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The F-35 Lightning II: From Concept to Cockpit


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Senior Member
Jan 29, 2008
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In the years since the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter development program was awarded to Lockheed Martin, countless articles have appeared in the popular media discussing the merits and challenges of the program. F-35 information has also occasionally appeared in the scientific literature through AIAA or other technical venues. However, an integrated story of the F-35’s technical development has heretofore never been presented in a single work.

The purpose of The F-35 Lightning II: From Concept to Cockpit is to tell that story – a full spectrum history of the design, development and verification of the F-35 Lightning II as described by the engineers, scientists and managers who were intimately involved throughout the development program. The journey to achieve the F-35’s extraordinary capability was long with untold challenges encountered on the path. The reader will find many of the key technical challenges, and the innovative solutions that resulted, discussed herein.

The reader should realize this work is not intended as an overall assessment of the F-35 or the Joint Strike Fighter program. Rather, it is an engineering development story from the perspective of insiders, many of whom dedicated the best part of their career to F-35 and are justifiably very proud of their work.

The book is based on eighteen technical papers presented in a two-day F-35 track at the 2018 AIAA Aviation Forum. The “From Concept to Cockpit” subtitle appropriately summarizes the contents, with the chapters grouped into three major sections:

  • F-35 Program Overview, which begins with an overall history of the program and further presents discussion of aircraft configuration design, weapons integration, key technologies brought into the program, and overviews of aircraft manufacturing and the flight test program.
  • F-35 Air Vehicle Design, which presents discussion of key aircraft systems, including airframe structure, flight controls, propulsion, subsystems and mission systems.
  • F-35 Test and Verification, which presents discussion of the flight and ground test programs undertaken to verify the F-35’s airworthiness, flight performance and mission capability.

The chapters are in a logical progression but are not interdependent, and so one may read the contents in any order without confusion.



Staff member
Dec 27, 2005
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Sounds pretty interesting,


BAe P.1216 book: harrier.org.uk/P1216.htm
Senior Member
Dec 21, 2006
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Sounds pretty interesting,
The AIAA papers are pretty interesting but there is no great shock revelation. Readers of this forum will have some gaps filled and issues they are familiar with expanded on, but there are notable absences on key issues like signatures.