F-35C Lands at Lakehurst For Testing

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

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Unread post28 Jun 2011, 20:22

F-35C Lands at Lakehurst For Testing :D
Posted by Amy Butler at 6/28/2011 1:25 PM CDT

F-35 CF-2 arrived June 25 at Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, NJ, to begin a series of tests in preparation for carrier trials in 2013.

During JBD testing, a Naval Air Systems Command team will assess deck heating, JBD panel cooling and vibro-acoustic, thermal and hot-gas ingestion environments, according to Navy officials.

Arrival at the center is a step toward several testing milestones through which prime contractor Lockheed Martin can earn award in 2011.

Meanwhile, a test team is conducting "maturity flights" on AF-6 and 7, two conventional F-35 variants, at Edwards AFB, Calif. These are in preparation for clearance to begin an operational utility evaluation, which will allow professional testers a hands-on look at the F-35 prior to the commencement of formal training, slated for this fall.

Source: http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... d=blogDest
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Unread post28 Jun 2011, 20:40


F-35 carrier variant CF-2 flies to NAVAIR at Joint Base McGuire-Dix from NAS Patuxent River on June 25th, 2011 for Jet Blast Deflector testing. [Lockheed Martin photo by Michael D. Jackson]
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Unread post30 Jun 2011, 13:16

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Unread post07 Jul 2011, 20:22

F-35 Jet Blast Deflector Testing Underway at Lakehurst

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/pres ... ector.html

"LAKEHURST, N.J., July 7th, 2011 -- F-35C Lightning II carrier variant aircraft CF-2 is performing Jet Blast Deflector (JBD) tests at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. The JBD, located behind the catapults aboard aircraft carriers, deflects high energy exhaust from the engine to prevent damage and injury to other aircraft and personnel located in close proximity. JBD testing is one portion of the tests required to ensure the F-35C is compatible aboard the aircraft carrier. Testing continues with varying distances between the aircraft and JBD, and at power settings up to and including maximum afterburner power. CF-2 arrived at Lakehurst on June 25 for JBD tests. (Lockheed Martin photo by Andy Wolfe)"

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Unread post08 Jul 2011, 03:18

Racking Up the test points! Bad day for the nay sayers! :D
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Unread post12 Jul 2011, 23:54

F-35C completes first jet blast deflector testing

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fu ... ry&id=4691

"NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – Using F-35C test aircraft CF-2, the F-35 integrated test force based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River collaborated with the aircraft launch and recovery engineering team at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to complete the first jet blast deflector (JBD) testing July 8.

The JBD testing collected data on the effects of the F-35C engine exhaust on fleet-representative 4- and 6-panel JBD units and the flight deck in front of the JBDs, measuring temperatures, pressures, sound levels and velocities to collect environmental data and validate a JBD cooling panel configuration model.

“From an aircraft perspective, the testing went without a hitch,” said Tom Briggs, air vehicle engineering lead. “We adjusted to weather delays to complete 40 test points on schedule, all because of the teamwork between the ITF, Lakehurst and industry crews.”

Each Nimitz-class aircraft carrier has a JBD for each of its four catapults. The size, cooling configuration and angle to the catapult vary slightly between the four, so the test team had to repeat various tests – military and limited afterburner power takeoffs – for the various JBD configurations.

“We’ve learned a lot and our technical capabilities have expanded immensely since the original JBD testing for the F/A-18 about ten years ago,” said Kathy Donnelly, senior executive for aircraft launch, recovery and support equipment engineering at Lakehurst. “We’re able to bring in a lot more rigor to the F-35C testing so the fleet will be well prepared for its introduction.”

With greater technical capabilities today, the single aircraft JBD testing will be repeated with an F/A-18 to collect the same data. This will allow for comparison between the two aircraft and the development of a combined cooling model for the entire fleet.

The test team also collaborated with Naval Sea Systems Command during the testing to measure the effects of heat on the flight deck.

Future carrier suitability testing is scheduled for later this summer, including JBD testing with two aircraft, catapult launches and arrestments in preparation for initial ship trials in 2013.

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Unread post24 Jul 2011, 04:19

JBD Testing A Key Step For Joint Strike Fighter Aviation Week & Space Technology Jul 18, 2011 p. 84
by Amy Butler | Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

http://www.navair.navy.mil/lakehurst/nl ... esting.pdf (125Kb)

"Jet-blast deflector tests set stage for carrier-based F-35 cat/trap work
Not Just Hot Air


The multinational Joint Strike Fighter drew fire last year from all sides, including its international customers, the U.S. Congress and—most publicly—then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates owing to ballooning cost, delayed deliveries and unacceptably slow testing progress. Gates admonished prime contractor Lockheed Martin by withholding more than $600 million of award fee, fired the project’s two-star general officer, and slowed the development and production portions of the F-35, the largest single aviation program in Pentagon history. Seven months into 2011, Vice Adm. David Venlet has begun to express cautious optimism about the numerous steps needed to begin pilot training in the fall, progress toward ship-based trials of the F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (Stovl) Marine Corps variant, and improvements in the overall pace of testing. These are key strides toward fielding the stealthy, single-engine F-35 in the U.S. and abroad, but years of work still lie ahead. Senior Pentagon Editor Amy Butler was given exclusive access to view a portion of the trials at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., designed to validate models for the interface between the carrier-based F-35C and the jet-blast deflectors, which are used for catapult launches from ships.

Early results from testing the interface of the F-35C and ship-based jet-blast deflectors (JBDs) are easing the minds of experts in the field about how the new fighter will operate at sea.

Use of the F-35C with JBDs is only one of many pieces that must be validated prior to shipboard trials on a U.S. aircraft carrier in 2013, but the results so far are promising, says Kathy Donnelly, director of engineering for aircraft launch and recovery equipment at Lakehurst. “If you got asked a year ago [about this interface], we would have been much more pessimistic,” she told Aviation Week as the F-35C’s F135 engine roared only yards away during a test run.

Jet-blast deflectors facilitate rapid catapult launches of carrier-based aircraft on a deck by allowing operators to line up and launch in quick succession.

Thus far, the testing is validating computer models that provide detailed predictions of how much heat a JBD must withstand to support routine operations of the F-35C at sea. JBDs are panels on the decks of aircraft carriers used to physically divert the hot exhaust as aircraft take off for missions. As an aircraft is prepared for flight, it rolls over the JBD into position on a catapult and the JBD is then hydraulically lifted at an angle behind it. The deflectors protect the deck from excessive heating while allowing for other aircraft to line up behind the launching aircraft; this supports rapid takeoffs, which are especially critical for surveillance and strike missions.

At first glance, JBDs do not look sophisticated; they appear as panels of concrete and metal. However, their design is based on precise engineering, says Donnelly. As new jet fighters are introduced into the fleet, engineers must validate the JBD design against the hot emissions of the new engines; modern fighter exhaust can reach temperatures of 2,300F or higher.

Water veins are designed in a precise pattern in the JBD to keep it relatively cool and to allow for more rapid aircraft launch tempos—in this case, simulating up to six successive launches. The most recent JBD design was crafted to support introduction of the Boeing F/A18E/F Super Hornet onto the decks of U.S. carriers. With its two General Electric F414 engines, this aircraft emits a different heat signature from that of the single Pratt & Whitney F135 on the F-35. While testing is aimed at exploring whether changes need to be made to the cooling-vein pattern on the JBD for F-35C operations, another goal is to determine if these deflectors can support both types of aircraft.

CF-02 was flown to Lakehurst June 25 for roughly two weeks of the F-35-only phase of JBD testing, which wrapped up July 8. The aircraft returned to NAS Patuxent River, Md., to join the carrier-version test fleet. CF-01 was originally slated to conduct the JBD testing, but its sister aircraft was substituted in at the last minute owing to a maintenance issue; CF-01 remains at NAS Patuxent River, Md. Alex Cadiz, a Navy chief aviation structural mechanic, says switching out the aircraft was seamless. CF-02 was outfitted with microphones on its vertical tails, as one of the goals of the trials is to examine the acoustics around the aircraft as it launches from a carrier. This will aid in crafting ear-protection devices for deck crews if new equipment is needed.

During the test runs, CF-02 is tethered; actual takeoffs and landings do not take place. The aircraft is planted at varying distances from the JBD and at different angles to simulate actual launch positions, says Tom Briggs, the flight-test engineer overseeing JBD testing. The trials are also designed to understand how common deck problems, such as a catapult malfunction, could affect the JBD; in one scenario, the launching aircraft blasted hot exhaust onto the JBD for a longer duration than a simple aircraft launch.

Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Canin commanded different levels of engine power for various intervals. One example of a cycle is 10 sec. of standard military power, 30 sec. of limited afterburner and another 60 sec. at idle.

Ambient temperatures exceeded 90F with extremely high humidity during the JBD testing. This, however, is well within the normal operating temperatures on carrier decks. Briggs notes that carrier decks can reach 120F in some areas, such as the Mediterranean Sea.

Lakehurst is the only land-based facility of its kind in the world that is able to conduct detailed data collection of this sort, says Jonathan Myers, the lead JBD site engineer here. The JBD facility had been virtually dormant since the Super Hornet was tested during its development. As part of a year-long preparation of the site for JSF, officials procured six JBD “panels” and added instruments to collect data. Each aircraft carrier has three catapults operating with six-panel JBDs, and a single position—the outermost from the control tower—functions with four panels. The test configuration can be adjusted to collect readings on both types.

New for the F-35 testing was the installation of a 30,000-gal. water tank, designed to cool the fluid being fed into the JBD veins. While at sea, ships have an unlimited supply of cool ocean water to circulate through the JBD. But during Super Hornet tests, engineers were forced to stop and start the trials owing to problems with keeping the JBD water supply cool, Myers says.

Available instruments were also limited in number and function during the Super Hornet JBD trials. The instruments placed on intricate scaffolding behind the JBD have roughly doubled for the F-35 work. And Myers says these sensors are more sophisticated. During F/A-18 E/F trials, the sensors could measure only temperatures and wind in a single direction, says Tony Favorito, an aerospace engineer at Lakehurst. The sensors today can “measure anything coming at them” and take pressure readings from various directions. This is optimal because air behind the jet engine is “typically turbulent,” he notes. These readings are providing data on the air temperatures as well as helping to shape a more reliable picture of how air behind the F-35 will behave during actual launch operations at sea.

Even without the more extensive data provided by today’s sensor array, Super Hornet engineers gained valuable experience during JBD trials that led to a change in how the aircraft is launched. During testing, hot air was inadvertently recirculated into the air intake of the Super Hornet, prompting a “pop stall,” or hiccup in the airflow for the propulsion system. The result was a dangerous fireball coughing from the back of the Super Hornet, says Briggs.

The design fix was the creation of a limited afterburner setting for launch. Engineers crafted software such that the engine is at 122% of military power when a pilot sets it to afterburner. By the time the jet reaches the edge of the deck, the system automatically opens the throttle to full afterburner at 150% of power without intervention by the pilot, says Briggs.

Having completed the first phase of JBD trials with a single F-35C, engineers are eager to test a more realistic scenario with one aircraft in front of the deflector and one behind.

Because of this lesson, the limited afterburner setting was designed into the F-35 in its infancy.

Thus far, Myers says, “I hate to say it [but] it has been very uneventful in terms of bad things happening” during testing. “We haven’t had any significant problems.”

Engineers are examining the data to figure out how, if at all, the pattern in the JBD’s cooling veins may need work. Additionally, engineers are paying close attention to whether side-panel cooling will be needed, especially on the second and fifth panels in the six-panel configuration, says Myers. The JBDs in the fleet today have side-panel cooling only on the middle two panels.

In the meantime, officials are shifting their focus to trials using a Super Hornet in JBD testing to revalidate older models. Ultimately, the goal is to conduct a final round of JBD tests with two aircraft, one emitting heat in front of the deflector and one behind. Officials have not yet decided if that will involve two F-35Cs or if there will be a mix of the Super Hornet and JSF.

Finally, the F-35C will begin catapult launch and arrested landing tests in early August. The goal is to conduct early trials at Lakehurst, shift to Patuxent River and then return to Lakehurst late in the month for a final round of trials using “degraded” catapults, says Myers. This would simulate when a launch system malfunctions or fails to produce the optimum amount of steam for takeoff.

As of June 30, Lockheed Martin officials say the F-35 program has accomplished 18% more flights than the planned 378 and 30% more test points than the planned 2,996. They break down by variant as follows:

•F-35A conventional version with 208 flights (180 planned).

•F-35B Stovl with 170 flights (138 planned).

•F-35C with 70 flights (60 planned).

Test-point statistics are:

•F-35A with 1,578 (1,533 planned).

•F-35B with 1,528 (1,072 planned).

•F-35C with 765 (391 planned).

The Stovl version has also executed 116 vertical landings to date."
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Unread post26 Jul 2011, 00:07

F-35C test aircraft validates catapult launch connections 25 July 2011

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fu ... ry&id=4708

"NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – Navy test pilot Cmdr. Eric “Magic” Buus brings F-35C test aircraft CF-3 into launch position on a test catapult July 19. The test demonstrated proper catapult hook up in preparation for the first launches at Lakehurst, N.J., scheduled for later this month. CF-3 is the designated carrier suitability test aircraft. The F-35C carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for greater control in the demanding carrier take-off and landing environment. The F-35C is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to eventual delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)"

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Unread post26 Jul 2011, 01:05

spazsinbad wrote:... Navy test pilot Cmdr. Eric “Magic” Buus brings F-35C test aircraft CF-3 into launch position on a test catapult July 19. ...]


http://www.thebaynet.com/news/index.cfm ... y_ID/22015

PATUXENT RIVER, Md., April 6th, 2011 -- Navy F-35 flight test aircraft CF-1 approaches the TC-7 catapult at Naval Air Station Patuxent River March 22. With U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Matt "Opie" Taylor at the controls, CF-1 completed functional checks and performed the first test hookup of the F-35C to the catapult.

Will the F-35C make its first "Cat" launch from PAX on TC-7 (30,000+ launches) or on the C-13 at Lakehurst? :?: The program seems to be progressing faster than current schedule. :)
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Unread post26 Jul 2011, 03:34

:cheers: I'll celebrate when the C goes EMALS! :cheers:
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Unread post26 Jul 2011, 10:26

neptune wrote:Will the F-35C make its first "Cat" launch from PAX on TC-7 (30,000+ launches) or on the C-13 at Lakehurst? :?: The program seems to be progressing faster than current schedule. :)


First "cat shot" should be this week at Lakehurst. Not sure why, but there are no immediate plans to use TC-7 for launches. I am with Spaz, should be pretty freakin cool to see EMALS in operation with the JSF
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Unread post26 Jul 2011, 14:55

NAES at Lakehurst has the instrumentation to advance the test points for the F-35C on both the launch and the recovery of the a/c. Taking the load and launch data will confirm the computer programs and validating the arresting and again taking data to confirm the program results. Both of their new systems under test; EMAL and AAG will confirm and provide additional data for test points and develop "settings" for the conventional cat and wire activities. When arriving in the fleet for "boat" tests the Lakehurst data will be invaluable to the ship systems as well as the F-35 JPALS program. I suspect that TC-7 will make many F-35C launches in "requals" later in the SDD program. Lakehurst should be quite busy taking data from the "other" tail hook planes for the EMAL/ AAG development effort.
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Unread post27 Jul 2011, 14:14

F-35C Back At Lakehurst Test Center by Amy Butler at 7/27/2011

"The U.S. Navy is moving forward with specialized testing of its F-35C, which is designed for use on aircraft carriers, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ.

Jet CF-3 arrived yesterday at the Navy’s testing center there to begin catapult assisted takeoff and arrested landing testing, says Joe DellaVedova, Joint Strike Fighter spokesman for the Pentagon. Catapult testing for the single-engine, stealthy Lockheed Martin fighter could begin as soon as today.

Next week, the service plans to continue work on jet-blast deflector (JBD) testing. Trials earlier this month focused on validating jet-blast exhaust models for the F-35C as they interact with the deflectors used on aircraft carrier decks.

The next step in this series of trials, which will follow the cat/trap testing, is to replicate operations on a ship. This will call for placing the F-35C and a Super Hornet in front of and behind the JBD as they would operate on the ship. This will ensure that the cooling vein pattern on the JBD can adequately protect both the deck and the aircraft in line behind the JBD in advance of a rapid launch of carrier aircraft.

Following this phase, the Navy will begin “degraded catapult” launch testing at Lakehurst, Dellavedova says. During theses trials, the Navy will use catapults with varying levels of steam to simulate various levels of service by the system on the ship."

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Unread post18 Aug 2011, 23:53

NAVAIR AIRWAVES: 18 August 2011 Video Utube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvlWIfzV ... _embedded#!

"Uploaded by NAVAIRSYSCOM on Aug 18, 2011
In this edition of Airwaves, the Marine Corps demonstrates the capabilities of the F-35B, the Jet Blast Deflector at Lakehurst ensures safety on the flight deck, a new robot gives a helping hand to engineers at China Lake and the first operational Growler squadron returns safely from deployment."
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Unread post19 Aug 2011, 03:39

I still don't see the harm in putting CF-3 on the EMALs prototype while it's there at Lakehurst. A program spokeswoman had responded bascially that it wasn't the time to do it (understandable). But even if there's no need to address any issues that may happen to be found with EMALS (i.e. the EM environment and all of the '35's sensors, complex systems) at least it givess a longer time to think/plan about it.
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