Royal Navy celebrates successful F-35 strike fighter airframe test

The ‘A’ variant of the F-35 strike fighter has successfully completed a rigorous programme of airframe testing, during which it “flew” equivalent to 24,000 hours.

To date, the F-35 ‘B’ variant – which will furnish HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales with much-needed aerial support – has completed 16,000 hours of testing, alongside a third ‘C’ variant.

Scientists at the BAE Systems site in Brough, East Yorkshire have tested the airframes using a specially made 350 tonne rig, designed to put aircraft through their paces.

This durability test rig is the first of its kind in the UK and it has supported the testing of the AJ-1 – a conventional take off / landing variant of the F-35 – since its arrival in 2009. The ‘A’ variant will primarily be flown by the U.S. Air Force.

The test rig is comprised of more than 20 miles of wiring, 2,500 strain gauges and 160 loading actuators. It subjects aircraft to a wide variety of loads which pilots can expect to encounter when airborne.

“This testing has pushed the F-35A airframe to its limits to make sure it will fly safely and effectively throughout its lifetime,” said Andy Prendergast, operations manager for structural and dynamic testing.

“We have continually checked the airframe for any signs of stresses and strains and reported findings back to the programme so structural improvements could be made, if required, long before any issues appear in the flying fleet.”

The F-35A durability test airframe will now leave the confines of the durability test rig and travel to the USA where it will undergo further inspection.

If you would like to join our community and read more articles like this then please click here.

The post Royal Navy celebrates successful F-35 strike fighter airframe test appeared first on Defence Online.


Who are we?

From publishing the first national directory of public sector contracts, to being the first to market with our online Tracker solution, we have been the true pioneers of technology and innovation in the public sector marketplace. Throughout our 39 years, we have continued to evolve and chart new territory – placing our customers at the heart of everything we do. Take your business to the next level with Tracker now.

If you request a demo today!

Download your Free UK Defence Industry Report

Start Your Free Trial Today

Download your Free UK Defence Industry Report

Download your Free UK Defence Industry Report

When you sign up for a 3 day free trial or demo.

Limited time only

    BiP Solutions owns DCI and we look after your details carefully. We offer a range of products, services and events (some of which are free) that help buyers tender more efficiently and suppliers find, bid for and win public and private sector contracts. Only tick this box if you wish to receive information about these. We will never share your details with third parties and you will have the opportunity of opting out of communications every time we contact you. For further details, please see our Privacy Policy