experts say that the so-called stealth fighter jet unveiled by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a Tehran hangar last week is a "laughable toy" and a probably can't even fly.

Aviation and defense experts point out that the small one-seater looks like a toy and might not even be able to fly. The Qaher F313 is too small for a human pilot, says experts, and the controls and wiring look far too simple for a real jet.

When unveiling the aircraft last week, Ahmadinejad called it "one of the most advanced" aircraft in the world, and boasted that it had "almost all the positive features" of the world's most sophisticated jets.

One feature that is missing, say U.S. aviation experts, are bolts and rivets, which are found on even the simplest aircraft.

Reporter John Reed wrote in the journal Foreign Policy:

“It looks like the Iranians dumped some rudimentary flight controls and an ejection seat into a shell molded in what they thought were stealthy angles."

Andrew Davies of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute joked:

“It looks like it might make a noise and vibrate if you put 20 cents in."

Iran is not able to buy new jets or even spare parts for its existing air force, much of which is aging shah-era planes made in the United States, due to the Western embargo in place that is designed to deter Iran from developing nuclear weapons.