U.S.

March 7, 2013

F-35s cleared to resume flight

Tags:
Joel Fortner
Air Force Public Affairs Agency
F35Lightning
F-35s cleared to resume flight

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — F-35 Lightning IIs were cleared for flight Feb. 28 following a temporary suspension after a cracked engine blade was found in a test aircraft earlier in the month.

A .06-inch crack was discovered in a third-stage turbine blade in a test aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Feb. 19. Third-stage blades are located deep inside the engine.

A thorough series of tests on the blade concluded prolonged exposure to high-heat levels and other operational stressors on the engine were contributing factors. Edwards AFB is home of the service’s major flight test wing, where aircraft undergo rigorous testing.

“As with any new weapons system, we expect to learn things about the aircraft and the system over time and we are doing just that,” said Col. Andrew Toth, the 33rd Fighter Wing commander at Eglin AFB, Fla., where F-35 pilot and maintenance training began in January.

After the crack was found, all F-35 engines were inspected and no additional cracks or signs of similar engine stress were found.

Despite not being able to fly during the recent suspension, teams at Eglin AFB continued training in a state-of-the-art training center.

“Due to the fidelity of the simulators, approximately 50 percent of the core syllabus flights for the F-35 training program are accomplished virtually,” Toth said. “Any additional time in the simulator gives pilots an opportunity to practice more emergency procedures and improve their capabilities.”

The training center has electronic classrooms for maintainers, actual-size, mock-up cockpits and weapons bays. On the flightline, maintainers continued to hone their skills on the advanced, stealth fighter.

In a recent interview with The Washington Post, Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc explained why the F-35, which will be built for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines, and eight allies, is needed.

“Enemy threats are evolving. Their surface-to-air missile technology is evolving,” he said. “So that’s why fifth-generation technology is such a thing and that’s the promise of the F-35.”

Gorenc said aircraft like the F-16 Fighting Falcon and A-10 Thunderbolt II are far more vulnerable in “contested environments” because they are not stealth aircraft.

The general also explained the advantage of going to war with coalition partners that train with and fly the same aircraft.

“The ability to deal with coalition partners that operate the same equipment, that will probably adopt the same tactics, techniques, procedures, that will be involved in the same logistics concept,” Gorenc said. “That’s very important because when you have a coalition partner that is operating the same equipment, there are so many things in the joint fight that become much easier to do than you would expect.”

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said July 18, the F-35 is critical to a future defense strategy that depends on agility, flexibility and the ability to stay on the cutting edge of technology.

“We’re committed to all three (F-35) variants,” Panetta said, “because we think each of the forces will be able to use that kind of weaponry for the future so that we can effectively control the skies as we confront the enemies of tomorrow.”

(Chrissy Cuttita at Eglin AFB and Cheryl Pellerin with American Forces Press Service contributed to this report.)




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
12AF_pict

AFSOUTH medics arrive in Belize to facilitate obstetrics course

Three International Health Specialists and three non-governmental organization personnel supporting the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) arrived in Belize to facilitate the Global Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics Instruc...
 
 

355th FSS invites D-M to join intramurals

The 355th Force Support Squadron would like to invite all Active Duty and Department of Defense personnel to join the intramural sports program. The intramural sports program is an organized sports competition designed to meet the needs of all personnel beginning at the lowest levels. Active duty personnel have priority in all programs as determined...
 
 

55th Electronic Combat Group

The 55th Electronic Combat Group provides combat-ready EC-130H Compass Call aircraft, crews, maintenance and operational support to combatant commanders. The group also plans and executes information operations, including information warfare and electronic attack, in support of theater campaign plans.
 

 

DUI in Arizona: You can’t afford it

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. –  Arizona has some of the toughest drunken driving laws in the United States. The average overall cost of a DUI in the state of Arizona is around $10,000. Crazy, right? Ten thousand dollars may seem hard to swallow at first, but first time offenders often find themselves paying considerable unforeseen...
 
 

Is being good, good enough?

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – In today’s Air Force can you settle with just being good? I say, “No.” With the Air Force executing the deepest force cuts since the end of the cold war with programs such as the Quality Force Review Board and the Enlisted Retention Board, what you do and how well you...
 
 

‘Final Rule’ offers broader mental health care coverage

WASHINGTON – TRICARE military health plan beneficiaries will now have access to both TRICARE-certified mental health counselors and supervised mental health counselors, a Defense Health Agency official said here today. In an interview with DoD News, Dr. John Davison, DHA’s behavioral health branch chief, said the so-called “Final Rule,” published yesterday, will go into effect...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin