Last F-35C for NAS Patuxent River, CF-5, Arrives 11 Dec 2012

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Unread post12 Dec 2012, 18:48

Photo: Arrival of last F-35C completes Patuxent River complement of Lightning II aircraft 12 Dec 2012 ... ry&id=5218

"NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – Aircraft CF-5, flown by Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks, takes off from the F-35 Lightning II manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, Texas, on Dec. 11. The aircraft, which arrived here the same day, is the final permanently assigned F-35C for the Integrated Test Force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River and designated primarily for ship suitability and high angle of attack testing...."

That is it.

BIG PIC: ... iver_1.jpg


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Unread post12 Dec 2012, 20:30

AFAIK also CF-8 will be added to the PAX fleet, so not the last F-35 to complete the test fleet.


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Unread post12 Dec 2012, 22:09

Great to see CF-5 aloft! Wonder when a "final" redesigned hook/damper system will be installed fleet-wide on the C's, since there's been good word on recent testing. Guessing (hoping?) the redesign will be easily backfitted to existing jets when that happens. 2014 shipboard trials are not too far away. When the C's are flying with the mod, it will silence a good chunk of the bad press on the few remaining issues that seem to be getting continued air play.
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Unread post12 Dec 2012, 22:51

jetnerd wrote:..Wonder when a "final" redesigned hook/damper system will be installed fleet-wide on the C's,...

CF-6-9 are up for delivery from LRIP4 and they will be the first production element for the "Seas" (due soon). Now that PAX has 4 "Cs", perhaps they can advance the tailhook testing. CF-8 will visit PAX to help advance the Mission Systems testing. :)
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Unread post12 Dec 2012, 23:19

Can somebody give me the short version of what is the tail hook problem?


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Unread post12 Dec 2012, 23:31


Because the hook is so close to the rear wheels, the wire did not have enough time to rebound back up after being run over in order to be caught with current hook dimensions.

Two items being worked on in order to compensate.

1. New hook shape that lowers "ramp" that leads to the "cup" to be closer to the ground (see pic)

2. Stiffer damper (think shock absorber) that holds the hook against the deck as the F-35C lands.

"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."


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Unread post13 Dec 2012, 16:27

I'm not saying anything about the damper this time. Think I owe Johnwill at least a drink.

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