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.


 
 

 

Things to know about gift cards

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Many gifts exchange hands during the holiday season. One of the most popular, easiest and convenient of gifts is the gift card. Almost every store offers gift cards for their products or services. Gift cards can satisfy even the most particular recipients since they choose what to purchase for themselves. However,...
 
 

Scholarships for Military Children

FORT LEE, Va. – As the Scholarships for Military Children Program enters its 15th year, more than 8,000 students have shared nearly $13 million in scholarships. Applications for the 2015-2016 school-year awards become available starting Dec. 15 at commissaries worldwide or on the Scholarships for Military Children website. As one of last year’s recipients said,...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Gross)

Airmen, families, friends remember loved ones at Arlington

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) — Nearly 50,000 volunteers came together to place remembrance wreaths on the headstones of about 230,000 veterans during the 23rd Annual National Wreaths Across America Day Dec. 13, at Arlington Nati...
 

 

Eagle flies home: Airman receives a native name

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — The buildings looked the same and the people seemed familiar, but something was different. Maybe it was him. His Native American ties were lost at a young age and now nearly 20 years had passed since he reconnected with his roots. This piece of his life was broken until a naming...
 
 

Commissary Value Brands to return for more savings

FORT LEE, Va. – In response to growing patron demand for products comparable to the low-cost private label items sold in civilian stores, the Defense Commissary Agency is re-energizing an “old friend” known as Commissary Value Brand. Starting in December, commissaries worldwide will highlight about 300 Value Brand products in 33 categories such as frozen...
 
 

“Aiming High” and getting high not compatible for civilian, AF members

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, — Voters in Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C., recently joined Colorado in legalizing the possession and use of marijuana. Apart from Oregon, each area has large Air Force populations. Leaders say it’s important for military and civilian Airmen to remember that while American voters’ attitudes are shifting toward loosening restrictions on marijuana,...
 




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