Business

August 31, 2013

F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet prototype flies with Northrop Grumman-built conformal fuel tanks

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – The first flight of an F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet prototype featuring conformal fuel tanks designed and built by Northrop Grumman, took place earlier this month.

The design and assembly of the tanks were completed in less than 10 months, ahead of schedule, due to rapid prototyping processes. The conformal fuel tanks and other new Advanced Super Hornet features allow flexibility for longer range and/or low-observable missions.

“We invested in conformal fuel tank research and development so we could offer our domestic and international customers the most capable and sophisticated F/A-18 possible,” said John Murnane, F/A-18 program manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “Given the challenge of developing the CFT in a short period of time, the success of the first prototype flight is an incredible achievement for our team.”

Both the F/A-18 and its electronic attack variant, the EA-18G, will benefit from the conformal fuel tanks. The tanks, which are added to the upper fuselage of the aircraft, accommodate up to 3,500 pounds of additional fuel. For a typical strike mission, a Super Hornet or Growler with CFT can increase its unrefueled radius by up to 130 nautical miles or increase its station time by more than 30 minutes. For the EA-18G aircraft, the tanks also provide enhanced capabilities when operating from an aircraft carrier by reducing overall weight.

CFTs are an example of practical modernization of a reliable, proven airframe. The tanks provide new capabilities to the warfighter and can be included on new aircraft or retrofitted to the 600-plus aircraft already operating worldwide.

In addition to conformal fuel tanks, the prototype aircraft features an enclosed weapons pod designed and built by Boeing, the prime contractor for the F/A-18. Other key members of the F/A-18 industry team have also developed upgrades for the Advanced Super Hornet.

The first flight of the Advanced Super Hornet prototype took place Aug. 5 in St. Louis as part of a demanding flight test demonstration program. Several flight tests have also taken place at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. These flight tests will provide the F/A-18 industry team with valuable data on flying qualities, drag and signature levels.

Northrop Grumman produces about 40 percent of the work content for F/A-18 and about 50 percent for the EA-18G. The company manufactures the center/aft fuselage and vertical tails for both aircraft, as well as the airborne electronic attack subsystem for the EA-18G.

 




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


 
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Mike Wilhelm

Enhanced F-35 Lightning II logistics system delivered to flight test locations

Lockheed Martin photograph by Mike Wilhelm United Kingdom and U.S. Air Force F-35 maintainers support ALIS testing at Lockheed Martin’s Orlando facility in August 2014. Before software is released, maintenance personnel try n...
 
 
NASA photographs by Ken Ulbrich

NASA intern helps develop UAS in the NAS Human-Systems Integration

NASA photographs by Ken Ulbrich NASA Armstrong summer intern Kassidy McLaughlin contemplates the Smart Eye Pro optical tracking display during a UAS in the NAS simulation. The system tracks a UAS pilotís eye movements, quantif...
 
 
Boeing photograph

Boeing completes design review for U.S. Air Force’s Talon HATE program

Boeing photograph The Talon HATE system is designed to initially be carried in a pod attached to Boeingís F-15C fighter aircraft as shown in this artistís concept. It combines information from fighter networks, national sourc...
 

 

Sikorsky Aircraft selects LORD Corporation’s UltraConductive Technology for the S-97 RAIDER

LORD Corporation announced Sept. 16 that Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. [NYSE:UTX], has selected its UltraConductive films and coatings for lightning strike protection for the S-97 RAIDERô program. The Sikorsky program requires LORD to provide technical support and education on how to use UltraConductive solutions across the Sikorsky platform for direct...
 
 
Courtesy graphic

Lockheed Martin conducts flight tests of aircraft laser turret for DARPA

AFRL photograph The Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control turret that Lockheed Martin is developing for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Air Force Research Laboratory has completed initial flight testing. T...
 
 

Lockheed Martin advances live, virtual, constructive training in flight test

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jvXmOW8L3mU Lockheed Martin successfully tested a new solution for integrated live, virtual and constructive training during a flight demonstration at the company’s Aeronautics facility in Fort Worth, Texas. During the flight test, a pilot flying in a live F-16 engaged in a synthetic training exercise with a pilot flying as wing...
 




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>