Wed, Jul 18, 2012
Nearly 600 Test Flights Conducted So Far In 2012
The F-35 program accrued the highest number of test points in a single month during June, an accomplishment indicative of the program's ongoing maturation. Additionally, for the 18th consecutive month the F-35 test program remained ahead of plan, according to a progress report released by prime contractor Lockheed Martin.
As of June 30, the F-35 Lightning II 5th Generation multirole fighter had conducted 595 test flights in 2012 versus a plan of 445 and accrued 4,830 test points against a plan of 3,901.
In June, the F-35 program accomplished several flight test and production milestones:
- During June, the F-35 test program accrued the most test points in a single month, 1,118, in program history.
- On June 5, BF-5 became the first F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) jet to fly with Block 2A software.
- On June 13, the first F-35C carrier variant (CV) night flight was completed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD.
- On June 13, F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) weapons pit drop testing was conducted for the first time at Edwards Air Force Base, CA.
- On June 14 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD., BF-2 completed the first test flight for the F-35B STOVL variant with an asymmetric weapons load.
- On June 25, AF-1, an F-35A CTOL test jet, accomplished the first F-35 weapon pit drop from an external station, a GBU-12 from station 2.
- On June 27, the program achieved the highest number of F-35 flights in a single day, 12.
Cumulative flight test activity totals for 2012 through June 30:
- F-35A CTOL jets have flown 260 times.
- F-35B STOVL jets have completed 202 flights, 134 of which began with a short takeoff. Additionally, F-35B STOVL aircraft have conducted 55 vertical landings.
- F-35C CV jets have flown 133 times.
Cumulative flight test activity totals for the duration of the program through May 31 are provided below:
- F-35A CTOL jets have flown 907 times.
- F-35B STOVL jets have completed 791 flights, 553 of which began with a short takeoff. Additionally, F-35B STOVL aircraft have conducted 334 vertical landings.
- F-35C CV jets have flown 325 times.
- Since December 2006, F-35s have flown 2,355 times and accrued more than 3,700 cumulative flight hours. This total includes 91 flights from the original test aircraft, AA-1; 2,023 SDD test flights; and 241 production-model flights.
(F-35 Image from file)
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