Aerospace Valley Air Show an opportunity to see Edwards, NASA aircraft

A formation flight of F-35 Lightning IIs over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. (Lockheed Martin photograph by Darin Russell)

The Aerospace Valley Air Show will feature aircraft from Edwards Air Force Base, and NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center flying over communities in the Southern California desert.
Over the next few days, Aerotech News and Review, will highlight some of the aircraft spectators can see flying in the skies overhead.

F-35 Lightning II

The F-35A is the U.S. Air Force’s latest fifth-generation fighter. It brings enhanced capability to survive in the advanced threat environment in which it was designed to operate. With its aerodynamic performance and advanced integrated avionics, the F-35A will provide next-generation stealth, enhanced situational awareness, and reduced vulnerability for the United States and allied nations.

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Multirole fighter
Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin
Power Plant: One Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 turbofan engine
Thrust: 43,000 pounds
Wingspan: 35 feet
Length: 51 feet
Height: 14 feet
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 70,000 pound class
Fuel Capacity: Internal: 18,498 pounds
Payload: 18,000 pounds
Speed: Mach 1.6
Range: More than 1,350 miles with internal fuel (1,200+ nautical miles), unlimited with aerial refueling
Ceiling: Above 50,000 feet
Armament: Internal and external capability. Munitions carried vary based on mission requirements.
Crew: One

The NASA F/A-18 Hornet flies over California’s Mojave Desert. (NASA photograph)
F/A-18 Super Hornet (NASA Armstrong)

Two-seat support aircraft are used for photo and video support. Photo and video technicians in these aircraft transmit live video back to control rooms so that project engineers can monitor the mission as it is flown ensuring the ability to make critical flight safety decisions if required. This capability greatly enhances existing ground-based long-range optic systems providing video and photo recording of research flight-test accomplishments.

Aircraft Specifications
* Two General Electric F404 turbofan engines power the aircraft, each producing 17,700 pounds of thrust.
* Top speed is more than Mach 1.8 (1190 mph).
* Wingspan is 40 feet, 4 inches, while the length is 56 feet
* Typical gross weight of the aircraft is about 40,000 pounds.

An Edwards KC-135 Stratotanker refuels a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting during a test flight. (Air Force photograph by Christian Turner)
KC-135 Stratotanker

The KC-135 Stratotanker provides the core aerial refueling capability for the United States Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 60 years. This unique asset enhances the Air Force’s capability to accomplish its primary mission of global reach. It also provides aerial refueling support to Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and allied nation aircraft. The KC-135 is also capable of transporting litter and ambulatory patients using patient support pallets during aeromedical evacuations.

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Aerial refueling and airlift
Prime Contractor: Boeing
Power Plant: CFM International CFM-56 turbofan engines
Thrust: 21,634 pounds each engine
Wingspan: 130 feet, 10 inches
Length: 136 feet, 3 inches
Height: 41 feet, 8 inches
Speed: 530 miles per hour at 30,000 feet
Ceiling: 50,000 feet
Range: 1,500 miles with 150,000 pounds of transfer fuel; ferry mission, up to 11,015 miles
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 322,500 pounds
Maximum Transfer Fuel Load: 200,000 pounds
Maximum Cargo Capability: 83,000 pounds, 37 passengers
Pallet Positions: 6
Crew: Three: pilot, co-pilot and boom operator. Some KC-135 missions require the addition of a navigator. The Air Force has a limited number of navigator suites that can be installed for unique missions.
Aeromedical Evacuation Crew: A basic crew of five (two flight nurses and three medical technicians) is added for aeromedical evacuation missions. Medical crew may be altered as required by the needs of patients.
Unit Cost: $39.6 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars)
Date Deployed: August 1956
Inventory: Active duty, 153; Air National Guard, 171; Air Force Reserve, 72.

A C-12 Huron flies over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. (Air Force photograph by Bobbi Zapka)
C-12 Huron

The C-12J Huron is a twin turboprop aircraft used for cargo and passenger airlift. The aircraft is a military version of the Raytheon 1900C regional airliner. In addition to providing cargo and passenger airlift, the aircraft is capable of transporting two litter or ten ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuations.

General characteristics
Primary Function: Passenger and cargo airlift
Prime Contractor: Raytheon Aircraft Company (formerly the Beech Aircraft Corporation)
Propulsion: Two Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65B turboprop engines, each with a four-blade, full-feathering, reversible composite propeller, generating 1,173 shaft horsepower (3,400 ft-lb of torque) on each engine
Length: 57 feet, 10 inches
Height: 14 feet, 11 inches
Wingspan: 54 feet, 6 inches
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 16,710 pounds
Maximum Speed: 284 mph
Ceiling: 25,000 feet
Fuel Capability: 675.2 gallons; 1,035.2 gallons with ferry tanks Maximum Range: 1,450 nautical miles, 1,669 statute miles
Maximum Load: 19 passengers or 3,500 pounds of cargo
Crew: Two (pilot and co-pilot)
Date Deployed: July 1992
Inventory: Active forces, 4; Air National Guard, 0; Air Force Reserve, 0

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