F-35 Canopy: New Glue, New Supplier [PPG] Boost Readiness

Unread postPosted: 23 Jul 2019, 22:54
by spazsinbad
F-35 Canopy: New Glue, New Supplier [PPG] May Boost Readiness
23 Jul 2019 Colin Clark

"Newer A, B and C Variant aircraft are averaging greater than 60 percent mission capable rates, with some units consistently at or above 70 percent.

...Here’s a shortened version of the email exchange I had with Brandi Schiff, the F-35 program spokeswoman:

Q1.) What are the problems with the cockpit transparencies?
A1.) The primary source of unserviceable canopies is transparency coating delamination. Delamination occurs when the surface coatings on the canopy separate from the base transparency. Though this condition occurs through normal use, several transparencies have delaminated unexpectedly after only a couple hundred flight hours of use. This issue does not impact the airworthiness of the canopy or aircraft.

The problem is the delamination — that is, the coating peeling away from the plane’s surface — affects the F-35’s stealth characteristics, which may mean the plane’s radar cross section is affected.

I asked when and how will they be fixed? Her answer:
A2.) The (Defense) Department is working closely with Lockheed Martin and their subcontractor GKN Aerospace to get GKN’s production processes under control to improve yield. A combined F-35 JPO/LM/GKN engineering and program management team are investigating every aspect of the design and manufacturing process in search of the root cause (or causes) of early delaminations. Recent findings suggest that the principle cause is a change to the sealant between the transparency and the aircraft frame introduced in 2015 as a cost saving measure, which can be corrected by reverting to the previously used sealant. Canopies are now being delivered with the correct sealant, and the number of early delaminations is expected to decrease as a result. The correction will be verified after modified canopies have been delivered to the fleet and achieved several hundred flight hours without delamination....

[Details about a second canopy repairer/manufacturer PPG] http://www.ppgaerospace.com/Products/Tr ... ation.aspx

...Finally, I asked when the F-35 fleet would hit the 80 percent readiness marker. This answer is quite a bit mushier, but does commit the program and Lockheed Martin to meeting the target in 2020.

A3.) We continue to see improvements in F-35 A, B and C Variant readiness rates and are receiving positive feedback on the aircraft’s performance, especially from our forward deployed combat units in the Middle East, Pacific and across Europe for joint exercises and operations. Newer A, B and C Variant aircraft are averaging greater than 60 percent mission capable rates (emphasis added), with some units consistently at or above 70 percent. We’re taking aggressive action across the full F-35 enterprise to achieve the 80 percent mission capable rate as soon as possible for combat coded units, but expect to achieve 80 percent during 2020 with major drivers being canopies and aircraft spare parts (emphasis added)."

Source: https://breakingdefense.com/2019/07/f-3 ... readiness/

Re: F-35 Canopy: New Glue, New Supplier [PPG] Boost Readines

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 04:25
by eloise
any idea why this doesn't happen to HAVE GLASS canopy on f-16?
Image

Re: F-35 Canopy: New Glue, New Supplier [PPG] Boost Readines

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 04:46
by SpudmanWP
Cost is less of a concern when there is no competition with the Subs.

It might also relate to environmental laws that got us stuck (not) with "lead-free" solder and how crappy that stuff is.

Re: F-35 Canopy: New Glue, New Supplier [PPG] Boost Readines

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 04:55
by spazsinbad
I'm guessing to ask: "how 'stealthy' is an F-15 HAVE GLASS canopy compared to the current F-35 item?"
"...The F-35 canopy opens from the front, presenting lower visibility surfaces for the bad guys to find and also requiring smaller actuators. It re-aligns on closing… and the pilot can see it. As is current practice, the F-35 pilot is ejected through the canopy. As crude as it is, it’s… simple...." http://www.aviationpros.com/article/109 ... ke-fighter

Re: F-35 Canopy: New Glue, New Supplier [PPG] Boost Readines

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 06:30
by Corsair1963
BTW I have a friend that works for the Lockheed Martin Plant. That assembles the F-35 canopies. When I asked him about it. He was unaware of the problem....

Re: F-35 Canopy: New Glue, New Supplier [PPG] Boost Readines

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 11:20
by eloise
spazsinbad wrote:I'm guessing to ask: "how 'stealthy' is an F-15 HAVE GLASS canopy compared to the current F-35 item?"
"...The F-35 canopy opens from the front, presenting lower visibility surfaces for the bad guys to find and also requiring smaller actuators. It re-aligns on closing… and the pilot can see it. As is current practice, the F-35 pilot is ejected through the canopy. As crude as it is, it’s… simple...." http://www.aviationpros.com/article/109 ... ke-fighter

you mean they have a different coating?
Image

Re: F-35 Canopy: New Glue, New Supplier [PPG] Boost Readines

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 11:28
by spazsinbad
Probably no one can answer however my guess is that: the F-35 canopy is stealthier than the HAVE GLASS F-16 canopy.