Stagnant F-35 Reliability Means Few Available Jets: Pentagon

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

spazsinbad

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 23280
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post31 Jan 2019, 00:21

Stagnant F-35 Reliability Means Fewer Available Jets: Pentagon
30 Jan 2019 Tony Capaccio

"(Bloomberg) — Durability testing data indicates service-life of initial F-35B short-takeoff-vertical landing jets bought by Marine Corps “is well under” expected service life of 8,000 fleet hours; “may be as low as 2,100″ hours Pentagon test office says in 2018 annual report obtained by Bloomberg that’s scheduled for release this week. That means some jets expected to start hitting service life limit in 2026.

Furthermore, there’s no “improving trend in” aircraft availability to fly training or combat missions as it’s remained “flat” over the past 3 years. Details come a day after Defense Sec. Pat Shanahan told reporters the F-35 “has a lot of opportunity for more performance.”

Interim reliability and field maintenance metrics to meeting planned 80% goal not being met, test office director Robert Behler says in new assessment as improvements “are still not translating into improved availability” [then the list]…"

Source: https://about.bgov.com/blog/stagnant-f- ... -pentagon/
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 8390
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post31 Jan 2019, 00:33

Remember, "Context is King".
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Offline
User avatar

steve2267

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2168
  • Joined: 12 Jun 2016, 17:36

Unread post31 Jan 2019, 00:34

Something tells me the entire story is not being told.

How do the three variants compare to the requirements at this point in the development cycle with regards to reliability and availability?

Other stories praise the F-35 compared to other aircraft. So... how does the F-35 compare to F-22? F-15? F-16? F/A-18? AV-8B? Both a straight comparison as well as against these aircraft when they were at the same relative point as the F-35 in their development would be useful.

How is the F-35 doing compared against those aircraft on a cost per flight hour basis? Against those aircraft relative to their development? Compared to where the F-35 is spec'd to be at this point?

Why is it so hard for reporters to ask the pertinent questions, do some research, and basic analysis & comparison, and... well... report?
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.
Offline
User avatar

southernphantom

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1079
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2011, 17:18
  • Location: Nuevo Mexico

Unread post31 Jan 2019, 01:06

2100hr service life?

Something doesn't seem right about that. Hopefully the complete report sheds a little more light on the metrics used.
I'm a mining engineer. How the hell did I wind up here?
Offline

quicksilver

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2650
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2011, 01:30

Unread post31 Jan 2019, 01:28

IIRC, early lot jets have to go to depot for mods to specific structure(s)/life-limited parts. Old news that should be highlighted in one of the earlier reports, circa (2011-12 maybe?). Later lots not affected because the mods (solutions to discoveries in durability testing) were applied in production. Concurrency consequence...

http://m.aviationweek.com/awin/lockheed ... ead-cracks
Offline

usnvo

Active Member

Active Member

  • Posts: 178
  • Joined: 01 Jul 2015, 18:51

Unread post31 Jan 2019, 02:29

quicksilver wrote:IIRC, early lot jets have to go to depot for mods to specific structure(s)/life-limited parts. Old news that should be highlighted in one of the earlier reports, circa (2011-12 maybe?). Later lots not affected because the mods (solutions to discoveries in durability testing) were applied in production. Concurrency consequence...

http://m.aviationweek.com/awin/lockheed ... ead-cracks



"(Bloomberg) — Durability testing data indicates service-life of initial F-35B short-takeoff-vertical landing jets bought by Marine Corps “is well under” expected service life of 8,000 fleet hours; “may be as low as 2,100″ hours Pentagon test office says in 2018 annual report obtained by Bloomberg that’s scheduled for release this week. That means some jets expected to start hitting service life limit in 2026.

The problem you appear to have here is the Bloomberg reporter doesn't seem to understand, or is just sensationalizing, the fact that some parts can have significantly lower service lives than the airframe as a whole. So in order to meet its 8000hr service life, sometime before 2100hrs (around 2026 or so), the early (first 50 or so) F-35Bs have to have depot level repairs for several bulkheads. Not seeing the earth shattering news here but perspective doesn't sell. For example, Eurofighters are limited to 1500hrs until they have wing modifications required to meet their 6000hr service life.
Offline
User avatar

element1loop

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1343
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2015, 05:35
  • Location: Australia

Unread post31 Jan 2019, 02:51

usnvo wrote:For example, Eurofighters are limited to 1500hrs until they have wing modifications required to meet their 6000hr service life.


Got a reference? Useful to have to point that out as this is bound to set the trolls off again.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
Offline

quicksilver

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2650
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2011, 01:30

Unread post31 Jan 2019, 03:33

“The problem you appear to have here is the Bloomberg reporter doesn't seem to understand, or is just sensationalizing, the fact that some parts can have significantly lower service lives than the airframe as a whole.”

Yep. But the sensationalizing really starts in the report itself. Tony C is merely the conduit of choice for the DOT&E weenies. Look it up...roughly this time every year — which is just in front of Congressional testimony season on services’ budgets here in the US — Tony has the ‘scoop.’
Offline
User avatar

Dragon029

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1349
  • Joined: 22 Dec 2014, 07:13

Unread post31 Jan 2019, 03:35

element1loop wrote:
usnvo wrote:For example, Eurofighters are limited to 1500hrs until they have wing modifications required to meet their 6000hr service life.


Got a reference? Useful to have to point that out as this is bound to set the trolls off again.


http://web.archive.org/web/201410020654 ... fault.html

Industry has established, in the context of quality controls. that a manufacturing defect has caused a large number of small holes in the rear fuselage of Eurofighter aircraft

The reasons for this are inadequate finishing by the manufacturer BAE Systems.

Since the impact of these problems on the life of the airframe cannot be predicted, a reduction of flight hours recommended by industry was introduced as an additional safety measure. With immediate effect, the service life of the Eurofighter aircraft has been halved, from 3,000 flight hours to 1,500 flight hours.


(EDITOR’S NOTE: A German air force spokesman told Defense-Aerospace.com Oct. 1 that the problem is caused by splinters that could eventually cause cracks in the airframe.

However, as German Eurofighters will not reach the reduced 1,500-hour lifetime until 2018, the Ministry of Defence is not unduly worried sine the aircraft remain airworthy.

The Eurofighter’s design service life is 6,000 flight hours, and is due to be gradually extended beyond the previous 3,000-hour limit as flight data accumulates.
Offline
User avatar

element1loop

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1343
  • Joined: 31 Dec 2015, 05:35
  • Location: Australia

Unread post31 Jan 2019, 03:58

:salute:
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
Offline
User avatar

spazsinbad

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 23280
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post31 Jan 2019, 23:29

Now we have the DOT&E report (link elsewhere) to see what these doods cited are on about so this is reason for this post.
Oldest F-35B Could Hit Service Life Limit In 2026
30 Jan 2019 Steve Trimble

"Structural defects mean the earliest F-35Bs delivered by Lockheed Martin could reach a service life limit by 2026 after 2,100 flight hours, according to the Pentagon’s director for weapons testing. The design specification of the F-35B called for a service life of 8,000 flight hours, but early production models fall “well under” the durability requirement, Robert Behler, director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E,) wrote in his latest annual report to Congress.

The new DOT&E assessment comes after several years of durability testing that exposed multiple structural cracks. Lockheed completed two service lifetime cycles of durability testing on a static F-35B airframe called BH-1, but canceled a plan in February 2017 to perform a third series.

Structural redesigns, including a new approach for the wing-carry-through, had made BH-1 unrepresentative of the final production standard, the DOT&E report states. The F-35 program has obtained funding to acquire a new structural test article, but it was not yet on contract, the report adds. Bloomberg first reported the DOT&E’s findings on the F-35 program.

“Items identified in the Annual DOT&E report are well understood and have been resolved in partnership with the F-35 Joint Program Office or have an agreed path forward to resolution,” Lockheed said in a statement to Aerospace DAILY.

Planned design changes should allow the early F-35Bs to meet the service life requirement of 8,000 flight hours, a program source says. [makes sense]

Lockheed also discontinued durability testing on a static test article for the F-35C last September instead of beginning a third life cycle assessment, the DOT&E said. The F-35A completed three full life cycles of durability testing, by contrast...." [then more about OTHER STUFF in the DOT&E report]

Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/oldest- ... limit-2026
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
Offline
User avatar

spazsinbad

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 23280
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post31 Jan 2019, 23:45

Static Structural and Durability Testing [F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) - FY 18 DOD PROGRAMS]
01 Feb 2019 DOT&E

"...• Activity
- The F-35A full scale durability test article (AJ-1) completed the third lifetime of testing (one lifetime is 8,000 equivalent flight hours (EFH) on October 17, 2017. The test article was delivered to an inspection facility in June 2018, and is currently undergoing disassembly, inspections, and analysis.

- The program suspended testing of the F-35B ground test article (BH-1) after completing the second lifetime of testing in February 2017. Due to the significant amount of modifications and repairs to bulkheads and other structures, the program declared the F-35B ground test article no longer representative of the wing-carry-through structure in production aircraft, deemed it inadequate for further testing, and canceled the testing of the third lifetime with BH-1. The program secured funding to procure another ground test article, which will be production-representative of Lot 9 and later F-35B aircraft built with a re-designed wing-carry-through structure, but to date does not have the procurement of the test article on contract. The program has not completed durability testing of the aircraft with the new wing-carry-through structure to date.

- The F-35C durability test article (CJ-1) began third lifetime testing on April 4, 2017, and reached 18,792 EFH on April 12, 2018. Testing was stopped at that time following the discovery of more cracking in the Fuselage Station (FS) 518 Fairing Support Frame (cracking had been discovered at the end of the second lifetime), requiring repair before additional testing could proceed. After making an estimate for the cost and time to repair or replace the FS 518 Fairing Support Frame, coupled with the need to manage other structural parts that had existing damage (fuel floor segment, FS 450 bulkhead, FS 496 bulkhead, FS 556 bulkhead, and front spar repair) via scheduled inspections, the program determined that the third lifetime testing should be discontinued. The test article was removed from the test fixture in August 2018 and prepped for shipment to the tear down and inspection facility in September. Although the program planned for a third lifetime of testing to accumulate data for life extension, if needed, the program currently has no plans to procure another F-35C ground test article.

Assessment
- For all variants, this testing has led to discoveries requiring repairs and modifications to production designs, some as late as Lot 12 aircraft, and retrofits to fielded aircraft.

- Based on durability testing, the service life of early-production F-35B aircraft is well under the expected service life of 8,000 flight hours, and may be as low as 2,100 flight hours. Fleet F-35B aircraft are expected to start reaching their service life limit in CY26, based on design usage. The JPO will continue to use Individual Aircraft Tracking (IAT) of actual usage to help the Services project changes in timing for required repairs and modifications, and aid in Fleet Life Management.

- For the F-35C, expected service life will be determined from the durability and damage tolerance analysis following tear down...." [page 3]

Source: http://www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/FY2 ... f35jsf.pdf (285Kb)
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
Offline
User avatar

spazsinbad

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 23280
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post01 Feb 2019, 07:28

More 'reporting' on the DOT&E report. I guess the assumption is that OLD F-35Bs will not be upgraded? Also the WARZONE has got into the act: http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/26 ... rvice-life
Bad data in F-35 logistics system resulting in lost missions
01 Feb 2019 Valerie Insinna

"...In effect, these problems cause the military to ground aircraft that are erroneously described as not mission capable, slow down a squadron’s ability to start flying after being deployed, and create a bigger workload for maintainers. DOT&E stated that most ALIS-related deficiencies fall under three categories.

The first is a high number of workarounds needed to use the ALIS system to do mission planning, repairs and supply chain management for the F-35. Functions that should be automatic often require manual input by the maintainer.

Secondly, the data provided by ALIS is often incomplete or flat-out incorrect. The reasons for this are varied —contractors do not rely on the system for their own use, and thus do not input always information correctly or in a standardized way. Even the system’s own manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, did not start using ALIS on the F-35′s production floor to track new aircraft until March 2018, the report said.

The end result is a poor user experience. Fixing more complicated datasets, such as the technical information that follows a complex piece of machinery like the F-35’s ejection seat, eats up a lot of time. But more importantly, these problems result in missed sorties, with the Air Force naming this problem one of its top five drivers of non-mission capable rates….

third problem: a lack of confidence in ALIS that leads those who work with the system to develop other ways of managing data that ALIS was developed to track. Troubles with the ALIS system have been documented extensively by DOT&E and other sources in previous years....

...The report points out that ALIS’ Squadron Health Management application and Customer Maintenance Management System application will sometimes show conflicting information as to whether an aircraft is mission capable. This problem has been known since 2012, but persists despite multiple new software patches being developed since then.

For future version of ALIS, the program office wants to move toward fielding smaller increments of software more often and more rapidly — a decision that DOT&E believes is a step in the right direction.... [then OTHER concerns canvassed here in OTHER posts about the DOT&E report]

...DOT&E also continues to be concerned about the F-35’s modernization program, which is using an agile software development plane called Continuous Capability Development and Delivery or C2D2. The testing office believes the JPO’s plan to refresh the aircraft’s software every six months is a “high risk” strategy, [say wut? what about updating ALIS?] and says that the program office should ensure that as much testing as possible is done in a laboratory setting rather than via flight tests."

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2019/02 ... -missions/
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber

Return to Program and politics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests