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Old 04-16-2012, 08:51 PM   #431
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First UK F-35B BK-1 First Flight

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Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti flew F-35B BK-1 on its inaugural flight on 13 April 2012 from NAS Fort Worth JRB. BK-1 is the first F-35 produced for the United Kingdom. The aircraft will join other F-35s at Eglin AFB later this year.
http://www.codeonemagazine.com/f35_n...ml?item_id=661

BK-1 (Large).jpgBK-1.2 (Large).jpgBK-1.3 (Large).jpg

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Old 04-16-2012, 08:53 PM   #432
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Paper: U.K. Reverting to STOVL JSF for its Carriers


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Britain’s military chiefs have unanimously backed a plan to switch back to the short take-off, vertical-landing (STOVL) version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to equip its aircraft carriers, a report in The Times newspaper said April 16.
The newspaper quotes unnamed officials as saying the “overwhelming case” from military chiefs for a change from the catapult-launched F-35C to the F-35B STOVL version could land on Prime Minister David Cameron’s desk this week.
A plan to revert to the B version has been under consideration for weeks in the face of mounting concern over the cost of converting the two 65,000-ton aircraft carriers now being built by a BAE Systems-led alliance to launch and recover the C version.
Some estimates put the figure at as much as 1.8 billion pounds ($2.85 billion).
Work on converting the first of the aircraft carriers now being built at yards across the U.K. to launch and recover F-35Cs has already begun and British pilots are already being seconded to U.S. Navy carriers to hone their flying skills.
In opting for the STOVL variant, U.K. would be reverting to an earlier decision. The U.K. carriers were to carry the STOVL variant until Britain’s Conservative-led coalition government decided in its 2010 strategic defense and security review to drop the STOVL aircraft selected by the previous Labour Administration in favor of the C model. Cameron and others claimed the F-35C was more cost-effective and capable.
The review also said the catapult-launched version would be better able to cooperate with U.S. and French carriers and aircraft — an important factor as for budget reasons Britain decided it couldn’t afford to operate both carriers and would either have to sell or put in extended readiness the second vessel.
Now Cameron and the government looks like it might have to do a U-turn at a difficult time politically following a series of policy gaffes in other areas.
The government has already been heavily criticized since its security review decision to ax the BAE AV-8B Harrier and decommission its last fast-jet capable carrier, leaving at least a 10-year capability gap before the availability of the new F-35-equipped carrier.
Continuing debate over which of the jets Britain should purchase for its Royal Navy/Royal Air Force strike jets was behind Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond’s postponement of an announcement detailing the Ministry of Defence’s spending plans for the 2012/13 financial year — known as Planning Round 12.
Balancing the books at the previously heavily overspent MoD is expected to result in the axing or delay of a number of programs.
In a statement April 16 the MoD said it was “currently finalising the 2012-13 budget and balancing the Equipment Plan. As part of this process we are reviewing all programs, including elements of the carrier strike program, to validate costs and ensure risks are properly managed. The defence secretary will announce the outcome of this process to Parliament in due course.”
The Times story coincided with an announcement from F-35 contractor Lockheed Martin that the first of three jets acquired by the British for training and evaluation work has made its maiden flight.
The aircraft is a STOVL variant — one of three purchased by the previous Labour Government. The deal was rearranged at the last minute to switch one of the aircraft to the C variant after the Conservative-led coalition opted to switch to the conventional take-off variant.


http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120416/DEFREG02/304160002/Paper-U-K-Reverting-STOVL-JSF-its-Carriers?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:25 PM   #433
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Aerospace industry worries as Tories backtrack on F-35 purchase

The federal government is officially back-tracking on the process of buying the F-35 stealth fighter, part of a reassessment of the purchase that’s causing anxiety among Canadian companies hoping to tap billions of dollars in spin-off work for the jets.
The Department of National Defence has issued a significant correction to the “Plans and Priorities” report it tabled in Parliament for MPs last year.

In an “erratum” note, it says the 2011-12 report wrongly described the F-35 purchase as being in “definition” project phase, which generally means an item has already received preliminary approval from Treasury Board, the gatekeeper for federal spending.
Instead the decision to buy a next-generation fighter is being reclassified as being in “option analysis” phase, which means Ottawa is still determining what it needs in terms of a plane.
In the note, National Defence blames an unknown bureaucrat for the snafu, saying someone made a “typographical error” in the 2011-12 “Report on Plans and Priorities.”
The annual Reports on Plans and Priorities are an important accountability exercise for federal departments, which must file these documents in the Commons each year.
The Conservatives have hit the reset button on the decision to buy the jets following a hard-hitting report by Auditor General Michael Ferguson that criticized DND for withholding information on the purchase from political decision makers.

...continues
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle2413199/
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:40 AM   #434
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F-35C Formation Flight

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Two F-35Cs launched together and conducted formation flying at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland for the first time on 18 April 2012. The test aircraft, known as CF-1 and CF-2, were piloted by Navy Cdr. Eric Buus and Marine Corps Lt. Col. Matt Taylor. The mission involved testing flying qualities of the aircraft while taking off, landing, and flying in formation.
http://www.codeonemagazine.com/f35_n...ml?item_id=662

CF-1 and CF-2 (Large).jpgCF-1 and CF-2.4 (Large).jpgCF-1 and CF-2.3 (Large).jpg
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:45 AM   #435
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Weapons pit-drop testing

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NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – After ejecting a 500-pound bomb from F-35B test aircraft BF-3, the test team took a collective breath, and watched as it hurtled toward the concrete deck.

Coming to rest in the foam covering the pit floor, the March 29 “pit drop” marked the end of two weeks of testing nine different weapons combinations inside the Joint Strike Fighter’s two internal weapons bays.

“Completion of these weapons ejections into the pit gets us closer to in-flight release of weapons from the F-35,” said Navy Capt. Erik Etz, director of test and evaluation for F-35 naval variants. “It’s another step in expansion of the F-35’s warfighting capabilities.”

Weapons pit-drop testing collects data to measure stresses on the airframe and adjacent stores, ensures proper weapon and suspension equipment function, and validates the separation models for the munitions’ ejection characteristics, including trajectories and velocities.

“We pushed the team pretty hard on those runs to get everything done,” said John Fahnestock, lead government weapons engineer. “We’ll spend some time going through the data to validate our models, but so far it looks good.”

From the cockpit, the pit drops demonstrated minimal effects of weapons launches from the F-35B’s left and right internal bays.

“Having the test weapons on board isn't really noticeable from the seat,” said Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Matthew Taylor. “But what’s great about the team’s accomplishment is that we’re making progress toward delivering a warfighting aircraft to the fleet.”

Testing included inert versions of the GBU-12 Laser-Guided Bomb, the 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition and the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile.

More weapons testing on the F-35B and F-35C carrier variant is ongoing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Current test events including pit drops, captive carry and instrumented weapons environmental flights, lead up to flight separation testing scheduled for later this year.

The F-35B variant of the Joint Strike Fighter for the U.S. Marine Corps is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings for use on amphibious ships or expeditionary airfields to provide air power to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet.
http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm...sStory&id=4976

Pit Drop.jpgPit Drop 2.jpg
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:50 AM   #436
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F-35A Completes First In-Flight Refueling Mission With External Weapons


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FORT WORTH, Texas, April 24, 2012 – On Saturday, Apr. 21, a Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35A Lightning II conventional takeoff and landing aircraft completed the program’s first in-flight refueling mission while configured with external weapons at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. George Schwartz piloted the test aircraft, known as AF-4, with two external inert AIM-9X weapons and four external stores. Internally, the jet was carrying two Joint Direct Attack Munitions and two Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles. The two-hour mission tested the flying qualities of the aircraft while maneuvering with external weapons. This test paves the way for weapons separation testing later this year.
http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/new...g-mission.html

AF-04 1st Tank ExWeap.jpgAF-04 1st Tank ExWeap.2.jpgAF-04 1st Tank ExWeap.3.jpg
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:01 PM   #437
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Originally Posted by SHUTUPANDTHINK View Post
F-35A Completes First In-Flight Refueling Mission With External Weapons


http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/new...g-mission.html

Attachment 94814Attachment 94815Attachment 94816
External weapons ? I see what, 2 sidewinders ? and some empty rails ?
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:54 AM   #438
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Originally Posted by ThisisnotChad View Post
External weapons ? I see what, 2 sidewinders ? and some empty rails ?
Yep. 2 JDAMS and 2 AIM-120s inside, 2 sidewinders and 4 empty pylons outside.

They will be testing it fully loaded at some point this year I expect.

Weapons f-35_VRC-droptest.jpgweapons F-35B.jpg
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:57 AM   #439
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F-35B BF-14 First Flight

Quote:
Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti flew F-35B BF-14 (Navy Bureau Number 168310), on its inaugural flight on 24 April 2012 from NAS Fort Worth JRB. The aircraft will be assigned to VMFAT-501 at Eglin AFB, Florida.
http://www.codeonemagazine.com/f35_n...ml?item_id=664

BF-14 (Large).jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHUTUPANDTHINK View Post
Current Flying F-35ABC:
USAF USMC USN
CTOL STOVL CV
AF-01 BF-01 CF-01
AF-02 BF-02 CF-03
AF-03 BF-03 CF-03

AF-04 BF-04
AF-06 BF-05
AF-07 BF-06
AF-08 BF-07
AF-09 BF-08
AF-10 BF-09

AF-11 BF-10
AF-12 BF-11
AF-13 BF-13
AF-14 BF-14
AF-15

UK
BK-01

SDD TEST @ EDWARDS
SDD TEST @ PAX
LRIP @ EGLIN AFB
LRIP @ FORT WORTH

NOTE: AF-05 CANCELLED & AA-01 WAS USED IN LIVE FIRE TESTING
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:23 PM   #440
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHUTUPANDTHINK View Post
Yep. 2 JDAMS and 2 AIM-120s inside, 2 sidewinders and 4 empty pylons outside.

They will be testing it fully loaded at some point this year I expect.

Attachment 94839Attachment 94840
Ohhhh yeaaaaaaaaaaa, they're stored internally I forgot about that lol.
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