F-35 Lightning II developments

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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

Post by Coati »

AF-12 was delivered to Eglin AFB 33 FW at the 20th of October. This is the 5th F-35A to be delivered to Eglin.
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

Post by Piet Luijken »

overview by LM; dd 5sep2011:

Program Status
• As of September 5, 2011, the F-35 flight test program has conducted 1,154 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) flights total, including AA-1 (the original flight test aircraft) and 607 flights in 2011.
• BF-1 performed a 40 foot hover in calm winds and two vertical landings (VL) for the 150th vertical landing to date on Aug. 31, 2011.
• AF-10 and AF-11 delivered to Eglin AFB, Fla., on Aug. 31, 2011. They join AF-8 and AF-9 assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing.
• Static testing was completed on the F-35C Lightning II carrier variant (CV) ground article CG-1 at Lockheed Martin Fort Worth, Texas on Aug. 29, 2011. With this achievement, the F-35 Program has accomplished its static structural testing milestone for 2011.
• Jet Blast Deflector (JBD) testing was completed by F-35C Lightning II carrier variant (CV) aircraft CF-2 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. from June 25-August 13, 2011. CF-2 successfully completed this portion of JBD tests required to ensure the F-35C is compatible aboard an aircraft carrier.
• AF-6 and AF-7 commenced Maturity Flight testing of the training syllabus software at Edwards AFB. This software will be used for training at Eglin AFB this fall.
• Cumulative flight test activity totals as of Sept. 5, 2011 are provided below:
o F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) jets have flown 294 times.
o F-35B short takeoff/ vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft have completed 217 flights.
o F-35C carrier variant (CV) jets have flown 96 times.
• AF-7 completed last flight of currently required CTOL maturity flights on Aug. 31, 2011.
• Flew most flights on one day in program history (10) on May 25, 2011.

System Development and Demonstration (SDD) and Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP)
Six Jets at Edwards AFB, Calif.
• AF-1–FF Nov. 14, 2009; Ferry May 17, 2010
• AF-2 –FF April 20, 2010; Ferry May 17, 2010
• AF-3 –FF July 6, 2010; Ferry Dec. 11, 2010
• AF-4 - FF Dec. 30, 2010; Ferry Jan. 22, 2011
• AF-6 – FF Feb. 25, 2011; DD250: May 12, 2011; Ferry May 13, 2011
• AF-7 – FF March 4, 2011; DD250: May 5, 2011; Ferry May 6, 2011

Eight Jets at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.
• BF-1– FF June 2008; Ferry Nov. 15, 2009; First VL March 18, 2010
• BF-2 – FF Feb. 25, 2009; Ferry Dec. 29, 2009; First VL Jan. 26, 2011
• BF-3– FF Feb. 2, 2010; Ferry Feb. 17, 2010; First VL April 29, 2011
• BF-4– FF April 6, 2010; Ferry June 7, 2010; First VL April 27, 2011
• BF-5 – FF Jan. 27, 2011; Ferry July 16, 2011
• CF-1– FF June 6, 2010; Ferry Nov. 6, 2010
• CF-2– FF April 29, 2011; Ferry May 16, 2011
• CF-3– FF May 21, 2011; Ferry June 2, 2011

Four Jets at Eglin AFB, Fla.
• AF-8 – FF May 6, 2011; DD250: July 17, 2011; Ferry July 20, 2011
• AF-9 –FF May 13, 2011; DD250: July 8, 2011; Ferry July 14, 2011
• AF-10 – FF June 29, 2011; DD250: Aug. 15, 2011; Ferry Aug. 31, 2011
• AF-11 – FF July 1, 2011; DD250: Aug. 2, 2011; Ferry Aug. 31, 2011

Two Jets Currently Flying in Fort Worth (will ferry to Eglin AFB in 2011)
• AF-12 – FF July 8, 2011
• AF-13 – FF July 14, 2011

FF = first flight; VL = vertical landing; DD250 = contractual delivery
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

Post by Coati »

First Sea trial has been completed:

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fu ... ry&id=4802

The first F-35B landed on Wasp‘s flight deck Oct. 3, beginning an 18-day test period for the aircraft. During the testing, two F-35B Marine Corps test jets (BF-2 and BF-4) accomplished vertical landings and short take-offs under various conditions.

While underway, the world’s first supersonic short take-off, vertical landing (STOVL) fighter logged more than 28 hours of flight time and completed 72 short take-offs and 72 vertical landings.
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

Post by Coati »

Older news, but I mised this one, apparently the long lead contract for preparations of LRIP-VI has been signed, inclusding slots for 4 Italian and 2 Australian F-35s. The Italians have also paid the long lead contract for preparations of these aircraft.

Lockheed Martin Awarded $535M DoD Contract
By DAVE MAJUMDAR
Published: 9 Aug 2011 17:14
The U.S. Defense Department awarded a $535 million contract to Lockheed Martin on Aug. 8 via the U.S. Navy to build long-lead components for 38 Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot VI F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF).

According to a Pentagon release, the batch of 38 planes includes four F-35A model conventional take-off aircraft for Italy and another two F-35A aircraft for Australia. If the Australian and Italian aircraft are included in the final LRIP VI contract, which will be awarded next year, these would be the first aircraft ordered by those nations. Currently, the JSF program office is negotiating with manufacturer Lockheed Martin to hammer out the LRIP5 contract.
The remaining aircraft are 19 U.S. Air Force planes, six short take-off U.S. Marine F-35Bs, and seven Navy F-35C model jets.
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

Post by Piet Luijken »

F-35B BF-06 made his first flight today as 168057/VM. I heard he also had code 01.

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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

Post by Coati »

And AF-13 was delivered to Eglin AFB the 27th of October to join 58 FS. So now there are six aircraft with 58 FS at Eglin AFB (AF-8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13).

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/pres ... light.html

Sixth F-35A Delivered to Eglin Air Force Base
FORT WORTH, Texas, October 27th, 2011 -- AF-13, a conventional takeoff and landing variant F-35A, departs Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base on Oct. 26 en route to Eglin Air Force Base. The 5th Generation fighter jet, piloted by U.S. Marine Corps pilot, Maj. Joseph Bachmann, touched down on Florida’s Emerald Coast at 11:44 a.m. after a 90-minute ferry flight. AF-13 is the sixth F-35A delivered to the 33d Fighter Wing in 2011. It will be used for pilot and maintainer training at the base’s new F-35 Integrated Training Center. AF-13 is the twelfth overall F-35 delivery in 2011.
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

Post by Coati »

Piet Luijken wrote:I heard he also had code 01.
Correct, code 01 is visible on the published pictures.
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

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Pilot training on the F-35 is about to get started:

http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2011/ ... s-102811w/

Pilots await go-ahead for F-35 flight ops

By Dave Majumdar - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Oct 28, 2011 18:12:06 EDT

Pilots at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., are eagerly awaiting the go-ahead to fly their new F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters.

There are currently four Air Force conventional takeoff F-35As at the seaside base that are being used for validating technical data for the aircraft, said Col. Andrew Toth, who commands of the 33rd Fighter Wing.

“That’s helping us do preparations in order to get us flying later this fall,” Toth said.

The base’s pilots are waiting for a military flight release to begin flight operations on their new mount.

“We expect that flight release to come no earlier than the end of October,” he said. The month ends on Monday.

Around the same time, in the latter half of November and early December, new Marine Corps F-35B short-takeoff, vertical-landing, or STOVL, jets will begin to arrive at the base, Toth said.

The Air Force leads a triservice command that will oversee aircraft and entire squadrons from the Navy and Marine Corps.

Currently, Eglin has two lead instructor pilots who are qualified to fly and teach in the F-35: Marine Maj. Joseph Bachmann and Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Smith. The two veteran test pilots recently completed a set of “maturity tests” at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., which mimicked the initial pilot syllabus at Eglin, in order to make sure the jets are ready for instructor pilots and students to begin training.

Once the pilots at Eglin receive their flight clearance, Smith and Bachmann will clear the rest of the unit’s instructor pilots, including Toth, to fly and instruct in the new jet.

The first class they will teach will be part of an operational utility evaluation, which will validate the training course, Toth said.

“It’s just to make sure our training system is in place, up and running, and can effectively produce pilots in a transition-type course,” he said.

Once the unit completes the evaluation course, Air Education and Training Command will declare the unit ready for training.

The initial class will consist of two pilots from the 33rd Fighter Wing and two operational test pilots who will go on to fly at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., with the Joint Operational Test Team. The start date is “event driven,” Toth said, but he expects the flying portion of the evaluation course to start in the “very, very early spring.”

The initial transition course, which will teach basic airmanship in the jet, will last 12 weeks: six weeks of academics followed by 120 hours of classes, 14 simulator flights and six real flights, Toth said.

“That’s what this first course is, it’s the fundamentals of the airplane and basic flying: take off, land, navigation, those sorts of things,” Toth said. “All of the advanced mission stuff comes as we grow and develop.”

One major change from previous types is that the academics are conducted electronically on laptoplike devices, said Marine Col. Arthur Tomassetti, vice commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing.

The pilots will initially have a limited flight envelope — 450 knots and 5 Gs — but that’s more than enough for the first group of aviators, Toth said.

“Even that 5 G limit is more than what we’d use on a given day,” he said.

Eglin’s F-35s will initially fly under visual flight rules; instrument flying will be introduced around the middle of next year. As more capabilities are released, the syllabus will be updated to accommodate new functions, Toth said.

Even the F-35B aircraft will operate in their conventional mode for now, deferring training for STOVL mode until the F-35B model receives its flight release for that regime, Tomassetti said.

“It should be pretty easy for us to just take those folks and cycle them through those training events that were deferred,” he said.

The focus right now is simply to build up a cadre of instructor pilots, Toth said. The training demand will grow rapidly in the near future.

Currently, the base has 35 pilots from three services who it must train to be F-35 instructor pilots, Tomassetti said. Already the Marines have about a dozen pilots at the base, he said. There about 17 Air Force pilots and six Navy pilots, Toth said.

For the Marine pilots transitioning from the AV-8B Harrier to the F-35B, the biggest change will be that instead of practicing takeoffs and landings, the majority of their time will be spent flying tactical training sorties, said Tomassetti, a veteran Harrier aviator and the original test pilot for the X-35B prototype. That would put the Marine STOVL force on the same footing as other tactical fighters.

But what will truly make the F-35 different from a macro perspective is that, as it becomes operational, the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps will have early opportunities to share expertise and concepts.

“The ability for our pilots to be in the squadron and have that cross-flow between the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force is extremely important,” Toth said.
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

Post by Slijfie »

Some interesting news copied from http://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=38708



http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-1 ... ation.html
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham that defense budget cuts of as much as $1 trillion may lead to the termination of Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-35 jet.

In a letter today to the two Republican lawmakers, Panetta said reductions beyond the $450 billion, 10-year defense budget cuts already planned would reduce the “size of the military sharply.”

If a special committee of lawmakers fails to reach agreement on U.S. deficit reduction, that would trigger a so- called sequestration. That would involve at least another $500 billion in defense cuts over a decade and reduce Pentagon programs in 2013 by 23 percent if the president exercises his authority to exempt military personnel, Panetta said.

Panetta said such funding reductions might lead to termination of major programs such as Lockheed’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, major space initiatives, silo-based U.S. nuclear missiles and ground combat vehicle modernization.

Such cuts also would damage shipbuilding and construction projects, and cause termination of the Littoral Combat Ship, Panetta wrote.

“You cannot buy three quarters of a ship or a building,” he wrote the lawmakers urging them to ensure that Congress finds deficit reduction through other means.

Nov. 23 Deadline

A congressional supercommittee, seeking at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions, has until Nov. 23 to get an agreement. If Congress fails to approve the panel’s plan, federal spending would be cut automatically, including about $500 billion from the Defense Department, not including interest.

The sequestration would call for the reduction of as much as $100 billion a year from the Pentagon’s “topline” projections, starting in 2013, Panetta said.

The Pentagon as recently as February anticipated spending $571 billion in 2013, or 1 percent real growth over the fiscal $553 billion basic request. The projections grow to $611 billion in 2016.

Pentagon budget planners now anticipate the Office of Management and Budget may allow only about $522.5 billion annually in 2014-2017, according to Defense Department data. The estimates are calculated in fiscal 2011 dollars and don’t assume sequestration.

The projections assume war funding of $50 billion in 2014, $30 billion in 2016 and $20 billion in 2017. That’s down from $117 billion proposed this fiscal year.

The Congressional Budget Office has projected that the Pentagon’s budget may be cut by $882 billion through 2021, starting with $83 billion in 2013, increasing to $91 billion in 2016 and $110 billion in 2021.

To contact the reporters on this story: Gopal Ratnam in Washington at gratnam1@bloomberg.net; Tony Capaccio in Washington at acapaccio@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

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Lockheed Martin has passed its 2011 flight-test targets for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, with aircraft now flying at a pace that, if maintained, will allow the company to exceed its target for a significantly higher number of flights in 2012.

The test program completed its 875th flight for the year on Nov. 17, passing the full-year target of 872. A total of 6,809 test points were accumulated on those flights, exceeding the year-end target of 6,622, says J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed vice president for F-35 test and verification.

The 2011 target was passed early despite testing being halted twice: once briefly in March after an inflight dual generator failure, and for two weeks in August after a failure of the aircraft’s integrated power package during ground runs.

Flying of some F-35B short-takeoff-and-landing test aircraft has again been halted, this time to replace structural beams in the lift-fan bay that have developed small cracks. The beams support actuators for the upper and lower lift-fan doors.

McFarlan says the actuator supports were identified as “hot spots” during structural testing, and Stovl (short takeofff and vertical landing) aircraft from test jet BF-5 onward have redesigned beams and are not affected.

Aircraft BF-1 has been fitted with the redesigned support beams and is planned to return to flight at NAS Patuxent River, Md., in December. BF-2 will be modified during scheduled down time, he says.

BF-3 has done less Stovl testing and has not yet developed cracks. It will be modified, as will BF-4, which for now is being used for up-and-away flight testing. “BF-3 and -5 are available to do Stovl work, so this is not holding us up,” McFarlan says.

In January, the F-35 test program was replanned and extended by two years to provide additional margin for discoveries and to refly test points. “Flying rates in the new plan were supposed to accommodate such findings, and we are happy with its ability to do so,” he says.

Since flying resumed in mid-August, the F-35 test fleet has been averaging 100 flights a month. “That is slightly higher than the pace we need in 2012,” McFarlan says. Around 1,100 test flights are planned for next year.

Although Lockheed has exceeded its full-year target for test points, they are not quite in the order planned. “We have about 500 more in the CV [F-35C carrier variant] bucket than the plan and about 100 more of CTOL [conventional-takeoff-and-landing F-35A] and Stovl to accomplish.”

A major objective of flight testing in 2011 was to deliver data to clear the initial envelope for flight training. “We have done that, and delivered several updates to that envelope,” McFarlan says. Training on the F-35A at Eglin AFB, Fla., has yet to begin.
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

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Riding the Lightning:
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay reaffirmed their nations' commitment to the F-35 strike fighter program. "Let me make very clear that the United States is committed to the development of the F-35 and to a cooperative relationship with the F-35 with our Canadian friends," stated Panetta during a joint press briefing with MacKay on Nov. 18 during Panetta's visit to Halifax, Canada. "This program is going ahead," said MacKay in response to questions about whether Canada can afford the F-35. "Clearly, budgetary pressures are going to lead to speculation. We are dealing with our budgets, as all countries are dealing with [their] budget, but we are not wavering on our commitment to this program." Panetta also said it's "just not true" that the United States is unhappy with the size of Canada's proposed F-35 buy—65 airplanes. "I trust the ability of Canada and [Defense Minister MacKay] to make the right decisions as to what they need, and we'll support that," he said.
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

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LOCKHEED MARTIN COMPLETES ASSEMBLY OF THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL F-35 FOR THE UNITED KINGDOM

FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov. 22, 2011 - The first international Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT] F-35 Lightning II rolled out of the factory Sunday evening<http://www.flickr.com/photos/lockheedma ... hotostream>. The United Kingdom Ministry of Defence will use the short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) jet, known as BK-1, for training and operational tests.

BK-1 will undergo functional fuel system checks before being transported to the flight line for ground and flight tests in the coming months. The jet is scheduled to be delivered in 2012.

"This first F-35 for the first international program partner is symbolic of the proud partnership we share with the United Kingdom," said F-35 Executive Vice President and General Manager of Program Integration Tom Burbage. "Working together in a spirit of collaboration, we are providing the men and women of the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy with unmatched 5th Generation capabilities, while delivering advanced technology sector jobs to the U.K."

Group Captain Harv Smyth, the U.K.'s Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) national deputy stated, "This is a major milestone in the JSF Programme for U.K., and we look forward to starting to operate the first British F-35s next year. JSF is ideally suited for U.K.'s future Combat Air capability needs, since it provides a world-class 5th Generation air system, which is capable of operating from both the land and our new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier."

The U.K. will play a vital role in the F-35's global production, follow-on development and sustainment over the next 40 years, bringing strong economic benefits to the country.

"This program delivers unrivalled Combat Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (Combat ISTAR) capability to the U.K. Armed Forces, as well as being a major economic driver by sustaining thousands of jobs in the U.K. over more than two decades," added Lockheed Martin Aero U.K. Director Paul Livingston.

Global participation is a centerpiece of the F-35 program and essential for its success and affordability through economies of scale. The program is comprised of nine partner nations: the United States, U.K., Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway. In October 2010, Israel selected the F-35A as the Israel Air Force's next generation fighter and is scheduled to receive the F-35 through the U.S. government's Foreign Military Sales process. Additionally, Japan and the Republic of Korea are currently considering the F-35 to recapitalize their fighter fleets.
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

Post by Coati »

F-35B BF-8 with BuNo 168059 took to the air the first time the 29th of November.

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/news_ite ... tem_id=520

So currently there are 12 F-35A, 7 F-35B and 3 F-35C flying (22 aircraft)
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Re: F-35 Lightning II JSF developments

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Venlet: Building and testing F-35 was a ‘miscalculation’
F-35 program manager Vice Adm. David Venlet said in an interview that building and testing the F-35 at the same time was a ‘miscalculation.’

“You’d like to take the keys to your shiny new jet and give it to the fleet with all the capability and all the service life they want. What we’re doing is, we’re taking the keys to the shiny new jet, giving it to the fleet and saying, ‘Give me that jet back in the first year. I’ve got to go take it up to this depot for a couple of months and tear into it and put in some structural mods, because if I don’t, we’re not going to be able to fly it more than a couple, three, four, five years.’ That’s what concurrency is doing to us.”
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