F-35 Lightning II developments

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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

Post by Coati »

CF-2 was launched by catapult for the first time the 27th of July.
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US suspends F-35 ground, air tests after device failure

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F-35 Ground and Flight Operations Suspended: The F-35 program office on Wednesday suspended all F-35 ground and flight operations, as a precautionary measure, after an incident Tuesday with AF-4, an F-35A test aircraft, at Edwards AFB, Calif. AF-4's integrated power package, which provides power to start the engine and helps cool the aircraft, experienced a failure during a standard ground maintenance engine run, said F-35 spokesman Joe DellaVedova. Testers immediately shut down the engine and secured the aircraft, he said. There were no injuries to the pilot or ground crew, he noted. The standdown affects all 20 F-35s currently in flying status, said DellaVedova. This includes F-35 test aircraft and initial production units. "Determinations of root cause and potential mitigating actions have the highest priority of the F-35 team," said DellaVedova. "Once the facts are understood, a determination will be made when to lift the suspension." AF-4 is the same aircraft that experienced an in-flight anomaly at Edwards in early March that led to a temporary fleet-wide suspension of F-35 flight activities. This news comes as the F-22, the nation's other fifth generation fighter, nears the third month of a fleet-wide standdown due to concerns over its onboard oxygen-generation system.

From http://www.airforce-magazine.com/Pages/default.aspx
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

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Further news on the grounding of all 20 F-35. Ground testing has resumed since the 10th of August. Test flying should resume next week.

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

Post by Coati »

LM received an initial order for LRIP-5 of 38 aircraft, which includes aircraft for Italy and Australia. As far as I can find LRIP-5 will consist of:

19 F-35A (USAF)
6 F-35B (USMC)
7 F-35C (USN)
4 F-35A (RAAF)
2 F-35A (AMI)

If this order stays intact, it means 90 production JSF are ordered up to now, for 5 countries, plus the 19 SDD aircraft (of which 12 are flying and one prototype has flown but is grounded after finishing the test program).

Lockheed Receives Initial Order for Next Production Lot of F-35
August 10, 2011 by Matthew Potter

Despite the cost concerns hanging over the program the U.S. Defense Department continues its investment in Lockheed Martin’s (LMT) F-35 JSF program by placing a contract for the advanced procurement items for the sixth production lot. This $535 million order will support a buy of 38 aircraft.This production buy is the largest to date and also includes the first aircraft for Australia and Italy. The one previous had the first international aircraft for the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

The Government and Lockheed are currently negotiating how to pay cost overruns on the first three production lots of the aircraft. Lot 4 is being produced under a contract that includes cost sharing between the two parties. The military has gone to Congress with a request to reprogram over $200 million to help pay for the increases on the first lots. Congress has yet to approve this reprogramming and in fact the Senate has sent several questions about the program including estimated costs to terminate the program. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has already tried to amend the FY12 Defense Authorization Act with language that would require cancelling the program if cost goals are not met over the next two years.

DoD though has said that without the reprogramming it might have to reduce this next planned buy to find money to cover them and pay Lockheed what they are owed. Most likely if any aircraft are cut they would be from the U.S. order as the foreign buyers need reassurance that they will receive their aircraft on the current schedule. Australia is already talking about a potential “gap” in capability due to previous delays in the JSF program which would require investment in a different aircraft to cover it.

The JSF has suffered from a history of schedule and cost increases driven by testing and just the overall complexity of the system and the program. It seemed that in recent months the program had been on schedule although costs had increased requiring funding changes such as the reprogramming mentioned earlier. If the aircraft delivery and Initial Operational Capability (IOC) dates continue to move to the right it could cause further questioning of the commitment to the program by not only the foreign partners but the U.S. itself.

If the F-35 was to be cancelled then either a new program would have to be started or the U.S. would be faced with buying upgraded F/A-18 or an aircraft from Europe such as the Eurofighter Typhoon to provide the necessary capability. This is not a plan that the Pentagon would like to consider.

http://www.defenseprocurementnews.com/2 ... t-of-f-35/
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

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18 out of 20 F-35s are cleared to fly again as of yesterday. Only the two aircraft at Eglin are still grounded, because they lack some monitoring equipment, since these are not SDD aircraft.
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

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Since 24th of August all F-35s are cleared to fly again (inclusing Eglin and Fort Worth a/c), however, problem with IPP remains:

F-35s flying again but IPP problem still not resolved

http://warnerrobinspatriot.com/bookmark ... t-resolved
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

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Hi all,

Two F-35A (AF-10 & AF-11), each with F-16 chase, departed Fort Worth for Eglin yesterday late morning (31 Aug).

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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

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F-35 Structural Component Requires Redesign: Thirty Air Force F-35A and 34 Marine Corps F-35B strike fighters built early in the aircraft's production run will require modification to achieve their full 8,000-flight-hour design lives, according to the F-35 Joint Program Office. That's because program engineers identified a shortfall with a structural component in their wings, known as the forward root rib, according to a JPO statement. It's an aluminum part located where the leading edge of the wing meets the strike fighter's fuselage. The engineers came across this issue initially during an analytical assessment of the F-35 airframe's fatigue life. During more recent F-35A full-scale durability testing, a crack emerged in the forward root rib after more than 2,800 hours that was consistent with the analytical predictions. The JPO and prime contractor Lockheed Martin have drafted retrofit plans for the 64 early aircraft and they've created a redesigned root rib that! they'll incorporate for both variants at the beginning of Lot 5 production. The root rib is not an issue with the Navy's F-35C variant. The JPO said durability testing helps identify structural issues early on "to avoid costly sustainment issues later in the life of the aircraft.
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

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Lockheed Wraps Up F-35 Structural Testing/ ship trial onboard USS Wasp to start the 3rd of October.

Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter program has achieved one of five major milestones linked to the company’s ability to earn financial reward in 2011 with the recent completion of static structural testing.

The goal was achieved after completion of static testing on the F-35C; earlier work was done on the A and B versions, says Tom Burbage, executive vice president for F-35 integration.

This is arguably the least complex of the five goals for 2011, but it is a step in the right direction after the program struggled in 2010.

After taking a more than $600 million hit to the available award fee in 2010, the company is eligible for $35 million in awards this year. Seven million dollars is associated with each of the following milestones:

• Conducting F-35B shipboard trials.

• Executing catapult launch and trap landing testing.

• Start of training with the Block 1B software.

• Release of Block 2 software for flight testing.

• Static-model trials for the F-35C carrier version.

Burbage says the prerequisite work is complete in advance of moving two specially instrumented F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (Stovl) aircraft to the amphibious ship Wasp in the first week of October. This will kick off a series of shipboard tests to assess the interface between the stealthy, single-engine jet and the ship. During those trials, the test force plans to conduct 67 vertical landings on the ship.
Separately, the F-35 test team and the U.S. Navy conducted a series of jet-blast deflector trials. These were designed to assess the effect of flight operations, including catapult launches, on the ship’s jet blast deflectors, which shield the ship and other aircraft from hot exhaust. Burbage says no changes are required for the jet blast deflectors to introduce the F-35C into the carrier fleet. The F-35C will begin testing on an aircraft carrier next spring, Burbage says.

To date, the program has executed 156 Stovl tests. Lockheed Martin officials say that despite a halt in test flights, they are 8% ahead of plans in year-to-date flights.

So far in 2011, flight activities are as follows:

• F-35A conventional takeoff and landing version: 314 flights;

• F-35B Stovl: 226 flights;

• F-35C carrier version: 102 flights.

Despite progress in testing, the program continues to face headwinds in funding. Burbage says the company is still assessing the effect of a deep funding cut proposed by the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee in the fiscal 2013 budget.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... ng&prev=10
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

Post by Coati »

LM took the F-35B testing to the next level:

Yesterday, the ship trial of the F-35B STOVL variant has started. The BF-02 landed onboard LHD-1 USS Wasp, and will be joined by another F-35B in a few days. The two aircraft will conduct 67 vertical landings.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... ous%20Ship


The first LRIP F-35B is expected to be flown to Eglin this month as well.
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

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:roll: :loud: :|
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

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Two days into the ship trails on the Navy's USS Wasp amphibious ship, F-35 tail number BF-2 has performed seven vertical landings and six short takeoffs, according to a program official.

BF-4, the second F-35B outfitted for the Marine Corps expeditionary air support mission is slated to reach the ship by the end of the week.

Link with video:

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... d=blogDest
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

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BF-4 has joined BF-2 onboard USS Wasp for on board ship trials, at the 6th of October.

2nd Lightning II Strikes the Wasp's Nest by Amy Butler at 10/6/2011
The second F-35B, tail number BF-4, has landed onboard the Navy's USS Wasp amphibious ship. The landing occurred today, according to F-35 Joint Program Office spokesman Joe Dellavedova.

BF-4 joins its sister aircraft, BF-2, for a few weeks of shipboard trials designed to validate that the single-engine stealthy fighter can operate in and around the small deck of this amphibious ship class. (video in link)

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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

Post by Piet Luijken »

First production F-35B was seen outside LMTAS plant at NAS Fort Worth last friday. It looks like it had a tailcode MF.

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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

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http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... ts-363414/
US defence chiefs raise alarm on cost of three F-35 variants 

Washington DC 16 minutes

The new chairman of the joint chiefs of staff has raised concerns about the cost of building three variants of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

"I am concerned about the three variants and whether we can go forward in this fiscal environment with all three, but I am eager to learn more about that," said General Martin Dempsey, speaking at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on 13 October.

"Three variants create some fiscal challenges for us," he added.

Dempsey's comments come nine months after then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates placed the F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) on a two-year probation, with the explicit threat of cancellation.

Leon Panetta, who succeeded Gates, also offered no promises about the future of any of the programme's three variants, which also include the F-35A for the air force and the F-35C for aircraft carriers.
:roll: :loud: :|
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