Defense

September 5, 2012

F-35B completes first airborne engine start tests

F-35B test aircraft BF-3, flown by Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Levin, completed the first aerial weapons release for any variant of the aircraft. BF-3 dropped an inert 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition over an Atlantic Ocean test range from an internal weapons bay. The F-35B is the variant of the Joint Strike Fighter designed for use by U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md., and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., before delivery to the fleet.

The F-35 integrated test force announced the completion of a major prerequisite test for in-flight performance on the short take-off and vertical landing variant of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Sept. 4 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

BF-2 completed the first air starts, which test the ability of the F-35’s propulsion system to restart during flight. Verifying the restart capability of the propulsion system is part of the initial flight test program for the F-35 and a prerequisite for high angle-of-attack testing, scheduled to start next year.

“High alpha, or angle-of-attack tests, are important for us to fully evaluate the aircraft’s handling characteristics and war fighting capability,” said Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Matthew Kelly. “Maximizing the performance of the airplane around the very slow edges of the flight envelope is probably some of the most challenging testing we will conduct. After we get through it, we’ll know a lot more about how this aircraft will perform during combat within visual range.”

Using multiple restart methods during the tests, BF-2 successfully completed a series of 27 air starts at various altitudes Aug. 15.

To execute air start testing, the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., ferried BF-2 and an F/A-18 chase aircraft from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 to the F-35A testing facility at Edwards AFB.

“At Edwards, we have a unique testing range, which provides ideal and controlled conditions for completing air start testing. The Edwards range is comprised of 20,000 square miles of airspace, and has 65 linear miles of useable landing area on Rogers and Rosamond Dry Lakes, if required during engine out testing,” said Lt. Col. George N. Schwartz, commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron and government site director. “In addition, we’ve recently completed air start testing on the F-35A, so we’re able to share some of our expertise with the Pax team as well.”

Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Canin flies BF-2 during air start testing over Edwards Air Force Base Aug. 8. Air starts test the ability of the F-35’s propulsion system to restart during flight. Verifying the restart capability of the propulsion system is part of the initial flight test program for the F-35 and a prerequisite for high angle-of-attack testing. The F-35B is the variant of the Joint Strike Fighter designed for use by U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings to provide air power from amphibious ships, ski jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is now undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet.

The core of the F-35B’s propulsion system is the F135 engine, capable of more than 40,000 pounds of thrust.

“The F135 continues to power a successful flight test program,” said Roy Hauck, Pratt & Whitney site lead at the F-35 Patuxent River ITF. “The aircraft and its integrated systems demonstrated intentional flameout and successful recovery scenarios during air start flight tests, and BF-2 and the team did a great job.”

A team of approximately 60 ITF and VX-23 personnel provided engineering and maintenance requirements for the events.

The detachment to Edwards from NAS Patuxent River overlapped with a busy summer flight testing schedule.

“In the past two months, we’ve sent detachments to Edwards and Lakehurst [N.J.], and maintained a full-tempo test schedule here,” said Navy Capt. Erik Etz, director of test for F-35 naval variants at NAS Patuxent River. “The team of military, government and industry personnel rallied to make all the events happen, and they can be proud of their accomplishments.”

The F-35B is the variant of the Joint Strike Fighter designed for use by U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings to provide air power from amphibious ships, ski jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. 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 August 28, 2015

Business: Rafale, Mistral on agenda for Le Drian in Malaysia, India¬†– French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is due to visit Malaysia Aug. 30, with talks expected to cover the Rafale fighter jet and Mistral helicopter carrier, website La Tribune reported. U.S. Army to choose new landing craft next year¬†– In line with the Pentagon’s...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2015

Boeing plans to lay off some Southern California workers Boeing has announced that it plans to lay off employees at its Southern California-based satellite division. The Los Angeles Times reports that the aerospace giant said Aug. 25 that it will lay off as many as several hundred employees at the El Segundo factory. Boeing says...
 
 

Special tactics Airmen killed in hostile incident

Two special tactics airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, Aug. 26. Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, and SSgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, were at a vehicle checkpoint when two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on them. NATO service members...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>