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F-35 Lightning II JSF testing marks program milestone

  • Published
  • By Philip Lorenz III
  • Arnold Engineering Development Center Public Affairs
Arnold Engineering Development Center officials just completed aerodynamic testing on two variants of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to support flight testing of the plane later this year.

With this latest test, the AEDC staff surpassed 8,000 hours of JSF testing in the center's propulsion wind tunnel facility in support of the system design and development phase of the program.

High-speed force and moment data gathered from a conventional takeoff and landing, or CTOL, and short takeoff/vertical landing, or STOVL, F-35 models will go into a database. That information will be added to computer-aided analysis for performance analysis and flight control design and validation before flight testing can begin.

"This is the final high-speed test for our CTOL and STOVL aerodynamic performance and stability control databases on our 1/12-scale model," said Kim Kohrs, an F-35 stability and control analyst with Lockheed Martin. "We've done various testing of low speed and high speed unpowered force and moment testing for CTOL and STOVL through the years. This test is our last entry to conclude those databases." 

"This test, along with aerodynamic testing on the Navy's carrier version later this year, will finish up all of our scheduled F-35 wind tunnel testing during the system development and demonstration phase." said Marc Skelley, Air Force project manager in AEDC's 716th Test Squadron.

The CTOL F-35 is the Air Force variant that will replace the F-15 Eagle and A-10 Thunderbolt II and complement the F-22 Raptor. The U.S. Marine Corps is due to receive the STOVL F-35 variant to replace the AV-8B Harrier and F/A-18 Hornet. The United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and Royal Navy also will fly the STOVL variant. 

(Courtesy Air Force Material Command News Service)