Thursday, 21 February 2013

F35 Fighter Jet

F35 Fighter Jet Biography

The JSF program was designed to replace the United States military F-16, A-10, F/A-18 (excluding newer E/F "Super Hornet" variants) and AV-8B tactical fighter aircraft. To keep development, production, and operating costs down, a common design was planned in three variants that share 80 percent of their parts:
F-35A, conventional take off and landing (CTOL) variant.
F-35B, short-take off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant.
F-35C, carrier-based CATOBAR (CV) variant.
An F-35 wind tunnel testing model in the Arnold Engineering Development Center's 16-foot transonic wind tunnel
George Standridge of Lockheed Martin has said that the F-35 will be four times more effective than legacy fighters in air-to-air combat, eight times more effective than legacy fighters in air-to-ground combat, and three times more effective than legacy fighters in reconnaissance and suppression of air defenses – while having better range and requiring less logistics support and having around the same procurement costs (if development costs are ignored) as legacy fighters.[16] Further, the design goals call for the F-35 to be the premier strike aircraft through 2040 and be second only to the F-22 Raptor in air superiority.[17]
While the actual JSF development contract was signed on 16 November 1996, the contract for System Development and Demonstration (SDD) was awarded on 26 October 2001 to Lockheed Martin, whose X-35 beat the Boeing X-32. Although both aircraft met or exceeded requirements, the X-35 design was considered to have less risk and more growth potential.[18] The designation of the new fighter as "F-35" is out-of-sequence with standard DoD aircraft numbering,[19] by which it should have been "F-24". It came as a surprise even to Lockheed, which had been referring to the aircraft in-house by this expected designation.[20]
The development of the F-35 is somewhat unique for a fighter aircraft in that no two-seat "trainer" versions were built for any of the service variants: the sophistication of flight simulators being so advanced, no trainer versions (one seat for the instructor, one for the trainee) were deemed necessary.[21]
[edit]Design phase
Based on wind tunnel testing, Lockheed Martin slightly enlarged its X-35 design into the F-35. The forward fuselage is 5 inches (130 mm) longer to make room for avionics. Correspondingly, the horizontal stabilators were moved 2 inches (51 mm) rearward to retain balance and control. The top surface of the fuselage was raised by 1 inch (25 mm) along the center line. Also, it was decided to increase the size of the F-35B STOVL variant's weapons bay to be common with the other two variants.[18] Manufacturing of parts for the first F-35 prototype airframe began in November 2003.[22]
The F-35B STOVL variant was in danger of missing performance requirements in 2004 because it weighed too much; reportedly, by 2,200 lb (1,000 kg) or 8 percent. In response, Lockheed Martin added engine thrust and thinned airframe members; reduced the size of the common weapons bay and vertical stabilizers; re-routed some thrust from the roll-post outlets to the main nozzle; and redesigned the wing-mate joint, portions of the electrical system, and the portion of the aircraft immediately behind the cockpit.[23] Many of the changes were applied to all three variants to maintain high levels of commonality. By September 2004, the weight reduction effort had reduced the aircraft's design weight by 2,700 pounds (1,200 kg).[24]
On 7 July 2006, the U.S. Air Force officially announced the name of the F-35: Lightning II, in honor of Lockheed's World War II-era twin-prop Lockheed P-38 Lightning and the Cold War-era jet, the English Electric Lightning.[25][N 1][27] English Electric Company's aircraft division was a predecessor of F-35 partner BAE Systems. Lightning II was also an early company name for its fighter that was later named the F-22 Raptor.
On 19 December 2008, Lockheed Martin rolled out the first weight-optimized F-35A (designated AF-1). It is the first F-35 to be produced at a full-rate production speed and is structurally identical to the production F-35As that will be delivered starting in 2010.[28]
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is the prime contractor and performs aircraft final assembly, overall system integration, mission system, and provides forward fuselage, wings and flight controls system. Northrop Grumman provides Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, electro-optical Distributed Aperture System (DAS), Communications, Navigation, Identification (CNI), center fuselage, weapons bay, and arrestor gear. BAE Systems provides aft fuselage and empennages, horizontal and vertical tails, crew life support and escape systems, Electronic warfare systems, fuel system, and Flight Control Software (FCS1). Alenia will perform final assembly for Italy and, according to an Alenia executive, assembly of all European aircraft with the exception of Turkey and the United Kingdom.[29][30] The F-35 program has seen a great deal of investment in automated production facilities. For example, Handling Specialty produced the wing assembly platforms for Lockheed Martin.[31] In November 2009, Jon Schreiber, head of F-35 international affairs program for the Pentagon, said that the U.S. will not share the software code for the F-35 with its allies.[32]
As of 5 January 2009, six F-35s were complete, including AF-1 and AG-1, and 17 were in production. "Thirteen of the 17 in production are pre-production test aircraft, and all of those will be finished in 2009," said John R. Kent, acting manager of F-35 Lightning II Communications at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. "The other four are the first production-model planes, and the first of those will be delivered in 2010 to the U.S. Air Force, and will go to Eglin Air Force Base."[33] On 6 April 2009, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates proposed speeding up production for the U.S. to buy 2,443 F-35s.[34]
In August 2010, Lockheed Martin announced delays in resolving a "wing-at-mate overlap" production problem, which would slow initial production.[35]
In October 2011, two F-35B VTOL aircraft conducted three weeks of initial sea trials aboard USS Wasp (LHD-1), logging more than 28 hours of flight time including 72 short takeoffs and 72 vertical landings.[36]
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