Defense

April 19, 2012

F-35 team hits weapons testing mark

Tags:
by Victor Chen
NAS Patuxent River, Md.
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe
Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Levin flies F-35B test aircraft BF-2 with external weapons pylons for the first time. The test measured flying qualities with external pylons, inert AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and centerline 25 mm gun pod. The F-35B is the U.S. Marine Corps variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings for use on amphibious ships or expeditionary airfields to provide air power to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River before delivery to the fleet.

The F-35 Integrated Test team at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., announced April 16 the completion of a weapons testing milestone.

The ejection of a 500-pound bomb from F-35B test aircraft BF-3 March 29 into a foam-covered concrete pit marked the end of two weeks of testing nine different weapons combinations inside the Joint Strike Fighter’s two internal weapons bays.

“Completion of these weapons ejections into the pit gets us closer to in-flight release of weapons from the F-35,” said Navy Capt. Erik Etz, director of test and evaluation for F-35 naval variants. “It’s another step in expansion of the F-35’s war fighting capabilities.”

Weapons pit-drop testing collects data to measure stresses on the airframe and adjacent stores, ensures proper weapon and suspension equipment function, and validates the separation models for the munitions’ ejection characteristics, including trajectories and velocities.

“We pushed the team pretty hard on those runs to get everything done,” said John Fahnestock, lead government weapons engineer. “We’ll spend some time going through the data to validate our models, but so far it looks good.”

From the cockpit, the pit drops demonstrated minimal effects of weapons launches from the F-35B’s left and right internal bays.

“Having the test weapons on board isn’t really noticeable from the seat,” said Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Matthew Taylor. “But what’s great about the team’s accomplishment is that we’re making progress toward delivering a war fighting aircraft to the fleet.”

Testing included inert versions of the GBU-12 Laser-Guided Bomb, the 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition and the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile.

More weapons testing on the F-35B and F-35C carrier variant is ongoing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Current test events including pit drops, captive carry and instrumented weapons environmental flights, lead up to flight separation testing scheduled for later this year.

The F-35B variant of the Joint Strike Fighter for the U.S. Marine Corps is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings for use on amphibious ships or expeditionary airfields to provide air power to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet.




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


 
 

 

Headlines November 24, 2014

News: Hagel said to be stepping down as defense chief under pressure - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises. Afghan mission for U.S....
 
 

News Briefs November 24, 2014

Fog forces five U.S. choppers to land in Polish field Officials say that that fog forced five U.S. Army helicopters to make an emergency landing in a Polish field and spend the night there, the second such incident since September. The U.S. Army said 15 soldiers were moving equipment to their base in Germany Nov....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

Navy’s first F-35C squadron surpasses 1,000 flight hours

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. An F-35C Lightning II aircraft piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, flies the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier va...
 

 
boeing-SC-787

Boeing South Carolina begins final assembly of its first 787-9 Dreamliner

Boeing has started final assembly of the 787-9 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility. The team began joining large fuselage sections of the newest 787 Nov. 22 on schedule, a proud milestone for the South Carolina team and a...
 
 
Lockheed Martin image

Ball Aerospace equips Orion mission with key avionics, antenna hardware

Lockheed Martin image Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is providing the phased array antennas and flight test cameras to prime contractor Lockheed Martin for Orion’s Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), which is an u...
 
 

Salina, Kansas, recalls anniversary of shuttered base

It has been 50 years this month since the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base was closing rattled Salina residents. The Salina Journal, which carried news of the closure in its Nov. 19, 1964, editions, reported that the economic disaster then spared no part of the community – real estate, retail, civic involvement, church attendance,...
 




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>