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

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posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:29 AM
Thanks for that. I'm right in assuming therefore, that with no discernible performance differences between the two engines, this arrangement has more to do with sharing work than anything else?

posted on Jul, 27 2007 @ 10:47 AM

Originally posted by Fang
Thanks for that. I'm right in assuming therefore, that with no discernible performance differences between the two engines, this arrangement has more to do with sharing work than anything else?

Geee just maybe
The cost saving I had heard at one time by cutting out the 2nd RR engine would of been around 1.8 billion(or was it million). The DOD would of put that money back into other projects. at this time I'm not sure of the current arrangement that the UK worked out with the US but I do recal one being made. Westpoint or Waynos or anyone of the like would be able to remeber off hand and save me hunting time to find the answer.

posted on Nov, 20 2007 @ 09:21 AM
More news on the F-35B STOVL variant.

BAE Systems F-35 Lightning II Crew Escape IPT leader John Thornton said: “We had some significant technical challenges to overcome in the design of the escape system, including providing enhanced neck-load protection during ejection. This is required because the F-35’s state of the art helmet is heavier and has a bigger frontal area to accommodate the visor mounted display. In addition, we also have the challenge of designing a system that can accommodate various sizes of pilot. The F-35 ejection seat is already a design classic. It is the most sophisticated and capable seat in the Western world – and it’s still in development.”

A couple of good points there about some of the new challenges that the new helmet mounted queing system and so on puts on the safe crew escape.

posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 01:34 PM
Kill it kill it please kill it.

Pour all that money into F-22's and Superhornets for the air force. Superhornet isn't comparable stealth wise but it's a much cheaper bomb truck. F-22's are stealthier and would make a better "kick open the door" platform. Replacing the Warthogs with JSF is a joke.

F-16's aren't as old as F-15's and have more life left in them. More heavy bombers please.

posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 01:42 PM
The A-10 will be around until at least 2028 under the A-10C PE program. The F-35 will not be replacing it anytime soon. The F-16 doesn't have as much life left as people would like to think. The F-15's recent history is showing us that we HAVE (not want to, NEED to) to replace our Legacy fighters. The F-16 isn't THAT much newer than the Eagle is. The USAF is still flying Block 30 aircraft. The F-16 has a similar service life as the Eagle, at 8,000 hours. They have made modifications and upgrades to extend that life past 8,000 hours, but no one is really sure just how MUCH they've extended it.

Without improvements, as of 2007 it was estimated that almost 90 percent of the fleet would exceed design limits on engines by 2010. High usage, increased stresses, and more weight than planned threatened to cut life expectancy in half. Significant unknowns exist about extending the life beyond 8,000 hours should that be necessary. If it became necessary to enable the newest F-16 aircraft to reach a 10,000 flying hour life, a program official estimated in 2007 an additional cost of $2.2 billion for structural enhancements. The program office also identified another $3.2 billion in unfunded requirements, including radar upgrades to aircraft capable of suppressing enemy air defenses.

Sure, let's kill it and keep using Falcons and Eagles until they drop out of the sky. Oh wait, they already are.

[edit on 11/22/2007 by Zaphod58]

posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 01:56 PM
reply to post by Zaphod58

Fine, then buy Superhornets. Why does every plane need to be stealthy?
They are the cheapest western fighter currently being made iirc, and will be about as stealthy as a F-35 when hauling lots of iron.

You could build 750 F-22's and 1250 Superhornets for the same price. Better yet, 750 F-22's, 800 superhornets, retire the oldest F-16's, and use the rest of the money to bump development of a new heavy bomber. 35-50 billion would get the ball rolling.

It's not that I think the F-35 is a bad airplane... I worry about cost overruns because it's still in "Development", and that it won't be the cost effective fighter it's being billed as, when all is said and done.

posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 02:05 PM
Probably because even the Super Hornet is a giant sucking POS. It's much better than the original Hornet was, but it still isn't the "great" fighter that people try to make it out to be. They simply stretched a Hornet to get longer legs, and more weapons on it. It still a Hornet, just that it can fly slightly longer missions than the C/D birds could.

posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 02:22 PM

Originally posted by Zaphod58
Probably because even the Super Hornet is a giant sucking POS. It's much better than the original Hornet was, but it still isn't the "great" fighter that people try to make it out to be. They simply stretched a Hornet to get longer legs, and more weapons on it. It still a Hornet, just that it can fly slightly longer missions than the C/D birds could.

So... you'd rather compromise the number of air superiority fighters (183?) and pour 240 billion dollars into a 2 bomb hauling (while stealthy) compromise.

Got it.

posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 02:47 PM
Have you actually bothered to LOOK at the F-35 specs?
Or are you just a "It's another fighter, and it costs X amount, so let's get rid of it!" person? I would sure as HELL rather see our pilots in the F-35 than that POS they call the Super Hornet.

F/A-18E/F payload:

17,750 lbs of ordinance on 9 external hardpoints, and two wingtip rails.

F-35 payload:

17,000 lbs for the CV
More than 13,000 lbs for the CTOL
More than 13,000 lbs for the STOVL

So we're losing somewhere between APPROXIMATELY 4,000 lbs and 750 lbs, depending on which variant we're talking about here. I say approximately because there are no hard and fast figures released for the CTOL and STOVL variants.

F/A-18E/F range:

Typical: 1200nm
Ferry: 1660nm
Combat: 500+nm

F-35 rage:

F-35B: 1080nm
F-35C: 1620nm
Combat: 600+nm

F/A-18E/F speed:

Mach 1.8

F-35 speed:

At least Mach 1.5

Oh yeah, the F/A-18E/F is a HUGE advantage over the F-35.
Those figures will change as the F-35 goes under more testing and improvements, but that's not even taking into account the HUGE advantage in sensors and stealth that the F-35 has over the Hornet.

posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 03:15 PM
reply to post by Zaphod58

Calling the F-18E/F a POS is disingenuous and you know it. It's a perfectly capable, not world beating, strike platform. The APG-79 is a good radar. I never said it was superior to the F-35. The only advantages the Hornet has is a second seat, and cost. Yes, the F-25 is far more stealthy than a Hornet... as long as it's only carrying two bombs. When it comes time to play bomb truck, the playing field is much closer to level.

But you keep ignoring my real point, the number of F-22's being procured is grossly inadequate, especially when you consider how much more money must be spent to develop the F-35. Why keep pouring money into development when you could just buy F-22's and F-18F's. You know... Spend money on something tangible. Stop comparing the Hornet and JSF without throwing another 500 F-22's into the picture.

It's the next defense industry (export) cash cow that our government must pay to develop. I just hope we don't wake up to find that the United States is the country that can't afford the number of planes we need.

posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 03:43 PM
Yeah, you're right. Let's not look at WHY they might be buying the F-35 over the F-18.
The Hornet IS a POS, even with the E/F, and they do NOT all have two seats. The D/F were two seaters, the C/E are single seat. The Growler is a two seater, because the back seater has to do the EW work. Yes the number of F-22s ISN'T adequate, but simply buying a current fighter to complement them is NOT the way to go. The F-35 will have significantly better sensor capability, and even with external stores, will have a better survivability rate than the Rhino.

But you're right, let's just ignore everything until we start talking about buying huge numbers of Raptors to go with them.

BTW I'm not the one saying it's a POS. I've known many crew members and maintenance team members that said worse about it.

[edit on 11/22/2007 by Zaphod58]

posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 04:13 PM
You must really hate the USAF if you would wish the F-18 on them

But joking aside the USA needs the F-35. Even if you don't think the air forces would miss it, look at the possible future without the F-35 programme.

There suddenly is no US fighter that can be exported to friendly nations that compares with what the rest of the world is offering. Typhoon's and Flankers would probably dominate world sales, the French might even secure exports for the otherwise perfectly fine Rafale.

Once a customer has been lost because you can't or wont supply them with what they want it is very hard to win them back (a study of UK fighter exports since 1945 and who to would be helpful here, the lack of the P.1083 in the mid 50's started a rot that was never reversed)

In a nutshell, all the Hunter, Meteor and Vampire etc customers, then considered to be loyal UK client states and looking to buy high performance replacements saw the P.1083 axed, then the Supermarine 545, then the Saro SR 177, and so the list went on. The result was an export bonanza for the F-104 which it never really deserved, and for the Mirage family from a base of zero, and also for the MiG 21 to be sold to India where otherwise the P.1083 might logically have been expected to follow the Hunter and then be replaced by the next British fighter, etc etc etc for many more countries who traditionally bought British.

Stripped of new aircraft to sell the previously booming UK industry choked almost to death. Other advanced projects intended for the RAF and RN were axed through a lack of money, the industry shrank to just two companies with 'global' capability by 1960, from a High point of 27 companies in 1945. 27 companies is obviously unsustainable, but the sudden and calamitous collapse of almost all of them was still shocking and largely avoidable.

Now transfer this tale from the UK to the USA and replace 'Hunter, Meteor and Vampire' with 'F-16 and F-18' and also replace F-104 and Mirage with Typhoon and Rafale and replace P1083 with F-35 and a history lesson turns into a prediction of the possible consequences of axing the F-35 for the US military itself.

You might think that is stretching things too far, but who in 1953, when Hawker were ordered to stop work on the 'Supersonic Hunter' could have predicted what the next decade was going to bring for the UK industry?

[edit on 22-11-2007 by waynos]

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 03:48 PM
Well trying to keep the info all in one place is hard and the discusions in the other threads has been great but here is some more info to chew on. Oh and the F-35 did fly today back to Fort Worth (looks like more reworking).

Since then, Lockheed has reworked the 270V electrical system to prevent arcing, changed out the integrated power package and incorporated other hardware and software upgrades.....

The failure of a Pratt & Whitney F135 on a test stand in August ended up pacing the return to flight. This led to the decision to "proof test" the flight-test engines to ensure they were not susceptible to high-cycle fatigue failure of the third-stage low-pressure turbine blades.....

And the first short take-off and vertical landing F-35B is to roll off the assembly line on 18 December.

At least this is info from flight global which is pretty reliable when it coems to reporting on defence projects. No mention of where they built there info from but it does confirm some of what has been tlaked about already.

Also just some interesting linked info

Netherlands' procurement of JSF review
Denmark offer for Gripen instead of JSF

[edit on 22/08/06 by Canada_EH]

posted on Dec, 8 2007 @ 12:59 AM
Well, AA-1 flew for the first time today (7 December) since flight testing was stopped in May. Several testing performances and procedures were conducted, no problems were reported. Seems the F-35 program is back on track after some normal (yet over exaggerated) early difficulties in the testing phase. Not to mention production of the fist F-35B testing prototype is ahead of schedule with rollout in less than two weeks away.

December 7, 2007 (by Eric L. Palmer) - The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter returned to flight today after being grounded since May due to technical difficulties.

The Lightning II's flight began at 1:30 p.m. CST when Chief Test Pilot Jon Beesley executed a military-power (full power without afterburner) takeoff, ran the engine at various power settings and checked flying qualities at 6,000, 17,500 and 20,000 feet, and performed a fuel-dump test at 250 knots. Landing was at 2:15 p.m. CST. Beesley reported that the tests were successful and the jet was a pleasure to fly.

"The Lightning II embodies a long list of advancements that will make it better, smarter and more reliable than anything that’s come before it, and those technologies are extraordinarily mature in this first-ever F-35," Beesley said. "When you project ahead to the F-35s that will be entering the fleet in 2010, you see fighters that benefit from the testing we're doing now – fighters that will set new standards for combat-readiness right out of the box."

December 18th should mark the roll-out of the F-35B, the Short Take-off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.


It's good to finally see this beautiful and amazing bird in the air again, I've included some pictures for your viewing pressure. FYI, this was the 20th test flight of the F-35 program.

[edit on 8-12-2007 by WestPoint23]

posted on Dec, 8 2007 @ 01:48 AM
The photos WP23 posted is quite old. Now F-35C has made its maidon flight.

posted on Dec, 8 2007 @ 01:59 AM
no it hasn`t ; the F35C isn`t expected to fly before 2009 - the F35B is the next in the air

the F35C isn`t even built yet.

posted on Dec, 8 2007 @ 02:42 PM
Approximately an hour after AA-1 landed CATBird launched on a Functional Check Flight (FCF). They recently installed the F-35 Communication-Navigation-Identification (CNI) system. They're going to begin test flights with the system operating soon. Later they'll add the AESA, Electro-optical Distributed Aperture System, and Electro-optical Targeting system.

CATBird will also allow the full JSF avionics suite to be flight tested before they fly it on the F-35 in 2009.

posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 02:30 PM
Another tid bit to add from the program general manager.

Test flight No. 20 was successful, went according to plan and was trouble free, said Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager......
In particular they will be monitoring the electrical-hydraulic controls that operate the aircraft's control surfaces. It was a serious electrical arcing problem in one of the control boxes that caused the emergency on flight No. 19 and led to the plane's grounding while repairs were designed, produced and tested.

Nice to get a good clear answer from the PGM from lockheed. No word though on any extreme reworking of being underpowered. Have we gotten any clarification on what is needing to change?

posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 11:44 AM
People keep mentioning the gearbox as an issue for the power supply and I have heard the 2009 date as a final redesign product bu I have yet to see any actual links for info etc that back up any of this?

posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 11:50 AM

Nor are these the only challenging problems facing the F-35 program. The F-35C naval variant's Hamilton Sundstrand power generator was mistakenly designed to only 65% of the required electric output. To accommodate the required increase, it will also be necessary to redesign the gearbox for the standard Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, which will be fitted into the conventional F-35A version as well as the naval F-35C. The contract announced by the US Department of Defense in August 2007 says that this engine update won't be ready for use until the end of 2009, which is almost the beginning of low-rate initial production.

from the very first link on teh very first page - scroll down to `engine problems`

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