- The title: The movie is called Stealth, but there's virtually no discussion of anything remotely stealth-related. This despite the fact that stealth--both visual stealth, to conceal aircraft against a variety of backgrounds, and radar stealth, to hide them from missile batteries and other aircraft will be a vital part of most combat-aircraft designs in the future. In fact, the Soviet-era fighter jets sent up to intercept EDI and co. as they streak across Eurasia have no trouble at all finding them and getting a few good shots in before, predictably, they're waxed by the high-tech adversaries.
- The Talon's cockpits are excessively complex. Lucas, Foxx and Biel are surrounded by hundreds of switches, lights and controls in giant, sprawling instrument panels. In reality, fighter-jet cockpits are getting simpler and simpler. Modern aircraft, both civilian and military, are increasingly using LCD screens that selectively display information they need, but only when they need it. Most controls are multifunction and located on the joystick. (See sin #1 above.)
- Speaking of cockpits, why does EDI have one? No UCAV in test now or being planned in the future has a place for someone to sit. The reason EDI has one, of course, is so that later in the film, Lucas can climb aboard and save the world. (See sin #2.)
- The airplanes fly at hypersonic velocities, which is fine at high altitudes. But they also fly obscenely fast through mountain canyons and 20 feet off the ground. No human pilot, now or in the future, could withstand the G-forces that the Talon pilots are subjected to as they make hard lefts and rights at more than 1,000 knots. Nor could they actually do any of the flying at those speeds and altitude--only a computer could steer that quickly through the mountains. (See sin #3.)
- The Talons and EDI have aeroelastic wings, which in this case merely sweep back and forth based on how fast the craft is flying. Those have been around for decades, in the F-14 Tomcat and the B-1 bomber. A more imaginative designer would have given the aircraft actual morphing wings and fuselages, which could change shape to any number of configurations based on the type of flying needed.
- The aircraft designs themselves: Bill Sweetman, a noted aerospace analyst and a Popular Science contributing editor, had mixed feelings about the "imaginative creations." He says, "Black-project buffs will recognize the swing-wing aircraft as first cousin to Northrop Grumman's top-secret Switchblade fighter. But don't even think about going supersonic with those tiny engine inlets. They'll be breathing nothing except turbulence and junk at any speed above Mach 1. Also, the sharp bulges will send a fat radar spike dead ahead, just where you don't want it."
- Most of the combat action takes place at close range using machine guns. First of all, almost all combat action now takes place at long range using missiles. That will probably remain true forever. Secondly, the airplanes are moving so fast that any bullet hits can only be attributed to dumb luck, of which there is a lot in this movie.
- Without giving away a crucial plot line, the most ridiculous fib comes when the Navy pilots finally figure out how to take EDI down. Let's just say that you'll never guess how they do it, because how they do it makes no sense.