Air Force

June 20, 2014

‘Workhorse’ becomes first F-35 to achieve 1,000 flight hours

Tags:
Kenji Thuloweit
Editor

Paul Hattendorf, Lockheed Martin test pilot, flies AF-2 over Edwards during an Airframe Loads Envelope Expansion mission June 11. On this test mission, AF-2 reached 1,000 flying hours becoming the first F-35 to do so.

AF-2, the second production F-35 Lightning II for the U.S. Air Force, became the first F-35 to reach 1,000 flight hours.
Paul Hattendorf, Lockheed Martin test pilot, was flying an Airframe Loads Envelope Expansion mission June 11 when the fighter reached the milestone.

“AF-2’s nickname is ‘Workhorse,’ said Randy Thompson, F-35 Integrated Test Force, Government Air Vehicle lead. “It continues to carry the Flight Sciences testing load executing its primary mission of loads envelope expansion. Every AF-2 flight-test hour moves the JSF enterprise closer to providing our warriors with the Air Force Initial Operational Capability and final System Development and Demonstration maneuvering envelopes.

Thompson added that data collected from all Flight Sciences aircraft help refine the airframe usage spectrum, which in turn allows for a more accurate fleet life determination.

The 412th Test Wing is home to 15 Lightning IIs. The Edwards F-35 ITF has nine F-35s assigned for developmental testing – representing all three variants of the fifth-generation fighter: six F-35As, two F-35Bs and one F-35C.

Additionally, Edwards AFB’s Operational Test units have six F-35As assigned.

“AF-2 is the ‘Pull G’s jet.’ It was the first aircraft to hit plus-nine-G and negative-three-G and to roll at design-load factor. In addition, AF-2 is the first F-35A to intentionally fly in significant airframe buffet at all angles of attack,” said Thompson.
Both AF-2 and AF-1 ferried to Edwards from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, May 17, 2010.

Members of Edwards AFB’s F-35 Integrated Test Force pose in front of AF-2 June 11; the day the Lightning II became the first F-35 to reach 1,000 flying hours.

Thompson said AF-2 has specific instrumentation and was calibrated for in-flight loads measurements prior to ferrying to Edwards. In addition, it is instrumented to execute airframe buffet testing; landing, braking and arresting hook testing; and ground and in-flight gun testing.

The Lightning II software has 24 million lines of code, which is continually being updated and improved. The ITF team, AF-2 and the rest of the Edwards F-35 test fleet, continues to get closer in getting the world’s most advanced fighter into the hands of the warfighter.

“The entire F-35 Edwards ITF team and the 412th TW are pressing hard to complete testing required for the 2B fleet release (Marine Corp IOC mission systems software release and AF IOC maneuvering envelope release). As aircraft compete their slated 2B testing, the team moves ahead with testing required for the final SDD clearances. Post 2B testing milestones include putting the final SDD talons on the Lightning II with the first flight of the Small Diameter Bomb, first gun fire and continued external GBU-12 envelope expansion, as well as beginning to test the final SDD mission systems suite,” concluded Thompson.

The planned date for Air Force Initial Operational Capability of its F-35As is August 2016.




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


 
 

 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

Library closure The Base Library will be closing early Feb. 28 for an official function. Hours of operation will be 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day. For more information, call 661-275-2665. Blood drive The next American Red Cross Blood Drive on Edwards AFB is 10 a.m.-4 p.m., March 4 in the Chapel 1 Annex. Both...
 
 

Just American: A century of Black life

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted Harvard-trained historian Carter Woodson. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially...
 
 

Leadership development program nominations due March 16

Nomination packages for majors and major-selects interested in the Defense Department 2015-2016 Executive Leadership Development Program are due to the Air Force Personnel Center by March 16, officials announced. The program, designed specifically for highly motivated officers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership ability, commitment to public service and integrity, and who have an inter...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Bobbi Zapka

C-12 pilots take to skies at Edwards

Air Force photograph by Bobbi Zapka Edwards AFB is home to the U.S. Air Force C-12 school house. Referred to as a split school house, when an individual is assigned to fly an Air Force C-12 Huron, they spend three weeks in Alab...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Jim Varhegyi

AF senior leaders caution against sequestration

Air Force photograph by Jim Varhegyi Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III answers a question about the fiscal year 2016 President’s Budget request during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on D...
 
 

Soldier, retirees win big with Exchange’s ‘Your Holiday Bill Is On Us’ contest

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service made dreams come true for three grand-prize winners of the MILITARY STAR® “Your Holiday Bill Is On Us” sweepstakes—and for one young Soldier from Fort Bliss, winning has changed her life. As a grand-prize winner, Sgt. Kakala Loketi had her MILITARY STAR® account paid in full. During a...
 




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>