Complex combination of composite and titanium in wing component increases strength and saves weight
Papendrecht, 6th October 2009 --[ASDWire]-- The Dutch aerospace industry has won another important order in relation to the JSF project. The US aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin has selected Stork Fokker to produce the 'flaperons' for the F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter. Spread over the period from 2009 to the end of 2014 this selection represents a turnover value of US$ 200 million. The order could exceed US $1.0 billion over the life of the program.
Flaperons are control surfaces on the wings' trailing edge that combine the functions of both flaps (enabling deceleration and low-speed flight) and ailerons (enabling roll and bank). The F-35's flaperons are 3 metre long flaps on the wing trailing edges which are vital for the controllability of the aircraft. The unique design is based on the low maintenance combination of composite and titanium with a better resistance to fatigue and corrosion. The flaperons contribute to improved aircraft performance by saving weight and increasing strength at the same time. Stork Fokker has already manufactured more than 2000 sets of flaperons for the Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft type for many years. Production of the F-16 components started in 1978 and is still going on today.
The selection for production is a very important step in winning the order to supply the flaperons for all the F-35 aircraft to be built. This initial order will provide employment for around 100 people, a figure that will be doubled if the total production order is received. Production will be in the Netherlands, initially in the existing Stork Fokker factory in Hoogeveen, and will later be transferred to the new F-35 factory which is to be built. "This selection is an excellent achievement and shows that the Netherlands is able to win substantial JSF orders", says Erick Vink, executive vice president of Stork Fokker. "An important condition is and remains that the Netherlands participates in the JSF project, as shown by the recent de facto purchase of the first test aircraft."
Other contributions by Stork Aerospace to the JSF project include the design and production of the doors and hatches, the electrical wiring harnesses, the wiring and structural components for the Pratt & Whitney engines and the arresting gear. Stork has up to now involved forty suppliers in the Netherlands in these JSF orders, and this number is expected to increase further when the serial production phase starts.
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