LM F-35 Flight Test Progress Report
A major highlight for October was the completion of F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) ship suitability testing aboard the USS WASP (LHD-1) off the coast of Virginia. The test began when BF-2 executed the first shipboard vertical landing on Oct. 3. The next day, BF-2 executed the first short takeoff from the WASP. During the third week of sea trials, BF-2 and BF-4 operated simultaneously on the ship. Combined, they accomplished 72 short takeoffs and 72 vertical landings during the three-week testing period.
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Several flight test and production key milestones were accomplished since the last report:
-- October was the busiest month for flying in the history of the F-35 flight test program, with F-35 aircraft executing 122 flights. The F-35B aircraft known as BF-2 accomplished 22 flights, the most ever for an F-35 in one month.
-- F-35Bs completed their 500th flight on Sept. 30. In October, F-35Bs executed the most vertical landings (73) for a single month in the history of the flight test program, including the 200th vertical landing for the program Oct. 4.
-- AF-12 and AF-13 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft were delivered to the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., on Oct. 19 and 26, respectively. This marked the fifth and sixth delivery of CTOL jets to Eglin and the 12th overall delivery of an F-35 to the Department of Defense in 2011.
-- As of Nov. 3, F-35C carrier variant (CV) jets had executed 59 successful catapult launches and three arrestments.
-- F-35C aircraft achieved 200 flight hours on Sept. 22.
-- The F-35A known as AF-1 achieved the F-35's maximum design limit speed of Mach 1.6 for the first time on Oct. 25.
Cumulative flight test activity totals for 2011 are provided below:
-- F-35A CTOL jets have flown 407 times.
-- F-35B STOVL aircraft have completed 296 flights.
-- F-35C CV jets have flown 134 times.
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Source : Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT)