1st Italian-Built F-35B ‘Rolls Out’ Cameri Productn Facility

Production milestones, roll-outs, test flights, service introduction and other milestones.
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Unread post06 May 2017, 00:12

First Italian-Built F-35B ‘Rolls Out’ of Cameri Production Facility
05 May 2017 LM PR

"The first Short Take-Off/Vertical Landing version of the F-35, or F-35B, assembled outside the United States rolled out of the Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility here today.

The rollout exhibits the ongoing strong partnership between the Italian Ministry of Defense, industry partner Leonardo and Lockheed Martin. The Italian FACO is owned by the Italian Ministry of Defense and is operated by Leonardo in conjunction with Lockheed Martin with a current workforce of more than 800 skilled personnel engaged in full assembly of the Conventional Take-off/Landing F-35A and F-35B aircraft variants and F-35A wing production....

...BL-1’s first flight is anticipated in late August and it is programmed to be delivered to the Italian Ministry of Defense in November. In addition, two Italian F-35A aircraft will deliver from Cameri this year, the first by July and the second in the fourth quarter. To date, seven F-35As have been delivered from the Cameri FACO; four of those jets are now based at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, for international pilot training and three are at Amendola Air Base, near Foggio on the Adriatic coast. The Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force) has already flown more than 100 flight hours in its Amendola-based F-35As.

After a series of confidence flights from Cameri, an Italian pilot will fly their first F-35B jet to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, early in 2018 to conduct required Electromagnetic Environmental Effects certification. The next Italian F-35B aircraft is scheduled for delivery in November 2018. The Cameri FACO has the only F-35B production capability outside the United States and is programmed to produce a total of 30 Italian F-35Bs and 60 Italian F-35As, along with 29 F-35As for the Royal Netherlands Air Force, and retains the capacity to deliver to other European partners in the future...."

Photo: https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... __main.jpg


Source: https://www.f35.com/news/detail/first-i ... n-facility [/quote]
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Unread post06 May 2017, 01:56

OLD but related (sounds like me exackerly)...
Exclusive: spotlight on F-35 production in Italy
28 Nov 2016 AIRheads/EH Elmer van Hest

"In an enormous rectangular building in Cameri, Italy, a group of people swarms over the grey object that among them is known as AL-5. To others, it is known as the fifth Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II for the Italian Air Force. But judging by the language used, it’s not Italians who seem to turn AL-5 inside out. They are Americans, employed by Lockheed Martin and the US Department of Defense (DoD). And their job at hand is quality inspection of a factory fresh, Italian-made F-35 Lightning II.

Airheadsfly.com’s recently paid a very exclusive visit to the rather secretive F-35’s Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility in Cameri, which is run by Leonardo Aircraft and which rolled out its first F-35 in March 2015. The FACO is the result of extensive negotiations involving Italy, the US, Lockheed Martin and Leonardo Aircraft prior to 2010....

...Assembly
Situated in the center of the FACO is the assembly hall. It covers eleven assembly bays, in one of which Leonardo Aircraft employees now crawl under and over AL-8, the final aircraft of an initial order of eight F-35s from Italy. The same hall also covers five bays for future maintenace, repair and overhaul works on the Lightning II.

Whereas in Fort Worth the hugely expensive 5th generation fighter jets are manufactured on a moving production line, in Cameri an F-35 stays in a specific assembly bay for the whole build process, with parts being brought to the jet. “Our bay approach is certified by Lockheed Martin and elements of it have even been introduced in Fort Worth”, says Lupoli. At full speed, the Cameri FACO is said to be capable of delivering two new jets per month.

First F-35B
For now, production rate is not anywhere remotely near that. Most assembly bays remain unused and empty while awaiting a formal procurement decision from Rome. The exact numbers are debated for a considerable time already in Italy, but the country currently is eyeing 52 more F-35As for its air force, plus 30 F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variants to be used by both navy and air force. Meanwhile, the FACO understandably needs to keep the production flow going. Lupoli: “Because of long lead times, we are indeed moving ahead with production of parts for the next batch of jets.” Indeed, during Airheadsfly.com’s visit the first Italian F-35B was seen in final assembly, along with more A-models for the air force....

...Quality
In the Netherlands some concerns were raised over the fact that a 90 million USD aircraft designed and ordered in the US, is to be manufactured in an Italian factory. Those concerns were mainly about quality control…. and that’s were those Americans swarming over AL-5 come in. Not one F-35 leaves this FACO without a US pilot test flying it and without personnel from both Lockheed Martin and US DoD performing an inspection that easily lasts a couple of days. Pieces of blue tape on AL-5’s stealthy coating mark the spots that apparently are not up to standard.

Although their number has been greatly reduced since production got underway, the presence of US personnel in Italy comes as no surprise given the sensitive nature of the F-35. Lupoli: “Even with an aircraft destined for the Italian Air Force, we first hand it over to US DoD personnel for inspection and acceptance. Only then does US DoD hand it back to our own air force. By doing so, quality control here in Cameri is totally in line with the US standard.”...

...Lifespan
The Cameri site is projected to be in operation for at least forty years, during which focus will shift more and more to maintance, repair and overhaul of European. Lupoli: “Over the next 15 years, we expect to reduce the number of assembly bays and turn those into additional bays for F-35 maintenance.”..."

Source: http://airheadsfly.com/2016/11/28/f-35- ... -pictures/
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Unread post07 May 2017, 13:29

"In the Netherlands some concerns were raised over the fact that a 90 million USD aircraft designed and ordered in the US, is to be manufactured in an Italian factory"

Touchè.
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Unread post07 May 2017, 13:43

Perhaps this helps: "...it’s not Italians who seem to turn AL-5 inside out. They are Americans, employed by Lockheed Martin and the US Department of Defense (DoD). And their job at hand is quality inspection of a factory fresh, Italian-made F-35 Lightning II...." Also the first example of both types is flown to the USofA for further quality control testing.
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Unread post07 May 2017, 23:35

I think our poor reputation as manufacturers and generally of not reliable people, plays an important part in the dutch concerns about quality.

Not even arguing, i understand it.

Luckily for LM; we're not talking about a Fiat facility, so everything will be all right.

Guys in Finmeccanica are supet serious and professional people and the strong presence of US personnel further enforces that.
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Unread post08 May 2017, 03:55

I imagine the Italian-produced Lightnings have superior in-flight amenities thought. :D
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Unread post08 May 2017, 06:20

They should paint that one in Rosso Corsa...

Image

Anyway, Italy has some history in shoddy workmanship, but also some seriously great pieces of engineering and quality. They have great sport car industry with some of the most wanted sports cars ever (like Ferrari). They have extremely large machinery industry and are also one of the biggest (top three IIRC) producers of machined parts. Their defence and aerospace industry is extremely respected in their fields and produce top quality items from what I've seen and heard. How about companies like Beretta or OTO Melara? Those produce some of the best guns in the world and in very high quality. I was somewhat surprised when I first heard about Italy getting the FACO, but I can now see why they got it. They have the industry and people for it and also very good location.
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Unread post08 May 2017, 06:48

A stunning red Ferrari is a bad omen here. There is a running joke among motor enthusiasts about burning Ferrari, which has a tendency to burst into flame and burn to ground all by itself. Anyway, exotic sports car aka toy and status symbol for rich people and hand gun feels like some bad analogy to fighter jet.
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Unread post08 May 2017, 07:18

zhangmdev wrote:A stunning red Ferrari is a bad omen here. There is a running joke among motor enthusiasts about burning Ferrari, which has a tendency to burst into flame and burn to ground all by itself. Anyway, exotic sports car aka toy and status symbol for rich people and hand gun feels like some bad analogy to fighter jet.


Ferrari thing was just a joke, but the fact is that they are very high quality and high performance cars. They have had some car burning incidents, but almost all high performance car brands have had some. I was merely pointing at the fact that Italy has a lot of very respected companies producing very respected products in many high tech areas.
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Unread post08 May 2017, 08:31

It actually happend. I dont remember if a handful of 360 mode a or 430 tho.

Ferrari has a history of defective clutched too. There's a video om YT where a clueless guy shatters the DCT of a brand new LaFerrari.
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Unread post08 May 2017, 09:44

Mass produced consumer products, let it be fancy cars or colored bottled water, owes their reputation and prestige heavily to marketing and brand loyalty. Comparing fancy cars to fighter jets is like comparing a Rolls Royce car to a Rolls Royce turbofan engine.

I'd rather use Thales Alenia Space as an example of Italian companies in aerospace section. It built quite a few modules for the International Space Station. And it is now making Pressurized Cargo Module for the Cygnus spacecraft. That is some accomplishment.
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Unread post08 May 2017, 15:59

nutshell wrote:"In the Netherlands some concerns were raised over the fact that a 90 million USD aircraft designed and ordered in the US, is to be manufactured in an Italian factory"

Touchè.


The bad taste Dutch people got from Italian manufacturing peaked after the delivery of new trains for the Dutch railways build by the Italian company AnsaldoBreda.

Some highlights:

* In the first week several trains broke down.
* In January 2013 half of all the trains broke down due to defective material.
* Later in January 2013 when it got colder, even 87% of all the trains broke down.
* A little later a complete part of the bottom of a train just fell off due to icing.

After that last incident they stopped driving the trains. AnsaldoBreda promised that the trains would "drive again in a few days" though this never happened.

Two engineering firms were put on the case and they found the following:

* Large scale issues with water penetration.
* Rust-forming on the axles, with one train having that happening after only driving a few km.
* Poor installation of hydraulic lines and electrical cables at the bottom of the train, making them susceptible to damage caused by splashing ballast stones.
* Braking system issues. The system used is designed for 160 km / h, and not UC homologated at 250 km / h, the maximum permitted speed for the V250. Moreover, during winter conditions, an even lower maximum speed is required, because the brake path becomes too long.
* The batteries (located under the passenger cabin) could catch fire. There are pictures of visible damage after a battery fire. One image even showed burning marks in the carpet of the passenger cabin.

To make matters worse the CEO of AnsaldoBreda came to the Netherlands to testify in a hearing about the failure of the train build by his company, in this hearing he was pretending not to know anything about any issues and he claimed that "the trains were just fine" and that "there were no issues with the trains", people in The Netherlands were stunned by this show of incompetence.

Due to this Italy's reputation for production and quality dropped even lower than it already was (Italy's reputation was already bad due to the many issues with Italian cars).

If there will be any issues with an Italian build F-35 in The Netherlands you can count on a nice media frenzy. Due to this I hope that the USA personnel will keep a very, very close eye on the production of the F-35 in Italy.
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Unread post08 May 2017, 16:55

botsing wrote:
nutshell wrote:"In the Netherlands some concerns were raised over the fact that a 90 million USD aircraft designed and ordered in the US, is to be manufactured in an Italian factory"

Touchè.


The bad taste Dutch people got from Italian manufacturing peaked after the delivery of new trains for the Dutch railways build by the Italian company AnsaldoBreda.

...


I understand the "twice burned" cautious attitudes, however, it is important to keep apples with the apples and oranges with the oranges.

Denver's light rail (Siemens) has been a nightmare getting going, and it has that "fine German engineering" etc... The Eurofighters (apples to apples in this case) in Germany have been a train wreck of reliability ...
http://www.defensenews.com/articles/ger ... y-problems

To the best of my knowledge (limited) Italy and Finmeccanica have provided quality reliability and availability.
https://www.eurofighter.com/news-and-ev ... ailability

Just saying ... not all oranges are apples .... well actually, none of them are.
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Unread post08 May 2017, 23:17

I'm not seeing many references to the procedures in the F-35 program for the "First of Type" validation of the Cameri F-35B at Pax River....so regardless of what type Dutch, German, Italian lawnmower you last bought, the program will test and validate regardless of your "lawnmower" comments.
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Unread post08 May 2017, 23:38

A detailed list of inspections procedures is probably not forthcoming however there are clues as shown on this page:
"...After a series of confidence flights from Cameri, an Italian pilot will fly their first F-35B jet to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, early in 2018 to conduct required Electromagnetic Environmental Effects certification...."
&
"...it’s not Italians who seem to turn AL-5 inside out. They are Americans, employed by Lockheed Martin and the US Department of Defense (DoD). And their job at hand is quality inspection of a factory fresh, Italian-made F-35 Lightning II....

...Quality
In the Netherlands some concerns were raised over the fact that a 90 million USD aircraft designed and ordered in the US, is to be manufactured in an Italian factory. Those concerns were mainly about quality control…. and that’s were those Americans swarming over AL-5 come in. Not one F-35 leaves this FACO without a US pilot test flying it and without personnel from both Lockheed Martin and US DoD performing an inspection that easily lasts a couple of days. Pieces of blue tape on AL-5’s stealthy coating mark the spots that apparently are not up to standard.

Although their number has been greatly reduced since production got underway, the presence of US personnel in Italy comes as no surprise given the sensitive nature of the F-35. Lupoli: “Even with an aircraft destined for the Italian Air Force, we first hand it over to US DoD personnel for inspection and acceptance. Only then does US DoD hand it back to our own air force. By doing so, quality control here in Cameri is totally in line with the US standard.”... "
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