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.


 
 

 
Tree_pict

D-M celebrates Earth Day with Soaring Heights

Soaring Heights Communities, the privatized Lend Lease housing community on Davis-Monthan, celebrated Earth Day with help from The Groundskeeper, and some of the community’s youngest residents. “We’re thrilled to work wit...
 
 

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.;...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force Illustration/Staff Sgt. Miguel Lara III)

Supplements: Awareness is a serious matter

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) — Health, fitness and energy are important considerations for all Airmen, but when does pursuing them result in potential and real problems? Supplements, health foods and energy drink...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

German cultural exchange students visit D-M

Buena Vista High school students and cultural exchange students from Redebeul, Germany, toured D-M April 23. The 30 students went to three units learning about the Air Force and the missions here in a hands-on environment. The ...
 
 

Have faith in the Air Force system

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, AZ — Throughout our Air Force careers, we have all received extensive training covering the Air Force core values — integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. We talk about them on a daily basis in one capacity or another using them as buzz words to drive our point...
 
 
DT_pict7

48th RQS trains for the real deal

While many Airmen from D-M were finishing up their day, some Pararescuemen were beginning theirs, on the evening of April 14. The 48th Rescue Squadron conducted a pre-deployment training exercise to teach, train and test Airmen...
 




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