A Defense Technology Blog
See All Posts
  • F-35 Progress - 'Flying Will Support Training, IOCs'
    Posted by Graham Warwick 7:00 PM on Sep 14, 2009

    Progress with flight testing, or lack of, was the major theme at an F-35 briefing given here at the AFA show in Washington this morning by the Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin program deputies. Here are the basics of what was said. Bill Sweetman was there and will follow up later with his thoughts, I'm sure.

    Deputy program executive officer USAF Maj Gen CD Moore said he is expecting "12 aircraft delivered in 12 months to support 12 sorties a month" - the pace required to meet the schedule to begin training in mid-2010, complete development in 2014, and achieve the IOCs of 2012 for the US Marine Corps, 2013 for the US Air Force and 2015 for the US Navy. Here's where they stand today:

    AA-1 - has completed flying at Fort Worth and is now at Edwards AFB for arrestor-hook testing before heading to China Lake to end its career in live-fire testing. Its 2.8h flight to Edwards on Spe. 10 was the first F-35's 90th flight - making up the majority of JSF flying to date. 

    BF-1 - the first STOVL F-35B test aircraft has flown once since returning to flight on Sep. 4 following modification. Flying is on hold because of "monsoon" weather at Fort Worth, but BF-1 is due to complete in-flight STOVL doors-open flights, one in-flight lift-system engagement and a 3-hour endurance flight before ferrying to Pax River in "early October" to begin STOVL build-down test flights. First vertical landing is now expected in "late October, early November".

    BF-2 - is on the hover pit and, after final finishes, is due to follow BF-1 to Pax two or three weeks later in Octover. BF-2 is being used to verify procedures for applying final finishes to production F-35s.

    BF-3 - is due to fly in October 

    BF-4 - the first mission-system test aircraft is on the flight line and scheduled to fly in December. The initial "flight candidate release" of mission-system software, Block 0.5, has been loaded.

    AF-1 - the first production-representative CTOL F-35A is expected to fly in early October and initial testing in the Fort Worth area will inform a decision on the flight envelope that will be cleared for pilot training beginning at Elgin AFB in summer 2010. AF-1 is set to deploy to Edwards in the second quarter of 2010.

    AF-2 and AF-3 - are scheduled to fly in December

    CF-1 - the first F-35C carrier version is not expected to fly in Januray 2010, a previously acknowledge slip from late December. CF-1 will be used as the test aircraft for the F135 initial service release (ISR)engine that will power production aircraft. The impact of the recent test-stand incident with the ISR engine is still being assessed.

    AF-4, BF-5, CF-2 and CF-3 - are scheduled to fly between March and May 2010 to complete the 12-aircraft development flight-test fleet.

    AF-6 and AF-7 - the first two low-rate initital production F-35As are in the mate tools on the final-assembly line along with AF-8, the first of the 12-aircraft LRIP 2 batch. AF-6 and -7 are scheduled for delivery to Eglin by July 2010 to allow pilot training to begin. 

    Tags: ar99, afa09, F-35, STOVL

  • Recommend
  • Report Abuse

Comments on Blog Post