F-35 Lightning II (2) testing and production thread

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posted on May, 31 2007 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by Canada_EH
I was under the impression from my research that any time blades shafts etc leave the cowlings etc it means even more testing to fix the problem.

But either way the engine is toast or the plane is toast. If a blad breaks in the fan you could have a pilot minus a head also.

[edit on 22/08/06 by Canada_EH]


The blade off event testing is designed to ensure the blade itself doesn't exit the engine sideways (in the centripetal motion), but it isn't designed to prevent debris being ejected to the front and back.





posted on Jun, 12 2007 @ 10:06 AM
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Well in keeping up with the F-35 testing there is new news today as the F-35 tests its electro optical targeting system. the multi function system worked well and was tested for both A2A and A2G.


“This first flight is a significant step toward ensuring the technical maturity of this infrared targeting system prior to final-stage integration on the CATB (Cooperative Avionics Test Bed) aircraft,” said Rich Hinkle, program director, Joint Strike Fighter EOTS at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “During final integration, all of the F-35’s sensors are fused together, providing the pilot an unprecedented level of situational awareness.”

Integrated into the F-35’s fuselage with a durable sapphire window, the low-drag, stealthy EOTS is linked to the aircraft’s central computer through a high-speed fiber-optic interface. EOTS will provide the Lightning II pilot with significant air-to-air and air-to-ground functionality in a single compact and totally passive sensor.


www.lockheedmartin.com...



posted on Jun, 12 2007 @ 03:40 PM
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There are now unconfirmed reports that the RAF is delaying its planned EIS date for the F-35 to 2017, a delay of three years.

Studies are underway as to the viability of extending the Harrier force life until the new EIS date.

Link to follow...



posted on Jun, 12 2007 @ 04:03 PM
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I wrote about the impending bomber gap in the UK last year, here is a link to that thread.bomber gap

A read through what was said then is quite interesting (apart from the bitching)




posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 05:52 AM
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Speaking of Prototypes and test planes, what ever happen to the dedicated FSD prototype program?


Years ago the official Prototype used for preprduction development testing used to be designated YF-XX. For example there were 5 YF-117A's built for the stealth figher program they were #780, 781, 782, #783, #784. The F-14 had 12 YF-14 prototypes.

It seems like they are trying to skip the prototype phase. WHY?


Tim



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 07:17 AM
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time to service - if they built a few production standard prototypes then tested them - it would add years to the first deliveries - and with a sliping time table allready its something that they can ill afford



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 08:04 AM
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Originally posted by Ghost01
Speaking of Prototypes and test planes, what ever happen to the dedicated FSD prototype program?


Years ago the official Prototype used for preprduction development testing used to be designated YF-XX. For example there were 5 YF-117A's built for the stealth figher program they were #780, 781, 782, #783, #784. The F-14 had 12 YF-14 prototypes.

It seems like they are trying to skip the prototype phase. WHY?


Tim


You can prototype in virtual these days to a great extent. The test aircraft will not be production standard until fairly late in the test regime - there will be differences between the first few test aircraft and the production standard, but nowhere near what a prototype would be.



posted on Jun, 13 2007 @ 10:02 PM
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Well, the F-22 for example had only two "prototype" (test) aircraft, the F-35 series already had the X-35 initial prototypes and there will be a total of 23 test aircraft (F-35's of all variants) built for various purposes. Of these 15 will be used for flight tests, 7 for non-flight tests and one will be a radar signature test airframe. As others have mentioned these pre production models will be thoroughly tested and they do in some forms differ from the final production standard. IOC (at the earliest) for the F-35A is scheduled for 2011, so there will be several years of IOT&E.



posted on Jun, 14 2007 @ 05:05 PM
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Originally posted by RichardPrice
The test aircraft will not be production standard until fairly late in the test regime - there will be differences between the first few test aircraft and the production standard, but nowhere near what a prototype would be.


How do you mean that?

As far as I know, all the term Prototype means is a dedicated test plane with built in testing equipment. The word prototype comes from the Greek word Proto meaning "First"!

Technically, any time you build the first plane of a given design and add test equipment to it, you have a prototype! What I was talking about is the Idea of having a set of planes dedicated to that role, and built with the test equipment permanently mounted.

What is your definition of a prototype and how is it any different from having a test plane?

Tim



posted on Jun, 14 2007 @ 06:26 PM
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Well, the way I see it the X-35 (ABC) were all prototypes because they were the concept and technology demonstrators. They not only had major structural and design differences (from the final production version) but they also used off the shelf technology and systems to simulate advanced ones that would eventually be fielded. And in some case the X series lacked certain systems altogether because it was just a technology and concept demonstrator.

On the other hand the 23 pre production models (AA-1 etc...) will be very similar to the final design and in some cases identical. However they will have testing equipment on them and they will be used to validate the new systems developed for the Lightning. So my view is that a prototype is just basically an empty shell largely different form the production standard used to show that the concept is achievable. While a test aircraft is a closer representative of the final production design with many (if not all of the) production systems and technologies.

For example, the F-22A Raptor had two YF-22 prototypes and several EMD aircraft used at Nellis and Edwards for initial flight tests.



posted on Jun, 14 2007 @ 06:26 PM
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Originally posted by Ghost01
Technically, any time you build the first plane of a given design and add test equipment to it, you have a prototype! What I was talking about is the Idea of having a set of planes dedicated to that role, and built with the test equipment permanently mounted.

What is your definition of a prototype and how is it any different from having a test plane?

Tim


Your diffenition ghost is the classic term of prototype and is correct. I think what richard was getting at was that nowadays you could consider the true prototype the fist off of the plane. the X-35 and YF-22 are good examples. Testing doesn't end there as you know tim and richard is mentioning the fact that now much like with the F-22 and F-35 the planes will start coming off the start of the production line testing equipment is added and after say 4/5 planes they stop adding the equipment and turn out final production models with andy changes identified in the inital production craft. I think raptor 001 or something is actually being moved into the dayton meuseaum soon.



posted on Jun, 15 2007 @ 04:48 AM
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Originally posted by Canada_EH
Your diffenition ghost is the classic term of prototype and is correct. I think what richard was getting at was that nowadays you could consider the true prototype the fist off of the plane. the X-35 and YF-22 are good examples. Testing doesn't end there as you know tim and richard is mentioning the fact that now much like with the F-22 and F-35 the planes will start coming off the start of the production line testing equipment is added.


Quite right! I personally believe in the traditional model of aerospace research and development. While I realized that times are changing, and technology is evolving at a phenominal rate, I still feel the traditional program model is best.

Testing now is part of the plane's life cycle. It leads the development and upgrade programs. I consider this the strongest argument For the prototype. IMHO dedicated prototypes, with their ease of modifcation and upgrade are critical because they allow you to rapidly advance the test program. We're in a time when you need to upgrade the computers on planes like the B-2 and F-22 every 6 months to a year (and a year is pushing it) to stay on top of computer and software developments. Systems live and die by their ability to grown and upgrade. The "Classic" prototype would allow a more efficient testing cycle because it is built to allow for these modifications.

Tim



posted on Jun, 15 2007 @ 06:08 AM
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Originally posted by Ghost01

What is your definition of a prototype and how is it any different from having a test plane?

Tim


A prototype is, as you say, the first cut design that is built (in some fashion), but is not simply anything that comes prior to production models.

However, there are large differences between a 'prototype' and 'prototyping' - and the latter is done to a great extent in the development phases as well.

Take the Concorde as an example:

2 Prototype aircraft (MSN001, MSN002)
2 Development aircraft (MSN101, MSN102) - also sometimes referred to as 'pre-production'
2 Pre-production aircraft (MSN201, MSN202) - also sometimes referred to as 'production standard test'

A prototype is a validation of the project design - it will prove that the basic design is sound and worth continuing with. Prototypes invariably get retired very quickly. In this case, the X-35 that won the competition would be classed as prototype

A development aircraft is where the bulk of the design improvement happens - it incorporates any changes made after the prototype and during the development phase. In Concordes case there was a lot of prototyping done on the development aircraft for new systems, resulting in large changes over the cycle.

A pre-production (or production standard test) will validate the development phase, and while it will differ from the development aircraft in sometimes substantial ways, it will not differ substantially from any following production standard.

Indeed, in many cases, pre-production standard aircraft will often be elevated to production standard at some point after the certification is carried out.

Examples of this happening are the A380 (excluding all its difficulties for now please) -

MSN001 is a prototype aircraft and differs from the production standard pretty significantly.

MSN002, 003, 004 and 007 are pre-production standard aircraft and will eventually be refurbished and go to Qatar.

Eurofighter is another project where the development aircraft are actually largely production standard (essentially what are called 98% performance aircraft) and have been by and large increased to production standard and incorporated in production fleets (mainly its the initial deliveyr of two seat trainers).



posted on Jun, 18 2007 @ 08:03 AM
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Well again just some more information from the assembly plant.


Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered, more than two and one-half months ahead of schedule, the center fuselage for the first F-35 Lightning II static test aircraft, a non-flying, short take-off, vertical landing (STOVL) variant designated BG-1.


Good news in my openion. Anything they can get ahead of time and underbuget or heck even on budget is a great thing. Considering this programe takes so much heat its a good thing that they can still have news like this and the fact that they are open or pretend to be with whats going on. Unlike the A400M as of late which has had very little progress reports. Here is a little bit of further info.


"This delivery, which was 77 days early, demonstrates Northrop Grumman's commitment to helping its F-35 customer produce the most advanced, most formidable multi-role fighter in the world on cost and on schedule," said Janis Pamiljans, vice president of tactical systems and F-35 program manager for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "By streamlining our engineering and production processes during the SDD phase, we're driving down program risks and laying the foundation for a successful and affordable low-rate initial production program

Northrop Grumman's current SDD work share includes producing 21 center fuselages: 15 for flight test aircraft and six for static test aircraft, two for each of three variants. Each static test article delivery will support the final assembly and flight test programs for the corresponding variant.


www.irconnect.com...



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 06:39 AM
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The VAAC Harrier has been demonstrating the Rolling Vertical Landing (RVL) concept that the RN intends to use for recovering its Lightnings, this allows the aircraft to return at higher weights than a normal VL and also minimises any adverse effects on the deck surface.

It was also recently reported that the USMC has decided to adopt this landing method too after studying RN reports'

Linky type thing



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 07:03 AM
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hmmmm seems to be getting closer to `stosl` landing type really and moving away from stovl operations



posted on Jul, 25 2007 @ 02:38 PM
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More news on the F-35 front!
The UK has just strengthened their JSF commitment with aircraft carrier deal that the aircraft would be based off of.


To weigh 65,000t, each CVF vessel is expected to deploy an air wing of up to 40 aircraft, typically including 36 short take-off and vertical landing F-35Bs and four organic airborne early-warning aircraft.


In the next year The UK will need to make a desicion on purchase of the inital run of F-35's and The carriers will be expected to field in 2014 and 2016.


The carrier announcement coincided with the results of a UK government-wide comprehensive spending review announced on 25 July.

The MoD is to receive funding worth £106 billion over the three financial years starting from April 2008, with spending to peak at £36.9 billion in 2010-11.


Also it appears a video has been released of CG carriers in operation enviorments etc take a look.

www.operations.mod.uk...

link to the article as well: www.flightglobal.com...
and
www.mod.uk...



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 09:10 AM
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Just out of interest here is link as well for a comparison in size of the a number of purposed aircraft ships for the US, UK and France.

link: www.defenseindustrydaily.com...



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 09:51 AM
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I understand that Rolls Royce are developing an engine for the F-35. Will this be purely for the UK F-35's? How will it differ from Pratt and Whitneys current offering in terms of performance etc.?



posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 09:59 AM
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Originally posted by Fang
I understand that Rolls Royce are developing an engine for the F-35. Will this be purely for the UK F-35's? How will it differ from Pratt and Whitneys current offering in terms of performance etc.?


Well here is link out lining the main feature and production of the F136 which is the engine that is being developed.

www.rolls-royce.com...

a lil blurb

In 2007, tests will be run on the engine’s fan and low-pressure turbine system, software and controls systems, and the augmentor. These tests will be held at GE facilities in Cincinnati and Peebles, Ohio; and at the Arnold Engineering Center at Tullahoma, Tennessee.

The SDD phase is scheduled to run through 2013; the first production F136 engines are scheduled to be delivered in 2012 for the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. This occurs during the fourth lot of F-35 aircraft production, which is very early in the overall aircraft production program.


some states on the engines.
F136 link: en.wikipedia.org...

F135 link: en.wikipedia.org... (other power system)

Comparisons:
-23,800 lbf (106 kN) for the Harrier's Rolls-Royce Pegasus engine
-39,800 lbf (177 kN) for the F135
-39,950 lbf (178 kN) for the F136

[edit on 22/08/06 by Canada_EH]





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