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On May 3, 2007, during the 19th test flight of the prototype of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), a serious electrical malfunction occurred in the control of the plane. After an emergency landing the malfunction could be identified as a crucial problem, and it became clear that redesign of critical electronic components was necessary. Producer Lockheed Martin and program officials first announced there was a minor problem, and later on they avoided any further publicity about the problems.
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.
It wants to build 2 fewer prototypes, and skip 800 of the 5,000 planned test flights. This after only 18 successful and 1 almost fatal testflight in half a year's time.
Latest word is that they are awaiting a proof test of the F135 engine because the powerplant experienced a third stage low pressure turbine blade cracking on the test stand in October. They will proof test the FTE-3 engine and if it passes -- which they expect it to -- flight testing will resume before thanks giving using this engine. The F135 engine runs the highest turbine inlet temperature of any jet engine in the history of aviation -- a whopping 3600 degrees where most fighter engines operate in the 2600 to 2800 degrees range.
The flight control issues have long since been addressed in September; thats not what's holding things up. The AA-1 has out and about been doing ground runs using FTE-1 since October."
Confirmed with a picture on November 14, 2007 from Keith Robinson, local aviation spotter in Fort Worth
United Technologies Corp., Pratt and Whitney, Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded a $71,503,988 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00019-02-C-3003) for the procurement of F-135 gearbox redesign and re-qualification, and delivery of nine redesigned gearboxes. The gearboxes will be incorporated into F-135 flight test engines being delivered to Lockheed Martin for the F-35 flight test aircraft. Work will be performed in East Hartford, Conn., and is expected to be completed in December 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity
On January 17 1961, Eisenhower gave his final televised speech from the Oval Office. In his farewell speech to the nation, Eisenhower raised the issue of the Cold War and role of the U.S. armed forces. He described the Cold War saying: "We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose and insidious in method..." and warned about what he saw as unjustified government spending proposals and continued with a warning that "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."
Originally posted by iskander
I’m afraid to even say anything at this point, because the same old ATS members will immediately accuse me of US bashing, instead of looking into the real issue criminal mismanagement of most expensive fighter projects in worlds history.
It’s called Military Industrial Complex LOBBY in Washington DC, and their job is to bribe and weasel their way through our government in order to defraud the American tax payer.
Here’s the long standing reality, to which American citizens chose to turn a blind eye to
Eisenhower coined the very term “military-industrial complex”, and among COUNTLESS of other major flops, problems with F-22 and F-35s are simply not out of the ordinary, in fact they are simply to be expected.
F-16s wire chafing caused repeated crashes which resulted in needles deaths of US pilots.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but as of today, more F-16 pilots were killed do to catastrophic malfunctions then hostile enemy fire.
It took over a decade for the families of those pilots to clear the names of their husbands and sons, and that they had to prove in COURT in a class action law suit which proved that those crashes were not caused by pilot error, but in fact were caused by repeated short circuiting which took out entire instrument panel and FBW system.
Osprey is major another disaster waiting to happen, especially since it already killed and injured its crews in peace time crashes.
Now Osprey is fielded in Iraq, and if they will fly anywhere close to where the action is, we’ll be watching them burn on CNN real quick.
No autorotation means uncontrollable descent and certain death if one of the engines fails or is damaged by enemy fire, end of story.
Just of the top of my head, M60 (both MG and tank), F-111, F-16, M-16, M1 Abrams, M2 Bradley, Osprey, Paladin, Striker, “uparmored” HUMVEE, M92, the list goes on…
Another fact was discovered via a military employee of one of the European air forces, who works within the JSF project team, and is a liaison person for several air forces. He says that flying in 2012 with the JSF may be safe and the JSF can be used as a plane to fly around. But, the several software modules for weapons system integration will not be ready. Ground attack capability is the priority, so early-build F-35s will primarily be "bomb trucks" until the additional software modules can be tested and loaded. Air superiority capabilities will be restricted, and completed only after 2015. This means that full multi-role capability is possible by 2016 at the earliest, if and only if no major problems occur in development and testing of the weapon systems software.
13 hours worth of testing is required per airplane before it can pass inspection, with results reported back to Air Force headquarters. Each bolt to be twisted, every panel to be removed and each line to be checked is listed in detail. In the case of the F-15 investigation, Crosson says, specific attention is being paid to the hydraulic system lines, environmental control systems that regulate the cockpit, and structural frames called longerons.
The longerons require four hours to examine after the jet has been prepared by removing panels to gain access, according to Lt. Col. Al Porter, deputy maintenance group commander for the 366th Fighter Wing. “The maintainers are looking for any cracks in the upper and lower longerons or any other structural deficiency, including any problems around fastener holes or the fasteners themselves,” he says.
“We obviously are carrying a lot of heavyweight weapons” on the F-16, Forsythe noted, and “using the airplane quite a bit.” The F-16 was expected to fly about 250 hours a year, on average, but those deployed to combat have averaged 300 hours per year or more. Put another way, that means the most heavily used Falcons are aging at the rate of five years for every four in service.
Initially, the F-16 was expected to have a 4,000-hour service life, which at 250 hours a year translates to a 16-year life. Falcon STAR will help the F-16s reach a service life of 8,000 hours, or 32 years.
However, for planning purposes, the Air Force expects to withdraw the last F-16 from service in about 2025. By that time, under current plans, the Air Force will have about 620 F-35s. By comparison, the Air Force today, including active and reserve components, has about 1,300 F-16s.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - United Technologies Corp (UTX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Wednesday it had fixed a blade failure in its engine powering the first Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) F-35 fighters.