Defense

June 20, 2014

‘Workhorse’ becomes first F-35 to achieve 1,000 flight hours

Tags:
Kenji Thuloweit
Edwards AFB, Calif.

Paul Hattendorf, Lockheed Martin test pilot, flies AF-2 over Edwards during an Airframe Loads Envelope Expansion mission June 11. On this test mission, AF-2 reached 1,000 flying hours becoming the first F-35 to do so.

AF-2, the second production F-35 Lightning II for the U.S. Air Force, became the first F-35 to reach 1,000 flight hours.

Paul Hattendorf, Lockheed Martin test pilot, was flying an Airframe Loads Envelope Expansion mission June 11 when the fighter reached the milestone.

“AF-2’s nickname is ‘Workhorse,’ said Randy Thompson, F-35 Integrated Test Force, Government Air Vehicle lead. “It continues to carry the Flight Sciences testing load executing its primary mission of loads envelope expansion. Every AF-2 flight-test hour moves the JSF enterprise closer to providing our warriors with the Air Force Initial Operational Capability and final System Development and Demonstration maneuvering envelopes.

Thompson added that data collected from all Flight Sciences aircraft help refine the airframe usage spectrum, which in turn allows for a more accurate fleet life determination.

The 412th Test Wing is home to 15 Lightning IIs. The Edwards F-35 ITF has nine F-35s assigned for developmental testing – representing all three variants of the fifth-generation fighter: six F-35As, two F-35Bs and one F-35C.

Additionally, Edwards AFB’s Operational Test units have six F-35As assigned.

“AF-2 is the ‘Pull G’s jet.’ It was the first aircraft to hit plus-nine-G and negative-three-G and to roll at design-load factor. In addition, AF-2 is the first F-35A to intentionally fly in significant airframe buffet at all angles of attack,” said Thompson.

Both AF-2 and AF-1 ferried to Edwards from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, May 17, 2010.

Thompson said AF-2 has specific instrumentation and was calibrated for in-flight loads measurements prior to ferrying to Edwards. In addition, it is instrumented to execute airframe buffet testing; landing, braking and arresting hook testing; and ground and in-flight gun testing.

Members of Edwards AFB’s F-35 Integrated Test Force pose in front of AF-2 June 11; the day the Lightning II became the first F-35 to reach 1,000 flying hours.

The Lightning II software has 24 million lines of code, which is continually being updated and improved. The ITF team, AF-2 and the rest of the Edwards F-35 test fleet, continues to get closer in getting the world’s most advanced fighter into the hands of the warfighter.

“The entire F-35 Edwards ITF team and the 412th TW are pressing hard to complete testing required for the 2B fleet release (Marine Corp IOC mission systems software release and AF IOC maneuvering envelope release). As aircraft compete their slated 2B testing, the team moves ahead with testing required for the final SDD clearances. Post 2B testing milestones include putting the final SDD talons on the Lightning II with the first flight of the Small Diameter Bomb, first gun fire and continued external GBU-12 envelope expansion, as well as beginning to test the final SDD mission systems suite,” concluded Thompson.

The planned date for Air Force Initial Operational Capability of its F-35As is August 2016.




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


 
 

 
ng-people--japan

Northrop Grumman appoints chief executive for Japan

Northrop Grumman has announced the appointment of Jack Dorsett as chief executive for Japan, effective immediately. In this new position, he will be responsible for coordinating the corporation’s relationship with Japan, ...
 
 
NG-people-korea

Northrop Grumman appoints chief executive for South Korea

Northrop Grumman has announced the appointment of Brian Kim as chief executive for South Korea, effective Feb. 2, 2015. In this new position, he will be responsible for coordinating the corporation’s relationship with Sou...
 
 
XCOR Aerospace/Mike Massee

XCOR announces further progress on the XCOR Lynx spacecraft

XCOR Aerospace/Mike Massee The XCOR Lynx suborbital rocketplane under construction as of December 2014. Fuselage, cockpit and Carry-through-spar are bonded, propulsion system test-mounted, sans propellant pumps.   MOJAVE, ...
 

 

Headlines December 19, 2014

News: SpaceX’s attempt to land rocket on floating barge postponed - It’s set to be one of the most groundbreaking moments in humanity’s six decades of space exploration. Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law - President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion federal spending measure into law Dec. 16, officially ending any threat of a government...
 
 

News Briefs December 19, 2014

Trial set for ex-Navy engineer in military secrets case A former Navy civilian engineer is scheduled to stand trial next summer on charges of trying to steal aircraft carrier schematics. Media outlets report that 35-year-old Mostafa Awwad of Yorktown, Va., pleaded not guilty Dec. 17 to two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Army to launch cruise missile-detecting aerostat at Aberdeen Proving Ground

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez The Army plans to launch an aerostat, part of the “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor,” in late December 2014. The JLENS aerostat will be tethered to 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>