posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 10:11 PM
I'd suspect the lift fan is drawing one heck of a volume of air in on the forward side of that cover. So up to a certain forward speed, I'd say that
cover is more likely to get sucked down than blown back. (Just like a how a wing works, but the faster air is moving down into that fan.) Maybe they
designed it so by the time it reaches that amount of forward speed where pressure evens out, it's due to close anyways since it would be at
transition speed. (Engineers are a clever bunch that way.)
Other than that, it's probably fastened on there in a way that's just as strong if not stronger than most of the control surfaces.
As for getting sucked through the fan? Probably wont happen. Likely designed with overlap so that cover wont fit though, and unlike positive pressure,
a vacuum has a limit. (Sort of the reason why a vacuum cleaner speeds up when you cover the nozzle, since it's no longer under load. Probably not the
best example, but gives an idea.) That hatch may see more pressure differential from the aircraft doing hard manuevers than what that fan would pull
on it at full power while shut.
What impressed me is these things seemed pretty steady control wise. Harriers always seem to have a bit of drift or wobble, but I figure these F-35s
have computers doing all the small adjustments so they almost seem locked into a straight path. I'm curious to how well it will work once aircraft
are actually loaded out with ordinance and extra fuel.