Local

March 15, 2013

F-35B arrives at Edwards for missions systems testing

Tags:
Laura Mowry
Staff writer

BF-17 arrival at Edwards Air Force Base March 5. The F-35B is the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35 Lightning II and is operated by the Marine Corps. It’s the first mission systems B-variant to arrive at Edwards.

The F-35 Integrated Test Force expanded their aircraft inventory Mar. 5 with the arrival of BF-17, which is the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the F-35 Lightning II and is operated by the Marine Corps.

The aircraft arrived from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and will remain at Edwards to conduct mission system testing throughout the System Development and Demonstration phase. Testing at Edwards will play a critical role in reaching the 2014 initial operational capability for the Marines.

“Edwards is home for mission systems testing on the F-35. BF-17 adds a different element to our missions fleet. The STOVL variant has some unique features and requires different maintenance and support equipment. You also fly the aircraft differently. We’re excited to have the aircraft here, where it will stay until the end of the testing when we give it back to the Marine Corps,” said Brian O’Melia, BF-17 lead flight test engineer.

While the F-35B undergoes mission systems testing, the F-35 ITF does not anticipate utilizing the aircraft’s STOVL capability during normal flight operations. However, a landing pad was built between the runway and Taxiway B in case the aircraft experiences an in-flight emergency.

During the aircraft’s time at Edwards, Air Force pilots will also have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the F-35B and expand their knowledge base of the fifth-generation fighter.

“This is a great opportunity to get Air Force pilots trained on the B-model differences. It’s great to have multiple variants of the F-35 here because the test pilots get broad experience that will help them throughout their careers with new unfamiliar aircraft. We want them to have as much experience as possible,” said Col. Roderick L. Cregier, Edwards F-35 program manager.

After the long-awaited arrival of BF-17, the F-35 ITF is fully prepared to begin testing with modifications to the aircraft are currently underway.

“We have been preparing for a long time and the arrival of BF-17 will allow us to increase testing for the JSF Program Office. The aircraft was scheduled to arrive in January so we’re excited to now integrate this aircraft into our test fleet. We have started modifications to make it the first F-35B model to fly with Block 2B software, so the team is already taking great advantage of the aircraft,” said Lt. Col. George Schwartz, Edwards Government ITF director.

With the successful arrival of BF-17, the F-35 ITF looks forward to testing an additional variant of F-35 and eventually welcoming a third with the Navy’s C-model, carrier variant.

“For us, it’s also significant to have two F-35 variants here and we look forward to eventually having the C-model here as well. Our team is fully integrated with members from the Air Force, Navy, and USMC, along with eight partner countries and this level of joint testing is unprecedented,” said Schwartz.

“We will eventually be conducting mission systems testing on all three F-35 variants. Members of the ITF are making an enormous contribution to the warfighting capabilities for the U.S. services and eight allies that ultimately provide the combat capability for 2,500 aircraft. This is a great place to be.”




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


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Chris Higgins

412th Test Wing 1st Quarter Award Winners

Air Force photograph by Chris Higgins Brig. Gen. Carl E. Schaefer, 412th Test Wing commander, watches Jeanette White, 412th Civil Engineering Group, absolutely smash a foam baseball into the audience after accepting her 30-year...
 
 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

North Gate safety alert SAFETY ALERT! Due to mechanical issues with the North Gate, there have been large metal plates installed over gaps in the roadway while repair operations are being scheduled. Drivers should exercise caution and reduce speeds in these areas. In inclement weather and blowing dust, the plates may become slippery and vehicles,...
 
 
MG-appointments

Don’t be a no show

The 412th Medical Group is dedicated to meeting the health care needs of you and your family by providing access to its services and the best possible medical care. No shows are a costly problem for the 412th MDG and the patie...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Brad White

Team Edwards hosts Military Retiree Appreciation Day

Air Force photograph by Brad White Approximately 400 military retirees, their families and surviving spouses were in attendance during the 2015 Military Retiree Appreciation Day event held at the Oasis Community Center and 27 i...
 
 

Education Center Open House May 27

The Edwards AFB Education Center will be hosting an Open House†that will be open to all military and their family members, and civilians working on Edwards 11 a.m.-1 p.m., May 27. The Education and Training†Center is located on 140 Methusa Ave., Bldg. 2453. Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with the Ed Center staff...
 
 

Excellence in Aviation Award banquet set for June 13

The Flight Test Historical Foundation will hold the 5th annual Excellence in Aviation Awards banquet June 13. This year’s honorees are the California Air National Guard’s 163rd Reconnaissance Wing from March Air Reserve Base. The wing operates the remotely piloted MQ-1 Predator aircraft built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. For the first time in the...
 




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>