The Men And Women Making Aviation History [F-35 TEST]

Production milestones, roll-outs, test flights, service introduction and other milestones.
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Elite 5K

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Unread post12 Apr 2018, 23:35

The Men And Women Making Aviation History
11 Apr 2018 LM PR

"...the engineers in the control room who test the aircraft’s critical systems and analyze data. They are the trusted voices who let F-35 test pilots know when they are reaching the edge of the envelope. They are the maintainers who repair, inspect or modify the aircraft to ensure safe and correct functioning during flight. They are the test pilots who push the envelope and fly the F-35 through every situation an operational pilot could possibly experience. Together these employees make up the Integrated Test Force (ITF) and they have one mission: to provide transformational capabilities to the operational F-35 fleet, enabling the men and women in uniform to execute their mission and come home safe.

From flight sciences to mission systems testing, the critical work of the F-35 test teams clears the way for capabilities to be delivered to training and operational F-35 fleets. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at an F-35 flight test:

Inside the Mission Control Room
It was mid-morning on the western shore of Maryland, the aroma of the Chesapeake Bay filled the air as the sun positioned itself in the June sky. Inside a windowless control room, a team of ITF engineers had one goal for that day: to ensure both the aircraft and weapon operate flawlessly in the defined conditions for the test mission.

Although windows were a rarity, the control room offered flight conductor, James Shepherd, the best view of the flight test. The live-feed digital displays allowed him to monitor cockpit safety and all test parameters with ease. Serving as the interface between the control room and the cockpit, James diligently worked with the test pilot, Maj. Eric Northam, aboard an F-35C aircraft. With one eye on the live-feed display and the other on the test cards, James began to meticulously direct the test pilot through a number of test conditions. As the test pilot executed each maneuver, the engineers on the ground diligently took notes as they quietly studied the stream of data displayed on their computer monitors....

...As the Major began to initiate the radical maneuver, a sudden silence fell over the control room. In one eloquent motion, the test pilot rolled inverted to push to the negative G target before launching the AIM-9X missile. After stabilizing the jet, he successfully launched the air-to-air missile verifying that the aircraft, and weapon, can operate at the edges of the flight envelope....

...Mission Success
Since 2008, the F-35 ITF, based at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., have completed more than 65,000 test points and 9,200 test flights all to verify the F-35’s design, durability, software, sensors, weapons capability and performance for all three F-35 variants. They complete these challenging missions to gain situational awareness, collect data and to validate predictions.

“The F-35 test team pushes the aircraft to its limits; taking the aircraft to the edge of the envelope,” said Chauncey McIntosh, Director and Deputy F-35 Development. “With each test, we demonstrate to our customers that we can meet not only the normal spec compliance, but that operationally, this aircraft can push the bounds and do whatever the warfighter needs it do – even during inverted operation,” he added...."

Source: ... on-history
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Elite 5K

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Unread post13 Apr 2018, 00:24

"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh

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