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Author Topic: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic  (Read 380427 times)

Offline GTX

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2013, 12:16:27 pm »
Interesting Norwegian comments on Turkish decision to delay 2 aircraft:

Quote
Turkey Adjusts Fighter Jets Purchase - No Impact for Norway

(Source: Norway Ministry of Defence, issued January 12, 2013)
(Issued in Norwegian only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)
 
Turkish authorities announced Friday that they will postpone the first deliveries of the new fighter aircraft F-35 to the Turkish military for two years. It is not expected that this will have any significant effect on the Norwegian cost or delivery schedules.

The first aircraft will now be delivered in 2017 as opposed to 2015. This means that Turkey now will have delivery of its first aircraft in the same year as the first F-35 is scheduled to arrive in Norway.

There is nothing new in the program now, either technically or financially, that has caused this change in Turkey's plans. The difference between Norway and Turkey is mainly that they have not previously adjusted their procurement plan in accordance with the changes that the United States announced in 2010, while Norway already did that later that year,” says program director Anders Melheim.

With this adjustment to its schedule, Turkey comes more in line with the rest of the partners, and it is therefore not expected to have any significant effect on either the Norwegian cost or delivery schedules.

“Turkey will continue to acquire the majority of its aircraft in the same period as Norway buys most of its aircraft, and this ensures that we both benefit from higher production volumes in the relevant years, and that together we will have the opportunity to push production costs further down,” says Melheim.

Norwegian opinion remains unchanged

Melheim also noted that Turkey mentions technical problems as a basis for later delivery, but believes that the Norwegian opinions about that still stands.

The Defense Ministry's department for operational testing and evaluation have also designed a new report that points to the many technical issues that are materially known and that have already been discussed between the partners. The fighter aircraft program will now study this carefully and follow it up in the further process.

“Do we have the technical challenges of a project of this size? Yes, we will. But these are insurmountable? No, absolutely not. There has been no new information about the development of the aircraft, either from Turkey or the United States, to suggest otherwise. We believe that in comparison to what we use F-35 for the first few years, the training aircraft we have delivered in 2015 and 2016 will have the capabilities we need.

“We will continue our close monitoring of the development to ensure that the transition to a new fighter capacity is done in the best possible way,” says the program director.

-ends-

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2013, 01:07:07 pm »

Online SpudmanWP

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #48 on: January 22, 2013, 01:02:36 pm »
F-35 JSF Testers Report Progress, Problems
By Guy Norris, Graham Warwick

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article/PrintArticle.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_01_21_2013_p26-537603.xml&p=1&printView=true

It's big and too much to post here in full so more at the JUMP

Here are some of the tidbits

Quote
“The DOT&E report offers 10 recommendations. The F-35 Joint Program Office has already taken action on six of the 10 recommendations,” says the JSF program office, noting all of the issues highlighted in the report were known. “Of the remaining recommendations, three involve vulnerability concerns and are being reviewed.”

While the program continues to evaluate fixes for problems already identified, and to test multiple blocks of mission-system software concurrently, it is pushing ahead into new areas of testing. “From a flight-test perspective, there are two priorities this year: complete weapons verification and high alpha [angle of attack],” says Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin F-35 program integration executive vice president and general manager.

“We are using 18 aircraft to conduct the equivalent of three development flight-test programs and one mission-system program,” says J.D. McFarlan, F-35 test and verification vice president. “We expect it to eventually include 8,000 flights and 60,000 test points. So far we've collected 22,000 of those, so we are around 36% through the test program.”
Across the three variants, there are 12 aircraft in the flight-sciences test fleet. Another four are assigned to mission-systems testing, with two more—Stovl production aircraft BF-17 and -18—about to join and complete the flight-test stable based at Edwards AFB, Calif., and NAS Patuxent River, Md. Together they had logged 4,243 flight hours by Jan. 7, with the Stovl aircraft logging 1,309 of those hours and conducting 381 vertical landings.

Tests to clear the F-35A “clean wing” flight envelope for the Block 2B initial combat capability—to Mach 1.6/700 kt airspeed, 9g maneuvers and 40,000-ft. altitude (see F-35 Capability Plan table)—are wrapping up. The next step will be to clear the envelope with internal weapons-bay doors open, he says. Release of the Block 2B envelope is planned for mid-2015. Expanding the flight envelope to 50,000 ft. for the Block 3F full combat capability is planned for 2016, when development testing is scheduled to finish.

The flight-sciences sortie rate is ahead of plan for the F-35B and C, but behind for the A, says the DOT&E. There are high-speed/high-altitude restrictions on all three variants caused by the tail scorching. New surface coatings have been flown unsuccessfully, so a new skin design will be tested on CTOL aircraft AF-2 early this year, according to the report.

High angle-of-attack testing is underway at Edwards AFB using aircraft AF-4 equipped with a spin-recovery parachute. Where the F-16 is limited to 26 deg. alpha by its fly-by-wire flight-control system, the F-35's limiter is set at 50 deg. and the aircraft has been flown to 73 deg. to ensure there is sufficient pitch authority. “We have to really slow down to get those pitch conditions—100 kt at 40,000 ft.,” says McFarlan. “Pilots are pleased with the ability to get the nose down from high angle of attack.”

The control system is designed to prevent departure from controlled flight at high alpha. In tests now beginning, the prevention feature is turned off, the aircraft forced to depart and the system turned back on to ensure it recovers the aircraft. The ultimate goal is to demonstrate safe recovery from a flat spin, with the chute as a backup. After completing these tests, they will be repeated with the spin chute removed. High-alpha testing on the F-35B will begin this year.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 01:06:10 pm by SpudmanWP »
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #49 on: January 22, 2013, 10:56:40 pm »
SDB II Fit Check on F-35: Air Force and Raytheon officials completed a fit check of the GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb II on the F-35 strike fighter at Eglin AFB, Fla., announced the company. Four SDB II shapes were loaded into an F-35 weapons bay next to an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, with sweeps of the inboard and outboard bay doors confirming adequate clearance between the two weapons, states Raytheon's Jan. 22 release. "Completion of the fit check is critical because it further validates SDB II's compatibility with the F-35 and keeps SDB II on track for a smooth transition to production," said Harry Schulte, Raytheon's vice president of air warfare systems. "Once fielded, SDB II will provide the warfighter with an unprecedented capability to precisely strike moving targets in adverse weather conditions and through battlefield obscurants," he added. Among the Air Force platforms with which SDB II will be compatible are the F-15E, F-16C/D, F-22, and F-35, according to the company.
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Offline Arjen

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #50 on: January 23, 2013, 02:45:14 am »
F-35 JSF Testers Report Progress, Problems
By Guy Norris, Graham Warwick

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article/PrintArticle.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_01_21_2013_p26-537603.xml&p=1&printView=true

It's big and too much to post here in full so more at the JUMP

Executive summary:
Quote
Amassing flight hours and test points at an accelerating pace, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program faces the question of whether it is completing the right tests at the right time. As it enters 2013 with a focus on high angle-of-attack and weapons testing, the program is still falling behind in clearing the capabilities its customers require.

Lockheed Martin exceeded its development flight-test goals for 2012. But a report by the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E) reveals this was helped by bringing forward test tasks from future years. Aircraft deficiencies and software delays prevented the program from achieving some test objectives set for 2012 and required to deliver capabilities to the services now beginning to train pilots on the F-35.

Online SpudmanWP

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #51 on: January 24, 2013, 08:51:29 am »
2012 F-35 Flight Test at Edwards AFB

Year in Review for the F-35A at Edwards

WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
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Offline 2IDSGT

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2013, 01:33:54 pm »
Bad part and not bad design likely cause of the F-35B grounding.

It should be fixed and cleared for flight ops soon.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/28/us-lockheed-fighter-idUSBRE90R0PE20130128

Quote
(Reuters) - Pentagon and industry investigators have pinpointed a manufacturing quality problem as the most likely cause of an engine failure that led to the grounding of the Marine Corps version of the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet, sources familiar with the investigation told Reuters.

 Pentagon officials are expected to finalize the finding and the proposed fix at a meeting on Monday, said the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly. They said the F-35B should be able to resume flights as soon as the "nonconforming" parts supplied by a unit of Parker Hannifin Corp are replaced.

The grounding did not affect the Air Force or Navy versions of the radar-evading new fighter since they do not use the same part.

The Pentagon grounded all 25 F-35B jets on January 18 after a propulsion line associated with the B-model's exhaust system failed just before takeoff during a training flight at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

The part in question enables actuator movement for the exhaust system associated with the B-model's engine. Instead of traditional hydraulic fluid, it uses fuel as the operating fluid to reduce weight.

An initial inspection discovered a detached propulsion line in the rear part of the engine compartment, and subsequent tests showed the line was not built to specifications by Stratoflex, a unit of Parker Hannifin.

"It wasn't built to specification as it should have been," said one of the sources. "But there's a very small population of the tubes, and the problem should be fixed soon."

Stratoflex is a subcontractor to engine maker Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, which builds the engines for the single-engine, single-seat fighter jet along with Britain's Rolls-Royce Plc.

No comment was immediately available from Stratoflex.

The speedy conclusion of the investigation is good news for the F-35 program, which is racing to complete an aggressive schedule of flight tests this year.

The F-35 program has completed about 34 percent of its planned test flight program, but Lockheed is already building production models of the new warplane.

Lockheed is building three different models of the F-35 fighter jet for the U.S. military and eight countries that helped pay for its development: Britain, Canada, Italy, Turkey, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia and Norway.

The Pentagon plans to buy 2,443 of the warplanes in coming decades, although many analysts believe U.S. budget constraints and deficits will eventually reduce that overall number.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal-Esa; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
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Online SpudmanWP

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2013, 04:34:13 pm »
It's official now (Hat tip to Spaz for posting on F-16.net)

F-35B’s Grounding Traced to Crimped Fluid Line, Pentagon Says Tony Capaccio Monday, January 28, 2013
 
 http://bloomberg.finanza.repubblica.it/Notizie/Article?documentKey=1376-MHCPA66KLVSG01-201LBL2FN5C5MVHUAPT3HMTD4I
 
 
Quote
"Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- An “improperly crimped” fluid line was the probable cause of a propulsion-system leak that led the Pentagon to suspend flight tests of the F-35 fighter’s Marine Corps version, according to the Pentagon.
 
 The investigation “ruled out any design or maintenance issues,” Pentagon spokesman Joe DellaVedova said today in an e- mailed statement. The evidence revealed “a quality discrepancy” resulting in the crimped line, he said...."

 ________________________
 
 Engineers discover culprit behind F-35B fueldraulic line failure Dave Majumdar 28 Jan 2013
 
 http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/engineers-discover-culprit-behind-f-35b-fueldraulic-line-failure-381574/
 
 
Quote
"...The investigating team found that six other aircraft had the same manufacturing defect. The faulty parts have been returned to F-35 propulsion system prime contractor Pratt & Whitney for replacement. The fueldraulic line is built by Stratoflex. The company, along with Rolls-Royce and Pratt &Whitney, has "instituted corrective actions to improve their quality control processes and ensure part integrity," the JPO says.
 
 The fueldraulic line powers the actuator movement for the F-35B's STOVL vectoring exhaust system. Instead of traditional hydraulic fluid, the system uses fuel as the operating fluid to reduce weight.
 
 NAVAIR and the JPO are currently "developing a return to flight plan which details the removal and inspection requirements of currently installed fueldraulic lines on the 25 F-35B variants affected by the flight suspension." The B-model has been grounded since 18 January
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
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Offline Arjen

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« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 11:54:48 am by Arjen »

Offline Arjen

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #56 on: January 29, 2013, 08:14:33 am »
Sydney Morning Herald:
Defence set to buy Super Hornets over cutting-edge fighter
 
Quote

AUSTRALIA will almost certainly be forced to buy 24 new Super Hornet fighter planes at a cost of about $2 billion to plug a looming gap in its air defences amid delays in the purchase of the cutting-edge Joint Strike Fighter.
According to a leaked draft of the 2013 defence white paper, just two Lockheed Martin JSFs will be delivered to Australia by 2020.
This strongly indicates that the government will need to buy rival Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets, which are cheaper but older and less stealthy than the JSF.
''By the end of this decade, the ADF will take delivery of three Air Warfare Destroyers, two Landing Helicopter Dock amphibious ships and the initial two F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircraft,'' the white paper states.
[...]
The white paper draft states that the government ''remains committed'' to acquiring the JSF but makes no mention of the next batch of 12 planes, expected about 2020. This appears to confirm what the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, has hinted at and many experts have suspected: that Defence will replace some of the retiring Hornet aircraft with Super Hornets and end up with a mixed fighter fleet rather than the 100 Super Hornets originally proposed.
Mr Smith has already asked the US about the price and availability of more Super Hornets.
The opposition defence spokesman, David Johnston, said the government had broken its pledge in the 2009 white paper to buy 100 JSFs, which would have "provided regional domination out to 2030".
"The revelation in the 2013 defence white paper that this promise has been reduced to just two aircraft (by 2020) is a further testament to Minister Smith's incompetent handling of the defence portfolio," he said.
Some interpretation here on my part, because I had some trouble reconciling the bits of blue text: original plans to have a 100 strong JSF fleet may be changed to a mixed fleet of JSF and Super Hornet. I understand the 24 Super Hornets to be additional to the 24 already ordered.
Quote
[Defence Minister] Smith said last week the leaked draft was out of date. The final paper will be released by June.
...though things may change.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 08:26:49 am by Arjen »

Offline 2IDSGT

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #57 on: January 30, 2013, 09:02:59 pm »
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/reduced-f-35-performance-specifications-may-have-significant-operational-impact-381683/

Quote
The Pentagon's decision to reduce the performance specifications for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will have a significant operational impact, a number of highly experienced fighter pilots consulted by Flightglobal concur. But the careful development of tactics and disciplined employment of the jet may be able to mitigate some of those shortcomings...

Offline Arjen

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #58 on: January 31, 2013, 12:16:00 am »
From Ottawa Citizen: F-35 fallout blamed for collapse of another military procurement program
 
Quote

OTTAWA — The fallout from the Conservative government’s F-35 purchase is being blamed for yet another military equipment project going off the rails.
Public Works and Government Services Canada rejected all the bids from companies for a project to outfit soldiers with a futuristic system of sensors that would better allow them to communicate and find their way on the battlefield.
The $316-million Integrated Soldier System Project, or ISSP, was set to announce in December the winning firm that had been selected for the first phase of the program. But with all bids rejected, the project will now be restarted.
Some company representatives involved in the procurement say it could have been easily salvaged, but bad blood between the Defence Department and Public Works over the F-35 fighter jet debacle prevented that from happening.
Some of the bids were disqualified because the equipment did not meet requirements but a number lost out simply because the documentation and paperwork provided by companies was not complete or was unclear. Industry sources say in previous times, issues about incomplete or unclear documentation could be fixed through discussions between Public Works and the Defence Department as well as the companies involved.
But because of the chill created by the problem-plagued F-35 fighter aircraft project and bad blood between the two departments over other bungled procurements, such a solution was not pursued. Instead, Public Works took a hard line on its interpretation of the procurement rules and disqualified the bids.
Any contract for replacing the CF-18 will be under very close scrutiny.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 12:27:56 am by Arjen »

Offline fightingirish

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #59 on: February 01, 2013, 09:18:59 am »

Quote
Video highlights from the F-35 Lightning II program in 2012, including production, flight test and deliveries.
Code: [Select]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPx1A5Rsg10
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