Business

February 13, 2013

F-35A completes three-year clean wing flutter testing program

LM-F35
Lockheed Martin photograph by Matt Short

An F-35A Lightning II conventional takeoff and landing aircraft, known as AF-1, completed its final test mission for clean wing flutter recently at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Flutter testing was conducted to ensure the jetís structure could withstand various aerodynamic loads verifying the F-35Aís design. The mission, flown by Maj. Ryan ìGunnerî Reinhardt, marks the conclusion of three years of testing that now allows the F-35A to proceed with tests continuing to expand its flight envelope and validate predictions in real-world scenarios. The testing demonstrated the F-35 is clear of flutter, at speeds up to 1.6 Mach and 700 knots with weapon bay doors open or closed, critical to performing its combat mission. Data collected proves the F-35A flight dynamics maintains a large margin between its designed airspeed and airspeeds where possible flutter could occur.




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