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 March 4, 2015

News: Pentagon: Another BRAC will save money - Pentagon planners have a new pitch to lawmakers skeptical of a fresh round of base closings: We promise we’ll save money this time.   Business: China’s new C919 will begin test flights this year - China’s new superjet will take to the skies for the first time later this...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham

World War II pilot reunited with P-47

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham Retired Air National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Hertel, laughs while under the wing of a P-47 Thunderbolt during the Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course Feb. 2...
 
 

News Briefs March 4, 2015

General: 8,500 Islamic State fighters killed in Iraq so far The U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq has killed more than 8,500 Islamic State fighters since its bombing campaign began in August, the top general overseeing the coalition said March 3. Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the commander of U.S. Central Command, said the Islamic State, which...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Turning up the heat

Lockheed Martin photograph Lockheed Martin ATHENA laser weapon system defeats a truck target by disabling the engine, demonstrating its military effectiveness against enemy ground vehicles. Latest evolution of Lockheed Martin l...
 
 

USO Visit

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Actor Vince Vaughn speaks with Edwards Airmen and 412th Security Forces Squadron members at the base library before introducing an advance screening of his new movie, “Unfinished Business,” at the base theater Feb. 28.
 
 

Sikorsky S-97 RAIDERô team begins final assembly of second aircraft

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., announced March 4 the start of final assembly of the second S-97 RAIDERô helicopter at the company’s Development Flight Center. Along with a team of industry suppliers, Sikorsky is developing two RAIDERô prototypes to demonstrate the revolutionary new capabilities in improved maneuverability and flight speed. 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>