Sat, May 21, 2011
CF-1 Aircraft Has Already Completed Half Its Planned Test
Flights For This Year
Naval Air Systems Command said Wednesday in a news release that
the test aircraft for the carrier variant of the F-35 Joint Strike
Fighter have exceeded test and evaluation program goals so far this
year. According to the announcement, the F-35C test aircraft,
'CF-1,' currently at Naval Air Station Patuxent River has completed
36 test flights as of May 11, nearly half the program's goal for
the year of 85.
"CF-1's been flying well, even with a number of planned and
unplanned maintenance periods," said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Roger
Cordell, military site director. "It's a great sign for the fleet
that the aircraft is doing well so early in the test program." In
April, CF-1 completed 13 flights, tying a record for the number of
test flights for any aircraft at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
Additionally, the integrated test team has completed seven CF-1
test flights this month.
"The team has been doing a great job staying on top of
maintenance requirements," said Jim McClendon, Lockheed Martin site
director vice president. "Just last week, CF-1 flew six flights in
six days, which is a great accomplishment in any test program, let
alone test and evaluation for a brand new aircraft."
Coupled with this week's arrival of the second carrier variant,
CF-2, and arrival of CF-3 later this year, the F-35C test program
is making rapid progress toward initial carrier suitability testing
this year at Joint Base Lakehurst-McGuire-Dix in New Jersey. First
carrier suitability testing this summer is scheduled to include the
first catapult launches, and the F-35C is scheduled to commence
shipboard testing in 2013.
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