Defense

March 15, 2013

F-35B arrives at Edwards for missions systems testing

Tags:
Laura Mowry
Staff writer

BF-17 arrival at Edwards Air Force Base March 5. The F-35B is the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35 Lightning II and is operated by the Marine Corps. It’s the first mission systems B-variant to arrive at Edwards.

The F-35 Integrated Test Force expanded their aircraft inventory Mar. 5 with the arrival of BF-17, which is the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the F-35 Lightning II and is operated by the Marine Corps.

The aircraft arrived from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and will remain at Edwards to conduct mission system testing throughout the System Development and Demonstration phase. Testing at Edwards will play a critical role in reaching the 2014 initial operational capability for the Marines.

“Edwards is home for mission systems testing on the F-35. BF-17 adds a different element to our missions fleet. The STOVL variant has some unique features and requires different maintenance and support equipment. You also fly the aircraft differently. We’re excited to have the aircraft here, where it will stay until the end of the testing when we give it back to the Marine Corps,” said Brian O’Melia, BF-17 lead flight test engineer.

While the F-35B undergoes mission systems testing, the F-35 ITF does not anticipate utilizing the aircraft’s STOVL capability during normal flight operations. However, a landing pad was built between the runway and Taxiway B in case the aircraft experiences an in-flight emergency.

During the aircraft’s time at Edwards, Air Force pilots will also have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the F-35B and expand their knowledge base of the fifth-generation fighter.

“This is a great opportunity to get Air Force pilots trained on the B-model differences. It’s great to have multiple variants of the F-35 here because the test pilots get broad experience that will help them throughout their careers with new unfamiliar aircraft. We want them to have as much experience as possible,” said Col. Roderick L. Cregier, Edwards F-35 program manager.

After the long-awaited arrival of BF-17, the F-35 ITF is fully prepared to begin testing with modifications to the aircraft are currently underway.

“We have been preparing for a long time and the arrival of BF-17 will allow us to increase testing for the JSF Program Office. The aircraft was scheduled to arrive in January so we’re excited to now integrate this aircraft into our test fleet. We have started modifications to make it the first F-35B model to fly with Block 2B software, so the team is already taking great advantage of the aircraft,” said Lt. Col. George Schwartz, Edwards Government ITF director.

With the successful arrival of BF-17, the F-35 ITF looks forward to testing an additional variant of F-35 and eventually welcoming a third with the Navy’s C-model, carrier variant.

“For us, it’s also significant to have two F-35 variants here and we look forward to eventually having the C-model here as well. Our team is fully integrated with members from the Air Force, Navy, and USMC, along with eight partner countries and this level of joint testing is unprecedented,” said Schwartz.

“We will eventually be conducting mission systems testing on all three F-35 variants. Members of the ITF are making an enormous contribution to the warfighting capabilities for the U.S. services and eight allies that ultimately provide the combat capability for 2,500 aircraft. This is a great place to be.”




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


 
 

 

Headlines September 17, 2014

News: Pentagon open to U.S. ground troops in fight against Islamic State - The Pentagon’s top general opened the door Sept. 16 to the possibility that U.S. combat troops would be needed in Iraq, as he publicly laid out President Obama’s still-developing plans to combat Islamic State insurgents through U.S. air power and relying on an...
 
 

News Briefs September 17, 2014

U.S. to assign 3,000 troops to fight Ebola The Obama administration is preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to combat the Ebola outbreak that has overwhelmed local health care systems and drawn appeals for help from the region and aid organizations. The troops will supply medical and logistical support and boost...
 
 
Navy photograph

Future USNS Fall River delivered

Navy photograph The joint high speed vessel USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) completes acceptance trials testing and evaluations in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship’s trials included dockside testing to clear the ship for sea and at-...
 

 
University of Alaska-Fairbanks photograph by Chris Larsen

NASA airborne campaigns focus on climate impacts in Arctic

University of Alaska-Fairbanks photograph by Chris Larsen Changes in more than 130 Alaskan glaciers are being surveyed by scientists at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in a DHC-3 Otter as part of NASA’s multi-year Oper...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/M. Weiss

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory finds planet that makes star act deceptively old

Image courtesy of NASA/CXC/M. Weiss A new study from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory shows that a giant exoplanet, WASP-18b, is making the star that it orbits very closely act much older than it actually is. This artist&...
 




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>