Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic

VTOLicious

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I'm wondering why the lift fan would need an extra cover? In contrast to the engine intakes it is actually covered by a lid.
 

Fluff

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I'm wondering why the lift fan would need an extra cover? In contrast to the engine intakes it is actually covered by a lid.
me 2. As I said not many pictures, I cant believe it was say the main intake cover, 2 groundcrew plus the pilot will have walked round the aircraft. I'm wondering if its something the RN added, to reduce corrosion say, so they took whats probably a cover only used during deep maintenance and started using it....sometimes.....

I'd imagine they have cameras on the QE ? For training/debriefing....so it will come out.
 

Fluff

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Just found this:

1637871559877.png
To me suggests a fan cover, and an intake cover, on the topside. One of the reasons for covers is to stop birds and vermin, FOD, and presumably on a carrier, large amounts of salt water spray. Also if you had to work on those doors, you would want a screw dropping.....
 

Dragon029

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The Super Hornet has been removed from the running in Canada's fighter competition, leaving the F-35 and Gripen E as the finalists.
 

helmutkohl

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TMA1

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If you saw all the goofy defense yt videos you would have guessed it was ruskies "hacking" the aircraft to fail. Not joking I've seen about six or seven of them.

...and yes it means I watch cringy defense videos.
 

Archibald

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So basically one of the deck-crew fucked up.
So basically one of the dick-crew fucked up.

Fixed that type for you... :p

A good case could be make, that F-35 crashed because some... shit hit the fan !

Pilot video and testimony
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa7nSzCiGXk
 
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Fluff

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So basically one of the deck-crew fucked up.
So basically one of the dick-crew fucked up.

Fixed that type for you... :p

A good case could be make, that F-35 crashed because some... shit hit the fan !

Pilot video and testimony
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa7nSzCiGXk
Sadly more than 1.
2 groundcrew prep the aircraft - and should check each other, in terms of counting the covers.
Pilot does a walkround
Other crew on the deck/launch crew
People in the flight control/deck control - with a better view

But I would add some broader human factors, great that the cover is red, but its almost completely invisible from deck level, so much bigger 'flags' or arms on it, attaching to the normal intake covers, would be useful. Also they should have done a count of the covers, pitot etc, with the pilot, once they were removed. Again suggests this cover is not commonly used.

I used to train groundcrew.....
 

TomcatViP

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Deck handling should be different from ground based and civilian way of doing it. I am pretty sure that the Walk around from the pilot is fairly basic given that exposure to danger are big enough to limit the presence of non-specialist on the deck.

Last but not least, we should not sideline the possibility of a foreign object ingestion, in that case a cover from another plane...
 

Fluff

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Deck handling should be different from ground based and civilian way of doing it. I am pretty sure that the Walk around from the pilot is fairly basic given that exposure to danger are big enough to limit the presence of non-specialist on the deck.

Last but not least, we should not sideline the possibility of a foreign object ingestion, in that case a cover from another plane...
pilot walkround is just a quick one, but hopefully the pilot has a vested interest, and is ticking things off, like wings - 2

I have struggled to find pictures showing the cover, so I dont think its in common use, the history of the aircraft will be pivotal, if its just come out of the hangar after a service, for example. As someone mentioned, no fleet grounding does suggest they knew very quickly the cause.
 

Archibald

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One case in point, by yours truly, Archibald, myself


The cloth of doom... that screwed an Ariane but could have actually screwed Kourou, this way - since Ariane 4, just like Proton, burned toxic storable props...


I've checked on that excellent website, in Kourou Pad 1 and Pad 2 were only half a mile appart. http://www.capcomespace.net/dossiers/espace_europeen/CSG/ELA2/ELA2.htm

Which means, a massive low altitude explosion of Ariane 4 could have contamined the pad not destroyed... it was a matter of winds.

Now back to this thread topic, sorry for the "off".
 
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Hydroman

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So basically one of the deck-crew fucked up.
So basically one of the dick-crew fucked up.

Fixed that type for you... :p

A good case could be make, that F-35 crashed because some... shit hit the fan !

Pilot video and testimony
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa7nSzCiGXk
Hard to make everything "Sailor Proof" I'm sorry to say.
 

sferrin

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Why wouldn't it register somewhere as a giant obstruction when they powered up the fan? I mean you'd think the pilot would be able to tell when the fan was engaged, but before brake release.
 

Fluff

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Why wouldn't it register somewhere as a giant obstruction when they powered up the fan? I mean you'd think the pilot would be able to tell when the fan was engaged, but before brake release.
its a rolling take off, do they only power the fan as they get moving? I think they reported that he tried to abort but ran out of room, so presumably he had some warnings come up. Probably going to be a few instructions rewritten after this.
 

icyplanetnhc (Steve)

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The F-35A rate declined from 76.07 percent to 68.8 percent from 2020 to 2021 as an increasing number of F-35s came due for their first big engine overhauls. A shortage of engines has grounded about 40 F-35As over the past year, a level that the F-35 Joint Program Office predicts could hold for several years.

Still, the F-35A mission capable rate remained above that of 2019, when it was just 61.6 percent.
I have to wonder how much of this has to do with the F135 design being pushed harder than it was initially designed for. I recall that during SDD in the 2000s, to mitigate the effects of weight growth, the thrust of the engine was increased (from 40,000 lbf to 43,000 lbf, I believe), which may have resulted in greater wear and shorter overhaul intervals than originally planned. Also during this time, Lockheed Martin adjusted the inlet design to increase the inlet mass flow capacity to 400 lb/s, and the GE/RR F136 was designed with this increased mass flow in mind, while the F135 likely wasn't as it was already much further along. I believe this was the reason that the F136 was claimed to be able to match the nominal rated thrust of the F135 while maintaining a greater temperature margin as well as greater thrust potential, but actually fielding the engine would have taken additional time and money that the JPO didn't want to invest in, hence the F136's cancellation in 2011. The XA100 and XA101 should be able to make full use of the inlet, although I wonder if the F135 EEP will also do the same.

Alternate JSF Engine Thrust Beats Target
Aug 16, 2010
By Guy Norris
Los Angeles

The intense battle over powering the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter could be heading to new levels following test results that show the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 alternate engine has more than 15% thrust margin against specification, significantly exceeding the power of the baseline Pratt & Whitney F135.

The tests at the U.S. Air Force’s Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) in Tullahoma, Tenn., are the first to officially calibrate the combat-rated thrust of a production-representative F136 at sea level conditions. Although the test program is only a matter of days old, it already appears to be showing greater performance margin in afterburner than expected, says the General Electric Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team.

News of the tests reaches Congress as it heads toward a showdown with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who has made killing the second engine a centerpiece of his crusade to cut unnecessary defense spending. With the Obama administration promising to veto any defense bill that prolongs the F136, the House has defied Gates and passed provisions that fund the engine. The Senate has not weighed in, but key committee chairmen have voiced support for competitive engines. Details of the F136’s test performance could strengthen support and more broadly undermine Gates’s efforts to reform the Pentagon (see p. 20).

“Initial results show we have more than 15% margin at sea level combat-rated thrust than the specification. That’s significantly beyond the thrust requirement right out of the chute,” says GE-Rolls. In March this year, following the first maximum afterburner test of a system development and demonstration engine, the team quietly expressed confidence the F136 would exceed the thrust of the baseline F135 by 5%. Actual thrust achieved in the test remains undisclosed, but it is in excess of 40,000 lb.

Pratt & Whitney, which derived its F135 from the F-22 Raptor’s F119 engine, remains confident its own growth plans will stave off the challenge from the F136 without getting ahead of the need or increasing development costs. The company, which begins final qualification tests of the short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (Stovl) engine in Florida this month, plans to start tests of a higher-thrust F135 in January 2011 and begin rig tests of a growth fan later next year.

Although the F135’s thrust meets specification for the Lockheed Martin F-35 as currently configured, future growth potential is becoming an important part of the ongoing alternate engine debate. Thrust growth, and the engine life and maintenance cost benefits if traded for lower operating temperatures, are recognized as key factors by both sides. Thrust growth is considered particularly important for the performance of the F-35B Stovl variant, while the ability to use additional temperature margin to cut long-term support costs is applicable to all models, including the conventional-takeoff variants.

Given the added margin, GE-Rolls says its baseline F136 will be able to achieve a 5% thrust growth through a simple digital engine control “throttle push,” without eating into what it says could be a 25% maintenance-cost advantage over the F135. Russ Sparks, GE Aviation vice president for military strategy, says the reduced costs are directly related to the lower turbine operating temperatures in the engine, which was resized with a larger core and higher-flow fan in 2005, when Lockheed Martin increased the airflow capacity of the F-35 inlets to 400 lb./sec. The F136 fan was enlarged to pump up to 380 lb./sec., and the AEDC tests are being conducted within the airflow limits of the JSF inlets.

Pratt & Whitney Military Engines President Warren Boley says growth testing is part of a medium- to long-term strategy to increase F135 thrust by as much as 20%. “There is no doubt Pratt & Whitney has the suite of technology, and we are dedicated to do that,” he says. Although initial growth is aimed at satisfying F-35 thrust requirements, Boley says more power will also accommodate future applications on other platforms—including unmanned aircraft.

The first growth step, starting with tests in January, is based on digital engine control and turbine airfoil changes. These will provide 5-10% thrust growth and could be applicable for F-35s in production Lots 6, 7 and 8, “if needed,” Boley says. The changes could also form the basis of an engine upgrade that would be retrofitable at a depot level, he adds.

Beyond this, Pratt & Whitney’s advanced program team is studying more fundamental changes to the basic cycle of the F135 that could enhance performance and provide more growth potential. The initiative would introduce adaptive technology for the core and fan similar to that being developed by Rolls and GE under the U.S. Air Force-led Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology (Advent) research program. Although Pratt & Whitney was not selected to work major elements of Advent, it has continued to refine the technology it originally proposed for the competition.

“We are looking at a third fan stream that would take advantage of a gear,” says Boley, adding that this would “bring geared turbofan technology to the front end of the F135.” Studies for the growth engine, dubbed F135 plus, include looking at a “classic bigger fan.” The current focus is on whether it would be better to combine a larger fan with an adaptive core, or make both the core and fan adaptive.

GE’s Sparks contends that “maintaining the engine flow path is the key to affordable growth. We don’t need to make it bigger, or make the fan flow more air, to give our engine more thrust. A 5% growth will be achieved with the current F136 hardware, and we’re far enough into performance testing to verify that component efficiency is equal to or better than predicted. That’s the basis for retaining the margin in terms of fan speed and temperature.”

To boost thrust by 10%, the team plans to import technology being developed under the Air Force’s Versatile Affordable Advanced Turbine Engine program. “We’re talking things like better cooling and more [ceramic matrix composites], and we’ll do it all without making any airflow changes through the engine,” he says. Ceramic matrix composites are used in the first stage of the F136 low-pressure turbine and would be used for other stages in the higher-thrust version, says the engine team.
 
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Fluff

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Ainen

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View: https://twitter.com/TheDEWLine/status/1465670971243876355

FFcb-jYXoA8Rg8d


FFcb-j8WQAYnjDL

Photo source: Steve Trimble


Something on something.
Not sure if it's a EW pod(shape?) and that's definitely not an F-35 (and frankly speaking seems a bit too well-made to be a "generic 5th gen fighter")

But for lack of a better idea, let it be in the F-35 topic for now.
 

timmymagic

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So what, why?
My understanding is 48 Airframes Contract have passed legaslation and is on order

Not the case. 24 delivered to date (with 1 lost), 11 more on contract. For a total of 35. The remaining 13 aircraft of the 48 commitment are awaiting Full Rate Pricing to be agreed before the contract is signed. Deliveries of those need to be concluded by December 2025...so they need to get a shift on, as contract sign to delivery is usually c2 years. I expect the MoD will order 14 now to replace the lost aircraft.

The MoD and 1SL have stated that the intention is to purchase more. Numbers of 60-70 have been mentioned recently. If that is the case they'll need to order the last 12-20ish before 2028 as after that Tempest will dominate the Combat Air budget. Same with any Typhoon MLU for the Tranche 2 Typhoons.
 

aonestudio

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LowObservable

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Why wouldn't it register somewhere as a giant obstruction when they powered up the fan? I mean you'd think the pilot would be able to tell when the fan was engaged, but before brake release.
its a rolling take off, do they only power the fan as they get moving? I think they reported that he tried to abort but ran out of room, so presumably he had some warnings come up. Probably going to be a few instructions rewritten after this.

The fan is engaged and turning before STO is initiated, but fan IGVs are set to minimal thrust - indeed the core nozzle may be deflected downwards to keep weight on nosewheel and assure steering (on a moving deck for instance).

If the fan cover was left on, the simple fix is to attach a mirror to the inlet door, like the ones in an Airbus overhead bin. But that can't be checked on the walkaround because the inlet door opening is part of the transition sequence initiated by the pilot, with the engine running.
 
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SteveO

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TomS

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View: https://twitter.com/TheDEWLine/status/1465670971243876355

FFcb-jYXoA8Rg8d


FFcb-j8WQAYnjDL

Photo source: Steve Trimble


Something on something.
Not sure if it's a EW pod(shape?) and that's definitely not an F-35 (and frankly speaking seems a bit too well-made to be a "generic 5th gen fighter")

But for lack of a better idea, let it be in the F-35 topic for now.
Any mention of the under wing root conformal pods in those pics?

I think it's just a fairly low fidelity model. Trimble has followed up, BTW. Raytheon says the pod is just an artist's concept, not a model of any specific system or proposal.
 

BLACK_MAMBA

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The fan is engaged and turning before STO is initiated, but fan IGVs are set to minimal thrust - indeed the core nozzle may be deflected downwards to keep weight on nosewheel and assure steering (on a moving deck for instance).

If the fan cover was left on, the simple fix is to attach a mirror to the inlet door, like the ones in an Airbus overhead bin. But that can't be checked on the walkaround because the inlet door opening is part of the transition sequence initiated by the pilot, with the engine running.
From some reports it seems more like one of the intake covers was left inside the truncking where the S-duct meant it couldn't be seen during walk around inspection. From what I hear the ground crew sometimes would fold them double and use them as kneepads when inspecting the intakes.

The other version also circulating is that it was loose on the deck and got sucked it after wond caught it.

Both of those seem a lot more plausible that forgetting an entire fan cover in place. Something that would have been visible from Flyco at the very least. But as all this talk currently is - its speculation. Hopefully we find out some day what actually happened.
 

Fluff

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Having looked at a few pictures, I'm wondering if when on the flight deck, they dont use the covers, hardly any pictures show them, even when lashed down. Where as when in the hangar, the normal intake covers and pitot covers are visible. Covers on deck would be a nightmare, blowing off, blowing away etc. So my suspicion goes back to the jet coming out of the hangar and someone didnt remove something. Time will tell.
 

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