Lightning strikes...

Production milestones, roll-outs, test flights, service introduction and other milestones.
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steve2267

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Unread post23 Aug 2018, 17:03

are not an issue...

Wasn't sure where to kaplunk this... but this milestone seems as appropriate as anywhere. Figured I'd start a thread to coalesce all things Wx lightning related to which we can point the concerned citizen to document that flying in or near lightning weather is not an issue anymore for the F-35.

Found a number of posts here on F-16.net regarding the issue, but Spud's post over three years ago on 7/31/2015 seems most to the point: viewtopic.php?p=297307#p297307


F-35 'Lightning' now OK to fly in lightning storms

By MITCH SHAW, Standard-Examiner staff Apr 16, 2015

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — The Air Force says the F-35 can now fly in lightning storms, which seems appropriate, considering the next generation fighter jet is named after that same weather element.

The F-35 Lightning II program office says a problem with the jet’s electrical and fuel tank systems has been fixed, removing restrictions that at one time prohibited the plane from flying within 25 miles of the nearest thunder and lightning storm.

Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said the formerly unresolved safety risk, which was identified in a report released earlier this year by the Defense Department’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, is no longer impeding the now $1.4 trillion program’s progress.

“We had a problem with lightning,” Bogdan said Tuesday. “We were having a problem qualifying the airplane to fly in lightning, (but) that problem is basically behind us.

As proof, Bogdan offered the committee an anecdote about an F-35 being tested two weeks ago at Florida’s Eglin Air Force Base. The plane was hit by lightning, but apparently with no damaging effects.

It was in clear air and it was struck by lightning and absolutely nothing bad happened to the airplane,” he said. “The pilot landed the airplane (with) no warnings and cautions, no problems. We could see where the lightning went into the right wingtip and came out.” [ emphasis mine ]

According to the DOT&E report, the F-35 did not “maintain residual inerting after flight for the required interval of 12 hours, which is a lightning requirement.”

That function is controlled by what is know as the jet’s “On-Board Inert Gas Generation System,” which according to the Project on Government Oversight, removes oxygen from the explosive vapor spaces inside the jet’s fuel tank system.

POGO is an independent, non-profit organization whose stated aim is to improve transparency and accountability throughout the federal government and spent weeks scouring and analyzing the DOT&E report.

The DOT&E report went on to say that if the OBIGGS issue wasn’t fixed, “aircraft maintainers will be required to purge fuel tanks with external nitrogen more frequently or find alternative lightning strategies.”

But after redesigns of the OBIGGS and subsequent lightning tolerance qualification testing, Bogdan says the Lightning II is lightning ready.

Lightning is another one we had put on the list of last year as a problem -- it’s not a problem this year,” he said.

[ then a bunch of stuff about the engine fire and some other tidbits about F-35 vs A-10 etc etc yada yada yada ]

...

https://www.standard.net/news/military/f--lightning-now-ok-to-fly-in-lightning-storms/article_69cebaa3-714b-5a89-8ee9-f59fc1df52af.html
Last edited by steve2267 on 23 Aug 2018, 17:09, edited 1 time in total.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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quicksilver

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Unread post23 Aug 2018, 17:09

steve2267 wrote:are not an issue...


:applause:
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steve2267

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Unread post23 Aug 2018, 17:16

If some numbnutz, or otherwise lazy journo-wannabee, claims, "wait, whatabout those F-35's that went to Australia and had to change their departure plans to avoid lightning," as beepa pointed out way back in March 2017:

beepa wrote:
It is well documented that the F-35A aircraft requires modifications for lightning protection and these modifications have not yet been completed on the two visiting Australian aircraft. As safety is Air Force’s priority, the aircraft will not fly in conditions where lightning is present. Prior to return to Australia, the Australian F-35A will be modified with lightning protection.

http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=363802#p363802
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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steve2267

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Unread post23 Aug 2018, 17:39

For the curious reader, the threads found at these posts may provide some additional information, if not some history of the lighting issue (that was slayed under Bogdan's rule...):

On Jan 28, 2013, Spaz did post: F-35 update – don’t believe everything you read

spazsinbad wrote:
...

“The F-35 program has yet to formally test for lightning protection. We still have 4 years of Developmental Test ahead of us, before we actually begin formal Operational Testing. There is a plan in place for lightning testing to be completed in the future test plan, and for the jet to be appropriately equipped to fly in all weather. The plan is to conduct lightning test towards the end of the flight test program. Because the testing has not be completed to date, we therefore have a lightning restriction of 25 miles at present for flight operations – this is obviously the safe, and sensible way to do business and supported by all involved in the program.”

...

http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=22069


Two posts by Spaz beginning here: viewtopic.php?p=241390#p241390 wherein Spaz addresses ullage design issues and OBIGGS...

And lastly, the two page thread, Any clues how the F-35 will handle in bad weather?, is probably worth perusing.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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marsavian

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Unread post23 Aug 2018, 20:08

Marine F-35B apparently needs airfield lightning protection in Japan.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/23 ... nderstorms
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity ... e&_cview=0

DESCRIPTION OF SUPPLIES/ SERVICES:
Requirement: F-35 Lightning Rods (14 Each)
Description: F-35 Portable Lightning Rods. Must provide various lightening protection options. Must be able to protect aircraft 24/7. Required to protect aircrafts when parking in the open and lightening conditions are forecasted/ exist. SPECIFICATIONS: Minimum height of 50 feet. Shall be designed to conduct a lightning strike with a magnitude up to 200 kA. Shall be supplied with a grounding cable that is a minimum of 50 feet in length and shall have a minimum wire gauge of 2/0 AWG. Will be designed to be deployed by a single maintainer. Withstand exposure to rainfall at rate of 1.4 inches per hour. Shall withstand winds up to 120 mph without being fastened to the ground. Shall withstand ice accretion of up to 3 inches. Shall be designed to operate and be store at temperatures of negative 60 degrees to 160 degrees.

Shipping is required to delivery to MCAS Iwakuni JAPAN, Bldg. #1710 Distribution Management Office

ANTICIPATED AWARD DATE: 17 Aug 2018.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post23 Aug 2018, 20:29

IIRC the F-35 fix for lightning was part of the Block 3i requirement for the F-35A. Since the above article is talking about Block 2B F-35Bs, it makes sense that they do not have the required level of protection.
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