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Northrop Grumman unveils fuselage for next U.S. fighter
Valley Press on ^ | Saturday, October 27, 2007. | ALLISON GATLIN

Posted on 10/27/2007 1:50:36 PM PDT by BenLurkin

PALMDALE - Six years after the contract was first awarded, Northrop Grumman Corp. employees Friday marked another milestone along the path to fielding the nation's next fighter, the F-35 Lightning II. The center fuselage for the first Air Force near-production version of the fighter was unveiled Friday at the company's Palmdale Manufacturing Center.

The fuselage incorporates design changes made during development to decrease weight in the final fighter.

"This is starting a new phase for what will be a very unique fighter capability," said Air Force Maj. Gen. C.R. Davis, program executive officer for the F-35.

The latest - and possibly last - manned fighter for the nation's armed services is envisioned as a truly joint-service fighter, with three variations of the same basic aircraft to meet the needs of the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

It also is an international program, with nine countries actively participating in the development and more expected to purchase the aircraft when completed.

The F-35 is expected to replace many other aging aircraft, including the A-10, F-14, F-16 and AV-8B Harrier. In the United Kingdom, it will replace the Harrier aircraft for the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

The fuselages for all three versions of the F-35 are manufactured at Northrop's center at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale.

They are then shipped to the Fort Worth, Texas, facility of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, the program's prime contractor, for final assembly.

"Today marks a momentous day for Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Lightning II program," said Bobby Williams, F-35 deputy program manager for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. The fuselage is "the first of literally thousands" that will head to Fort Worth to become fighters, he said.

(Excerpt) Read more at avpress.com ...


TOPICS: US: California; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: aerospace; aerospacevalley; allisongatlin; antelopevalley; aviation; f35; lightningii; navair; northrop; northropgrumman; northrup
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1 posted on 10/27/2007 1:50:38 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin
"READY TO GO - Air Force Major Gen. C.R. Davis, program executive officer for the F-35 Lightning II program, speaks at the unveiling of Northrop Grumman Corp.'s center fuselage for the first weight-optimized Air Force F-35 Lightning II aircraft." Northrop Grumman
2 posted on 10/27/2007 1:51:21 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

bump


3 posted on 10/27/2007 1:58:16 PM PDT by VOA
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To: BenLurkin

4 posted on 10/27/2007 1:58:51 PM PDT by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
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To: BenLurkin
F-35 Lightning II

Northrop Grumman completed the center fuselage for the first weight-optimized Air Force F-35 Lightning II aircraft - a conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variant designated AF-1. Technicians at the company's F-35 facility in Palmdale move the center fuselage into position for a ceremony to celebrate the production milestone.
5 posted on 10/27/2007 2:00:21 PM PDT by ricks_place
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To: Westlander

Great pics. Thanks!


6 posted on 10/27/2007 2:00:30 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

The Real Lightning.

7 posted on 10/27/2007 2:01:18 PM PDT by Dr. Thorne (Compromise on your vote and you get a compromised government.)
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To: ricks_place

Nice!


8 posted on 10/27/2007 2:01:30 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

I hope the weight loss was enough. Few airplanes have had so much hype to live up to and so many compromises to keep those performance promises from coming true.


9 posted on 10/27/2007 2:02:00 PM PDT by GBA ( God Bless America!)
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To: Dr. Thorne

Oops. This is better.

10 posted on 10/27/2007 2:02:59 PM PDT by Dr. Thorne (Compromise on your vote and you get a compromised government.)
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To: Dr. Thorne

That’s a beautiful airframe, indeed. But if the two went head-to-head, I know which one I’d rather be in.


11 posted on 10/27/2007 2:06:19 PM PDT by ReignOfError
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To: Dr. Thorne
I remember seeing an old P-38 Lightning take off one foggy morning in 1946 from the Ponca City (OK) Municipal Airport (don't ask me what it was doing there).

Just taxiing to the end of the runway, it looked dangerous. Like a slithering cobra.

Then, when those Rolls-Royces wound up, there was a throaty buzz all around -- you could feel it inside you -- and, even at six, you knew the thing was truly deadly.

I'd love to have one.

12 posted on 10/27/2007 2:13:14 PM PDT by okie01
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To: Vroomfondel; SC Swamp Fox; Fred Hayek; NY Attitude; P3_Acoustic; Bean Counter; investigateworld; ...
SONOBUOY PING!

Click on pic for past Navair pings.

Post or FReepmail me if you wish to be enlisted in or discharged from the Navair Pinglist.
This is a medium to low volume pinglist.

13 posted on 10/27/2007 2:13:55 PM PDT by magslinger (I will not submit.)
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To: Dr. Thorne
My Dad loved the Lightning. "When you saw one of those twin boomed beauties, you knew everything in the sky was American."

He was in tanks in the Pacific during WWII.

14 posted on 10/27/2007 2:17:55 PM PDT by magslinger (I will not submit.)
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To: BenLurkin
The F-35 is expected to replace many other aging aircraft, including the A-10

Aging yes. But the A-10 is timeless.

15 posted on 10/27/2007 2:18:29 PM PDT by llevrok (Born a ham and never cured.)
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To: llevrok

I doubt that will EVER be able to replace the A-10’s ability.


16 posted on 10/27/2007 2:23:08 PM PDT by WakeUpAndVote (Got Towel?)
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To: BenLurkin
Great Caesar's Ghost! I enjoy reading about stuff like this. Such names are superb, as well. F35 Lightning II!!!

When I was in the Navy, I was a sonar tech on a destroyer. In those days, each division had a great deal of latitude in decorating said division's spaces aboard the ship.

Our captain, one Commander Louis Colbus charged us with decorating our ASROC launcher. Those of us who were young and impressionable wanted to paint on some Charles Schulz' Peanuts characters. This was likely at the height of Schulz' popularity in the early 1970s. We mocked up some art work and presented it to our division CPO, one Chief Charles I. Craig.

Chief Craig didn't say, "No," he said, "Hell, NO!!!" He added that he wanted our decorations for all the world to see displaying a "skull and cross bones, d--n it!" And, if the "men" in his charge weren't up to the task, he would scare up some women to get the job done.

Some folks have a proper understanding that military things should carry nomenclature to satify the senses and scare the bejeebers out of the bad guys.

Lightning II...now that tells a story.

17 posted on 10/27/2007 2:28:35 PM PDT by stevem
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To: GBA
The Precursor to the FB-111,known as the TFX went through hell in congress because of cost overruns and such. The program was almost canceled.

But the FB-111 turned out to be an excellent penetration bomber once the kinks were worked out of it.

All new aircraft have growing pains.They just make the plane better.IMHO.

18 posted on 10/27/2007 2:28:48 PM PDT by puppypusher (The world is going to the dogs.)
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To: BenLurkin
"weight-optimized "

Does that means they got it just heavy enough that it will almost become airborne using current engine technology?

19 posted on 10/27/2007 2:34:13 PM PDT by MediaMole
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To: stevem
Just guessing here, but Chief Craig wouldn't care for this, either.


20 posted on 10/27/2007 2:35:11 PM PDT by magslinger (I will not submit.)
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To: BenLurkin; Tijeras_Slim; FireTrack; Pukin Dog; citabria; B Knotts; kilowhskey; cyphergirl; ...

21 posted on 10/27/2007 2:36:03 PM PDT by Aeronaut (Hebrews 13:4)
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To: BenLurkin
The latest - and possibly last - manned fighter for the nation's armed services...

Yea, right. That has been parroted for decades. Isn't going to happen.

22 posted on 10/27/2007 2:55:35 PM PDT by TLI ( ITINERIS IMPENDEO VALHALLA)
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To: BenLurkin
The F-35 is a disaster for the USN - (nor will it be replacing the A-10, not for a decade or more, in reality).
23 posted on 10/27/2007 2:57:30 PM PDT by SevenMinusOne
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To: ricks_place; Westlander
Was looking for something else but found this — 2006 Edwards air show — 9 minutes of highlights...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXFdvHRU1L0

24 posted on 10/27/2007 3:00:37 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: okie01
Then, when those Rolls-Royces wound up, there was a throaty buzz all around...

I think you mean twin supercharged Allison engines.

Powerplant: 2× Allison V-1710-111/113 liquid-cooled turbosupercharged V-12, 1,600 hp (1,194 kW) each

...and that was for the P-38L. The Allison V-12 was probably the most widely used fighter engine throughout the war -- at least in the US Army Air Forces.

25 posted on 10/27/2007 3:10:57 PM PDT by Tallguy (Climate is what you plan for, weather is what you get.)
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To: llevrok

I lived in Tucson for many a year, and I had the pleasure of watching the A-10s come and go almost every day.
From what I’ve read about the first gulf war, Iraqi tank crews just wanted to “get right” with their allah when A-10s showed up overhead. They just came down and killed ya, and came back down and kept killing you some more.
If our A-10s are tired and need to be replaced, we need to replace them with another batch of A-10s.


26 posted on 10/27/2007 3:18:08 PM PDT by ExSafecracker (Press 1 for english. . .2 for jibberish.)
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To: llevrok
If may be timeless, but the AF has been trying to stiffle the A-10 since its inception.
27 posted on 10/27/2007 3:19:50 PM PDT by quadrant
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To: magslinger

Does it say “kill da wabbit, my arse” somewhere on that beast?


28 posted on 10/27/2007 3:20:57 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Fred Dalton Thompson for President)
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To: okie01
I remember seeing an old P-38 Lightning take off one foggy morning in 1946

Wow! God bless you sir. You must be one of our most senior members of Free Republic. Would love to talk to you sometime.

29 posted on 10/27/2007 3:31:23 PM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: Tallguy

True enough, but you have to admit, as good as those Allison V-1710s were...a P-38 with twin Merlins would be a very, very interesting airplane.

I’m an R-2800 Double Wasp guy, myself, but I do love P-38s.

}:-)4


30 posted on 10/27/2007 3:35:18 PM PDT by Moose4 (Ron Paul is like a beautiful plate of food ruined by a cow patty.)
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To: stevem

I’m an old ASROC sailor myself but from the 60’s. The first launcher I worked on had a serial # 33.

Archer24


31 posted on 10/27/2007 3:37:45 PM PDT by Archer24
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To: Tallguy
You are, of course, correct. Allisons they were. They had a most distinct whine -- very authoritative.

I hesitated at the engine manufacturer...and guessed wrong.

32 posted on 10/27/2007 3:41:48 PM PDT by okie01
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To: WakeUpAndVote; llevrok
With the A-10C coming on line and $2 billion of Congressional money injected into the program, I doubt it's being replaced anytime soon.


Enhanced A-10 arrives at Davis-Monthan
A newly modified A-10C Thunderbolt II taxis in during the roll-out ceremony Nov. 29 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. The A-10 has been modified with precision engagement technology to create the new and improved A-10C. The enhancements include full integration of sensors, multi-functional color displays and a new hands-on-throttle-and-stick interface. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alesia Goosic)

33 posted on 10/27/2007 3:42:30 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Oh, the huge manatee!!!)
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To: Moose4

The Brits might have put Merlins in their P-38’s — it was the Brits after all that put the RR Merlin in the P51, and that made that fighter a world-beater.

I’m not aware that they did, however...


34 posted on 10/27/2007 3:44:14 PM PDT by Tallguy (Climate is what you plan for, weather is what you get.)
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To: ExSafecracker; quadrant

See #33.


35 posted on 10/27/2007 3:45:31 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Oh, the huge manatee!!!)
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To: okie01

Friend of mine was based with an Airforce refueling detachment on Midway Island during the early ‘60’s. He said there was a sh- load of Allisons sitting crated near the lagoon. While he was there the base commander ordered them shoved into the lagoon. What a waste! Imagine what a restoration outfit, or an air racer would pay for a mint Allison V12?


36 posted on 10/27/2007 3:46:59 PM PDT by Tallguy (Climate is what you plan for, weather is what you get.)
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To: Tallguy
I think you mean twin supercharged Allison engines.

They may have looked something like this: Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

37 posted on 10/27/2007 4:09:55 PM PDT by Truth Addict ("Whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth..." - Patrick Henry)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

Thanks for that heads up about the A-10C. I am as jazzed as the next guy about the new “Fast Movers”, F22 and F35 and such.
You can bet that the “Boots on the Ground” are major fans of the slow moving Wart Hogs!


38 posted on 10/27/2007 4:17:24 PM PDT by ExSafecracker (Press 1 for english. . .2 for jibberish.)
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To: GBA; BenLurkin; patton; SmithL; sionnsar; VRWCmember; NeoCaveman; Cyber Liberty; theDentist; ...
If it looks better, looks meaner, and looks “righter”, it will probably fly “righter”.

Saw the Discovery channel “competition” TV show about the Boeing version and this one (Lockheed/Northrup/General Dynamics) F-35: As soon as I saw that puke-ugly lower scoop on the Boeing with his “chin and cheeks” fuselage, I knew this version (very similar to the F-22 in looks and “feel” would win.

Let me see if I've got their heritage right: Republic became Northrup, General Dynamics bought LTV (Ling-Tempco-Vought - who grew up from the Vought Naval fighters), who had bought Convair (builder of out Fort Worth of the B-36 and eventual builder of the F-16), Lockheed-Martin bought out Martin-Marietta, who were created from Martin and (?) Marietta), and then later bought Douglas - Continental out of St Louis (Douglas created the DC line of planes, but who was "continental - the airline?) - except Lockheed-Martin is making the F-22 using Skunk works technology from LA to build the F-22 in Marietta GA using an old Bell Bomber plant that used to make C5's, C-141'a and (still makes) C-130's, Boeing kept their original name, but were trying to get into fighters after being a large-plane builder since the 1920's ....

39 posted on 10/27/2007 4:55:28 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Hillary's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Tallguy
The Brits might have put Merlins in their P-38?s

Actually that would no doubt have been great, but unfortunately the only P-38s that went to the RAF were a few which were delivered without the turbochargers, and they were dogs. They were known as "castrated P-38s" and left such a bad taste that they didn't ever ask for any more. The USAAC didn't have a lot of success with the P-38s in the 8th AF in Britain, even though it did very well in the Med and Pacific theaters. Apparently the much colder conditions in northern Europe caused a lot of problems.

40 posted on 10/27/2007 5:48:54 PM PDT by 19th LA Inf
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To: magslinger
LOL!....ha! ha!, no....but, he'd be impressed by that 30mm Gatling Gun Cannon w/ 1000+ rds. :D
41 posted on 10/27/2007 5:52:27 PM PDT by skinkinthegrass (just b/c your paranoid, doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you....Run, Fred, Run. :^)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
"As soon as I saw that puke-ugly lower scoop on the Boeing with his “chin and cheeks” fuselage..."

You mean...the Flying Monica?


42 posted on 10/27/2007 5:54:46 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: puppypusher

Perhaps...except the bugs weren’t worked out of the 111 until the 90s (AMP & Pacer Strike), which was just about in time for it to retire!


43 posted on 10/27/2007 5:58:18 PM PDT by Mr Rogers (I'm agnostic on evolution, but sit ups are from Hell!)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Not quite - Boeing bought MDC, including the Phantomworks, in STL.


44 posted on 10/27/2007 5:59:54 PM PDT by patton (cuiquam in sua arte credendum)
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To: Truth Addict

Thanks for the photo. Makes one want to salivate!


45 posted on 10/27/2007 6:00:21 PM PDT by fuzzthatwuz
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To: magslinger

There’s something really wrong with that.


46 posted on 10/27/2007 6:05:23 PM PDT by 2111USMC
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To: TLI

It’s partly because of their expected longevity that I again predict that the “5th generation” F-22 and the 4.5 gen F-35 will be America’s last frontline, pilot-carrying offensive aircraft. Remotely piloted vehicles’ maneuvers aren’t handicapped by the pilot’s physiology; their microprocessors need neither oxygen nor G-suits.

Most believe the troops on the ground will still need piloted-craft in support, for the forseeable future, but, at over $200 million per Raptor, and $100 million per JSF, we’ve spent ourselves out of the air-ace-as-Lancelot-on-horseback age. A pity, because the new planes so pretty, but in any near-future combat, God forbid, they’ll pro’ly just be rammed and destroyed by small swarms of remotely piloted suicide missile/drones.


47 posted on 10/27/2007 6:16:10 PM PDT by flowerplough (La Tolteca in Rehoboth, Deleware: They probably cater Fiesta Night in Heaven)
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To: BenLurkin

That looks like it’s designed for scooping up geese.


48 posted on 10/27/2007 6:21:17 PM PDT by 2111USMC
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To: Dr. Thorne
My favorite P38/GoreBULL warming story ... enjoy
49 posted on 10/27/2007 6:23:45 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true.)
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To: flowerplough

and La Tolteca, from the tagline, is in Rehoboth, DelAware. el oopso!


50 posted on 10/27/2007 6:24:10 PM PDT by flowerplough (La Tolteca in Rehoboth, Delaware: They probably cater Fiesta Night in Heaven)
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