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Hey, guess what?! The F-35 is no “drop in the hat.”

If it were, the drop would be … well, it would look like this (via PageTutor.com):

pallet_x_101

Not the above photograph — that’s only one billion dollars.

It would look more like the following (one trillion dollars):

pallet_x_10000

See the guy in the red shirt all the way at the bottom left hand corner of the graphic? That’s like a cornfield of hundred dollar bills stacked and stacked and … stacked. If Kevin Costner had this in his backyard in Iowa, no way is he building that baseball field. Chance to see his dead dad or not. He’s passing on the diamond. Anyway.

Point is: everyone in America — and especially government and the military — know the F-35 program is a colossal expenditure. Call it a waste of money, call it expensive, it all depends on how you look at it (if you’re pro-F-35 it certainly helps to put the blinders on when learning about drones and pilotless combat tours, i.e. “the future”).

In this vein, one graduate student from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore decided to have a little fun with numbers and created a calculator based on the aircraft units. He then used it for a New York City art auction where collectors spent a whopping $2.3 billion combined, over the course of a few weeks.

For example, Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu Couché, which sold for $170 million (no, really, it did) OR the Broad Museum in Los Angeles (yes, the entire museum costs the same as one painting) would be about 1.377 F-35s.

Popular Science, the source of this post, did a great one: One World Trade tower in NYC costs $3.8 billion, which would get you about 30 of the world’s most premiere stealth fighter.

Click here to play around with the calculator yourself.