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.


 
 

 

Commissary surcharge helps patrons improve benefit

FORT LEE, Va.– There’s a lot to learn about the commissary surcharge just by considering four new commissaries opened last year on Army, Navy and Air Force installations. Thanks to the surcharge – the 5 percent added to every commissary customer’s receipt – the military communities at Naval Support Activity Annapolis, Md.; Fort Polk, La.;...
 
 

D-M Airmen freefall into the blue

BUCKEYE, Ariz. — You’re standing in an open door of an aircraft soaring 12,000 feet above the ground. You have put your full trust into the person strapped to your back, who you’ve known for less than two hours, to bring you back down to Earth safe and sound. The count begins. “Out…in…out.” The floor of the...
 
 

12th Air Force bomb wings move to Air Force Global Strike Command

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force have directed the realignment of the Air Force’s B-1 bomber fleets and Long Range Strike-Bomber program from Air Combat Command to Air Force Global Strike Command, effective Oct. 1. The move will realign the Air Force’s core mission of global strike and all of...
 

 

AF celebrates Earth Day by focusing on mission today, tomorrow

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force leaders reminded Airmen to keep the mission in mind as the Air Force observed the 45th annual Earth Day April 22. The service has encouraged Airmen around the globe to focus on recycling efforts this year, in line with its 2015 theme, “Conserve Today – Secure Tomorrow.” “Air Force bases...
 
 

Case lot sale returns to D-M April 17-19

FORT LEE, Va. – Mention case lot sales and commissary patrons start lining up for the opportunity to save up to 50 percent or more on club-pack and full-case items. Known as the Commissary Customer Appreciation Case Lot Sale, the springtime version of this twice-yearly event will unfold at stateside stores, each hosting their individual...
 
 

ThanksUSA offers scholarships to children, spouses of U.S. Troops

WASHINGTON – ThanksUSA, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to thanking America’s troops through the gift of education, is inviting children and spouses of America’s armed forces to apply for its post-secondary education scholarships, according to a ThanksUSA news release issued today. Those interested can apply via the organization’s website, and the application period extends ...
 




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