Skip to comments.F-35 completes comprehensive flight tests without a single loss or fatality
Posted on 04/18/2018 10:11:34 AM PDT by PreciousLiberty
Lockheed Martin's three F-35 Lightning II strike fighter variants have completed what the company called the most comprehensive flight test program in aviation history. On April 11 at US Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, Navy test aircraft CF-2 carrying external 2,000-lb (907-kg) GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) and AIM-9X Sidewinder heat-seeking missiles completed the final developmental test flight of the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the program.
According to Lockheed, a team of over a thousand SDD flight test engineers, maintainers, pilots, and support personnel completed full flight-envelope tests on all three variants of the F-35, including six at-sea detachments with over 1,500 vertical landing tests for the F-35B, 183 Weapon Separation Tests, 46 Weapons Delivery Accuracy tests, and 33 Mission Effectiveness tests that included multi-ship missions with eight F-35s taking on advanced threats. One remarkable aspect of this testing program was that it didn't involve a loss of either a single pilot or airframe.
"Completing F-35 SDD flight test is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication from the joint government and industry team," says Vice Adm. Mat Winter, F-35 Program Executive Officer. "Since the first flight of AA-1 in 2006, the developmental flight test program has operated for more than 11 years mishap-free, conducting more than 9,200 sorties, accumulating over 17,000 flight hours, and executing more than 65,000 test points to verify the design, durability, software, sensors, weapons capability and performance for all three F-35 variants. Congratulations to our F-35 Test Team and the broader F-35 Enterprise for delivering this new powerful and decisive capability to the warfighter."
(Excerpt) Read more at newatlas.com ...
In before the hate storm
An accident investigation board has pegged the cost of last year’s catastrophic engine failure of an A-model Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at $50 million. ... The engine failed when the third-stage forward integral arm of a rotor fractured and liberated during the takeoff roll, AETC said in a statement.
This story just Jinxed the F-35
A very significant milestone indeed. However, with that many hardpoints on the wings there’s probably not much stealth left in the radar signature.
Have they installed a gun yet?
“However, with that many hardpoints on the wings theres probably not much stealth left in the radar signature.”
Use of hardpoints is for after air supremacy is in place...
Before that, everything is carried internally.
“Have they installed a gun yet?”
The F-35A has a 25mm Gatling gun. The B&C variants can take a pod (same gun as the F-35A) if desired.
They sure have!
It’s still the most expensive and useless POS the military has ever bought.
At $42k cost per flight hour, 17k flight hours cost $714M to operate.. pathetic.
The gun, if/when installed, is an afterthought joke with only 180 rounds for CAS and cannot loiter. A-10s have 1174-1350 rounds for CAS
I don't think the gun is an afterthought, I think it's flat out fraud — it's there so that the F-35 can check "CAS" off on some checklist, and so that the Air Force can again push for retiring the A-10.
One of the things that I've noticed is how it's billed as a
can do anything airframe, despite that it doesn't do anything particularly well (when compared to special-purpose equivalent-tech airframes) and how billions and billions have to be poured into further R & D on actually making it work (the gun being a good example) as cited in this 2014 article… I think this is somewhat confirmed by the political stacking of the deck. (Link1, Link2)
At least the F-22 worked as advertised: Air Superiority.
Has it killed anything yet? Besides the defense budget?
Outstanding! Good part of a great air offense. Drive on!
Any information, and I mean ANY, coming from a contractor or the military side using the contractor, is suspect, imo. Witnesses too much of that crap.
At $42k cost per flight hour, 17k flight hours cost $714M to operate.. pathetic."
$42K is down from $65K in 2014, and it will likely drop further. $42K is also only a few percent higher than the cost to operate an F-15, which has significantly less capability in most areas, and no stealth.
You should probably read this article:
Four of the most experienced USMC F-35B pilots speak about their aircraft. And they say its exceptional.
One illuminating paragraph:
I was leading a four ship of F-35s on a strike against 4th Gen adversaries, F-16s and F/A-18s. We fought our way in, we mapped the target, found the target, dropped JDAMs on the target and turned around and fought our way out. All the targets got hit, nobody got detected, and all the adversaries died. I thought, yes, this works, very, very, very well. Never detected, nobody had any idea we were out there.The Russians and Chinese would fare no better than those F-16s and F-18s... It's also worth noting that the STOVL version was dominating conventional aircraft.
I hear ya!
What the test pilots and active duty pilots say to the media and what’s printed in many test articles from the public affairs offices on different test ranges is pure spin.. you don’t say bad things about what’s being tested it’s always meeting requirements, operates flawlessly and is amazing.
What they say to to test engineers and what’s printed by other outsiders in the know so to speak is the opposite.
The aircraft is a S/W nightmare and it’s FMC rate is about 50%.
Or, on the other hand, these honorable Marine officers could simply be telling the truth...
"What they say to to test engineers and whats printed by other outsiders in the know so to speak is the opposite."
Which is another way of saying that testing focuses on what still needs to be improved, instead of what's already working well... Thank you, Captain Obvious.
As for those "in the know" outsiders, many view them as outsiders "with an axe to grind".
"The aircraft is a S/W nightmare and its FMC rate is about 50%."
Really...? Note that the following article is from Feb. 2017...
The 13 F-35As maintained a 90 percent mission capable rate during the three-week exercise, respectable for any combat aircraft. Planes did have problems, including one that lost a generator, but every issue was dealt with inside of 24 hours, according to two Air Force officers talking to reporters today at the end of the exercises....and...
We flew these jets hard. We flew a ton of missions in Red Flag during those four weeks. I would strongly disagree (with the proposition) that the jets are not ready. We are ready to take these jets on the road whenever were asked to, Lt. Col. George Watkins, 34th Fighter Squadron commander, told us. And he said the 3i software that controls the plane, its weapons, and sensors performed extremely well.
While Boeing continues to press the Navy to buy F/A-18E/F Super Hornets for the carrier fleet and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has ordered a review of the carrier version of the Joint Strike fighter, the F-35C, there was no doubt expressed by the pilots at todays roundtable about whether they would prefer to fly a fourth-generation plane like the F-16 or F-18 or a fifth-gen plane like the F-35 for the Air Force: The capabilities we are bringing are better than a fourth-gen aircraft. I would not want to go back and take an F-16 back into Red Flag, Watkins said....and...
How did the F-35A fare at striking targets with bombs? They dropped 27 bombs and hit 25 targets exactly within a foot of where it was supposed to hit. The two weapons that missed were caused by weapon failures, not the jet, Watkins said.The F-35 will end up like the F-22 - a horribly expensive boondoggle during development, and then the world's best in its class once operational. It's a more than worthy successor to the F-16, which is a great fighter in its own right.
The F-35 brings entirely new capabilities to the table, and the F-35B is the first supersonic STOVL fighter in history. Allied air supremacy is assured for decades to come.
We agree to disagree..