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Thread: Weight-Optimized F-35 Test Fleet Adds Conventional Takeoff And Landing Variant

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    Default Weight-Optimized F-35 Test Fleet Adds Conventional Takeoff And Landing Variant

    FORT WORTH, Texas, December 23rd, 2008 --



    Joint Strike Fighter Program Executive Officer Maj. Gen. C.R. Davis speaks to a crowd of employees and military pilots during the Dec. 19 rollout of the newest F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. Known as AF-1, the aircraft is the first weight-optimized conventional takeoff and landing variant. All but the first F-35 test aircraft incorporate weight-saving design elements that enhance overall performance.

    Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] rolled out the first weight-optimized conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant of the F-35 Lightning II fighter on Dec. 19. The new F-35A, called AF-1, joins three weight-optimized F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variants currently undergoing testing. The aircraft are structurally identical to the F-35s that will be delivered to armed services beginning in 2010.

    "The Lightning II CTOL aircraft will be, by far, the most widely employed F-35 variant in the world, with more than 1,700 to be used by the U.S. Air Force alone," said Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager. "The F-35A we delivered is, at its core, the same aircraft that will enter operational service with the Air Force and international customers."

    The first F-35A, known as AA-1, has completed 69 flights, and has a production-representative external shape and internal systems. Unlike AF-1 and the other F-35 test aircraft, AA-1's internal structure was designed before a 2004 weight-savings program resulted in structural revisions to all three F-35 variants.

    "AF-1 incorporates many evolutionary improvements and updates that have resulted from our AA-1 flight test program over the last two years," said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager of F-35 Program Integration.

    AF-1 is the first F-35 to have employed the moving assembly line at its full-rate production speed of 50 inches (127 millimeters) per hour. Workers tested the system by installing the vertical tails as the line moved at maximum speed. The moving assembly line, designed to improve production quality and speed, is the first ever for a modern fighter. AF-1 becomes the first aircraft since World War II to use a moving assembly line at Lockheed Martin’s (formerly Consolidated Vultee, Convair and General Dynamics) Fort Worth factory.

    F-35 Lightning II systems and parts are built by industries worldwide. Six F-35s are now complete, 17 are in assembly – including the first Low Rate Initial Production aircraft – and F-35 test aircraft have completed 83 flights.

    Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.

    Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.

    Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2007 sales of $41.9 billion.

    F-35 and Lightning II are trademarks of Lockheed Martin Corporation.

    http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/p...L-rollout.html

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    **** you 20122. how goes does gaz type drunk? dricl. man Hellfish's Avatar
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    Why is the French flag on the banner? Are they in the program?

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    Senior Member Hyde's Avatar
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    One question: At the era of F-117 it was said that the aircraft needs to have flat surfaces at particular angles to deflect radar beams, now I am wondering how this aircraft can be "stealth" when it has rounded surfaces all around?

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    The amount of computer power they had back then for the F117 was only able to do big flat, planes - i.e. model radar signals from certain directions.

    With the amount of computer power they have available now, they can make those flat surfaces really, really small so it looks like a curve.

    Kinda like how early 3D games were all blocky but now even your video gaming console can churn out some serious polygon counts.

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    Senior Member xav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hellfish6 View Post
    Why is the French flag on the banner? Are they in the program?
    Must be the italian flag...

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    **** you 20122. how goes does gaz type drunk? dricl. man Hellfish's Avatar
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    Am I going colorblind? It's blue, not green, right?

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    Senior Member smalandian's Avatar
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    Turquoise.....perhaps..is it bad "colour balance"(?) at(?) the camera...or odd light

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    Senior Member chefjavier's Avatar
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    Italian Flag

    French Flag

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    Quote Originally Posted by smalandian View Post
    Turquoise.....perhaps..is it bad "colour balance"(?) at(?) the camera...or odd light
    most likely..
    the lens normally change a bit of colour..

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    Senior Member signatory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MareCar View Post
    One question: At the era of F-117 it was said that the aircraft needs to have flat surfaces at particular angles to deflect radar beams, now I am wondering how this aircraft can be "stealth" when it has rounded surfaces all around?
    Good question. Up until recent marketing and the more evident demise of the Raptor line the F-35 was not like F-117 or F-22 described as a stealth aircraft but rather as "stealthy". There's several reasons why but the bottom line is its lack off broadband all-aspect stealth. It incorporates stealth design to certain degree, but first and foremost it's a multirole a/c.

    Computers help but that was more relevant for the B-2. They had pretty good computers when designing the F-22 and you can clearly see a true stealth fighter in that design without funny visible 'humps' for a gun etc. The F-35 has also been modiifed since the early days with a rounder higher drag airframe, in particular by moving the wheel house outwards to the wing roots. The missing LO nozzle which you see on F-117, B-2, UCAVs, F-22 etc is another non-stealth feature. So Steathy was the term used and outside LM still very much so.

    Signal reduction is the ambition by design and new materials, new materials help alot which is why round today is not as bad as round yesterday. but sometimes you have to sacrifice true broadband stealth in order to get some where though.

    Mission

    “Provide the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, and the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy and Royal Air Force with an affordable and stealthy tactical aircraft for the 21st century.

    The Lockheed Martin F-35 JSF has been designed to satisfy the diverse needs of each of these services with a family of affordable, lethal, survivable and supportable combat aircraft.”


    Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

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    Member Valkyries's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MareCar View Post
    One question: At the era of F-117 it was said that the aircraft needs to have flat surfaces at particular angles to deflect radar beams, now I am wondering how this aircraft can be "stealth" when it has rounded surfaces all around?
    the material also absorbs instead of deflecting

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    Miss Convicted 2009 SBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makavelli View Post
    most likely..
    the lens normally change a bit of colour..
    Yeah, notice the blues in the the other flags aren't quite the same shade as on the Italian one.

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    mr5n1p3r Daft Ego's Avatar
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    You'd think that a professional camera wouldn't distort colours just like that?

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    Senior Member eATS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valkyries View Post
    the material also absorbs instead of deflecting
    some is constantly ionized also...

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    Senior Member Hyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makavelli View Post
    most likely..
    the lens normally change a bit of colour..
    But the green t_shirts and plants in the audience still look very green to me? I think someone screwed up

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakki View Post
    The amount of computer power they had back then for the F117 was only able to do big flat, planes - i.e. model radar signals from certain directions.

    With the amount of computer power they have available now, they can make those flat surfaces really, really small so it looks like a curve.

    Kinda like how early 3D games were all blocky but now even your video gaming console can churn out some serious polygon counts.

    Fact or trying to guess? Makes some sense to me but is this the real deal or just a try to figure it out?


    Others: Thank you very much, didn't know that the material helps that much, i always thought that the surfaces were doing all the work. So it is more "stealthy" than "stealth"? Sounds good enough for me

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