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  • Weapons Test F-35A Makes First Flight
    Posted by Guy Norris 2:24 PM on Apr 21, 2010

    AF-2, the seventh Lockheed Martin F-35 flight test aircraft, flew for the first time on April 20. The aircraft’s main test role will be validating the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant’s weapons suite. Piloted by F-35 test pilot Jeff Knowles, AF-2 took off at 5:27 p.m. CDT from Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base and flew for one hour. AF-2 will be used to test both internal and external weapons throughout the flight envelope, and is the first F-35 to have the internal GAU-22/A 25-millimeter gun system installed. The system, featuring a four-barrel Gatling gun which fires at a rate of 3,000 rounds per minute, is made by General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products in Burlington, Vermont.

    blog post photo
    (Lockheed Martin)

    Lockheed Martin adds that tests on the GAU-22/A will confirm predictions of gun vibration, acoustic and recoil loads with the aircraft and various weapons. AF-2 will also be used to test vibro-acoustic loads with the weapons-bay doors open and closed with various weapon configurations.

    Tags: ar99, LockheedMartin, F-35A, GeneralDynamics

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