Tag Archive | "F-35"

First F-35B aircraft ski-jump launch

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First F-35B aircraft ski-jump launch

Posted on 24 June 2015 by admin

BAE Systems Test Pilot Pete ‘Wizzer’ Wilson became the first pilot to launch the Lockheed Martin F-35B Short Take Off and Vertical Landing variant from a ski-jump.


The launch took place at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, USA on Friday 19th June from a land based ski jump and marks the start of an initial testing phase expected to last two weeks.  The trials demonstrate the aircraft’s ability to take off safely and effectively from a ski-jump ramp similar to that which will be used on the UK’s new aircraft carrier.  Ski-jump ramps provide the aircraft with an upward flight path meaning the aircraft can take off from the available distance with a greater payload, which means more weapons.


BAE Systems test pilot Pete Wilson said: “It’s always exciting when you get to do something in aviation for the first time.  We spend literally years planning these ‘firsts’, with hundreds of hours in the simulator as the event gets close, but even with all the preparation the test team remains focused on the potential that something unexpected might happen. As is usually the case, the jet performed as expected and it was a real pleasure.


BAE Systems plays a key role in the design, development and manufacture of both the aircraft and the aircraft carrier, and also leads the work to ensure that both are integrated seamlessly for the UK customer.  These recent trials continue to inform the F-35 programme and the BAE Systems engineers involved in it on both sides of the Atlantic.  That includes BAE Systems flight test engineers based in the US and engineers in Lancashire helping to develop and test the latest technologies for the aircraft.


In Warton, Lancashire, the data from the flight trials will be used to further improve the models used in a unique simulation facility.  Using the latest cutting edge technologies,  engineers have developed a simulator that allowed pilots and engineers to fly the F-35 from the deck of the Queen Elizabeth carrier before either are available. This facility remains at the heart of developing a carrier strike capability for the UK.

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Northrop Grumman teams with Terma for F-35 Lightning II Program


Northrop Grumman teams with Terma for F-35 Lightning II Program

Posted on 06 November 2012 by admin

Northrop Grumman Corporation has entered a long-term agreement (LTA) with the advanced composites manufacturer Terma A/S in Denmark to manufacture component parts for the international F-35 Lightning II program. The LTA, which has a potential value of more than $97 million upon completion of all follow-on options, was signed on Sept. 20 and further emphasizes the company’s commitment to supporting F-35 Lightning II partner countries.



The LTA covers production of 34 unique F-35 Lightning II composite components, including door, panel, skin assembly and straps through 2019. The LTA further strengthens the partnership between Northrop Grumman and Terma A/S, which began in 2006. The first purchase order placed in 2007 during the Low Rate Initial Production 1 statement of work solidified the collaborative relationship between Northrop Grumman and Terma A/S, which has manufacturing responsibility for hardware on all three F-35 aircraft variants.



The LTA signing has spurred discussions on how Northrop Grumman and Terma A/S can collaborate on affordability initiatives benefitting both companies and the F-35 program as a whole. The companies will explore technologies, set a path forward to achieve manufacturing efficiencies to meet rigorous quality requirements and work toward establishing Terma A/S as a premier supplier of composite parts.



“The LTA with Terma A/S further strengthens our relationship with Denmark, an F-35 partner country,” said Michelle Scarpella, vice president of the F-35 program for Northrop Grumman. “Under this agreement, we will continue to work collaboratively with Terma, striving for the highest quality and driving efficiencies so we are able to provide the warfighter with the world’s most advanced strike fighter aircraft.”



As a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team, Northrop Grumman performs a significant share of the work required to develop and produce the aircraft.



In addition to producing the F-35 center fuselage, Northrop Grumman designed and produces the aircraft’s radar and other key avionics including electro-optical and communications subsystems; develops mission systems and mission-planning software; leads the team’s development of pilot and maintenance training system courseware; and manages the team’s use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies.



To date, the company has delivered every center fuselage on time and continues to meet its cost and schedule commitments. In 2011, the company delivered 22 center fuselages and is on track to deliver 32 center fuselages this year. It will make its 100th delivery in early 2013.



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F-35 fighter jets gets new state of the art production line

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F-35 fighter jets gets new state of the art production line

Posted on 23 October 2012 by admin

The new production line, known as the Integrated Assembly Line (or IAL for short) has been installed in the latest phase of the new F-35 5th generation stealthy fighter jet manufacturing facility at Samlesbury, which opened in March this year.


It will use an automated overhead monorail system to ‘pulse’ sections of the rear fuselage of all three types of F-35 aircraft (Conventional, STOVL and Carrier variant) around an assembly line, building them as they go and allowing more units to be produced more efficiently than before – helping the team to ramp up production from the current level of one per week up to the required level of one per day by 2016.  A similar one is planned for production in 2013 to support the horizontal and vertical tail assembly builds.


Over the past ten years we have made significant investment in the F-35 programme, including a new titanium machining facility which opened in 2010, a new office building, the newly extended manufacturing facility and now the new production line.  We employ almost 2000 employees on the F-35 programme.


Fifteen per cent of F-35 Lightning II work is carried out in the UK and over 130 British companies contribute to the supply chain. The programme is worth over £1bn to UK industry each year and will support around 25,000 British jobs over the next 25 years.

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