HomeNewsArticle Display

F-35 nears completion of all-weather testing

An F-35 Lightning II endures freezing temperatures in the 96th Test Wing's McKinley Climatic Laboratory Jan. 27, 2015, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The joint strike fighter has undergone four months of climate testing in the lab to certify the fleet to deploy to any corner of the world. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

An F-35 Lightning II endures freezing temperatures in the 96th Test Wing's McKinley Climatic Laboratory Jan. 27, 2015, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The joint strike fighter has undergone four months of climate testing in the lab to certify the fleet to deploy to any corner of the world. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

An F-35 Lightning II endures freezing temperatures in the 96th Test Wing's McKinley Climatic Laboratory Jan. 27, 2015, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The joint strike fighter has undergone four months of climate testing in the lab to certify the fleet to deploy to any corner of the world. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

An F-35 Lightning II endures freezing temperatures in the 96th Test Wing's McKinley Climatic Laboratory Jan. 27, 2015, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The joint strike fighter has undergone four months of climate testing in the lab to certify the fleet to deploy to any corner of the world. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- For the past four months, an F-35 Lightning II has endured extreme weather temperatures to certify the fleet to deploy to any corner of the world.

An F-35B from the F-35 Patuxent River Integrated Test Force in Maryland, has undergone rigorous climatic testing at the 96th Test Wing's McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The laboratory supports all-weather testing of weapon systems to ensure they function regardless of climatic conditions.

With 13 countries currently involved with the program, the F-35 must be tested in meteorological conditions representative of those locations from which it will operate, ranging from the heat of the Outback, of northern Australia, to the bitter cold of the Arctic Circle above Canada and Norway.

"We've designed an environment here at the chamber where we can simulate virtually any weather condition -- all while flying the jet at full power in either conventional or vertical takeoff mode," said Dwayne Bell, the McKinley Climatic Laboratory technical chief.

The F-35B was ferried here in September 2014, to begin a six-month assessment of the aircraft's performance in wind, solar radiation, fog, humidity, rain intrusion/ingestion, freezing rain, icing cloud, icing build-up, vortex icing and snow.

"While we are testing in the world's largest climatic testing chamber, we're pushing the F-35 to its environmental limits -- ranging from 120 degrees Fahrenheit to negative 40 degrees, and every possible weather condition in between," said Billie Flynn, an F-35 test pilot who performed extreme cold testing on the aircraft.

"To this point, the aircraft's performance is meeting expectations," Flynn said. "It has flown in more than 100 degree heat while also flying in bitter subzero temperatures. In its final days of testing, it will fly through ice and other conditions such as driving rain with hurricane force winds.

"We are learning more and more about the aircraft every day," he continued. "The future warfighters can be confident the F-35 will perform in any condition they find themselves in for the future."

Engage

Facebook Twitter
.@Hanscom_AFB's #energy initiative has #USAF seeking industry input while exploring opportunities for wholistic ene… https://t.co/WaBaH1cgNr
RT @SecAFOfficial: Proud to announce the #USAF cut 100.5 years off unnecessary schedules from #acquisition programs. This is how we are fie…
RT @cmsaf18: What a great way to pay tribute to an incredible Airman and teammate: Purple Heart recipient Dylan Elchin's name to be display…
#USAF #Ophthalmologists provide comprehensive care to 262 #Guyanese civilians. These vision care specialists can tr… https://t.co/91L9t51sHY
#Airmen maintain #F16 Fighting Falcons at Campia Turzii, #Romania, as part of Theater Security Package 19.1. They h… https://t.co/0pAANJMo3j
A new travel payment process for pipeline students, initiated by the #AirForce Installation and Mission Support Cen… https://t.co/OcQzldU3OK
.@PACAF Gen. CQ Brown Jr. met with Mongolian & US senior leaders, affirming their growing partnership.… https://t.co/Pg5Ma2NFUQ
Nondestructive inspection specialists identify possible defects in systems & equipment before anything can become a… https://t.co/7OHMrlLE39
.@SecAFOfficial praises #Airmen, expresses gratitude in farewell remarks reflecting on her tenure as #AirForce secr… https://t.co/bv177Nr7nk
.@SecAFOfficial was honored during a celebration ceremony @Andrews_JBA May 21, 2019, an event which highlighted her… https://t.co/tMSo0I8KxO
RT @SecAFOfficial: Thank you to the #Airmen & families serving around the world for the #USAF. https://t.co/CYWpd8Aeuh
Today #USAF celebrates the rapid innovations and accomplishments of @SecAFOfficial, the Honorable Heather Wilson.… https://t.co/dVQM3A5DWF
RT @SecAFOfficial: Proud to have had the opportunity to be your wingman. https://t.co/gDMUq5yA7L
RT @SecAFOfficial: .@MIT is a leading institution for AI research, education & application —making this a huge opportunity for the #USAF as…
.@HQAirUniversity recently hosted @SecAFOfficial's 66th annual National Security Forum, enabling the sharing of per… https://t.co/qBlG5F69ah
#ICYMI #Barksdale Airmen deployed in support of @CENTCOM Bomber Task Force in early May @DeptofDefense. The #B52 is… https://t.co/o8yJgq72dm
Tomorrow the #AirForce will celebrate @SecAFOfficial's tenure as the 24th Secretary of the Air Force. #WatchLIVE as… https://t.co/mTuhuZaNxu
RT @DeptofDefense: Throughout the history of the @USAirForce, adaptation and innovation have played a key role in sustaining global suprema…
It was "Fangs Out" @HAFB for Exercise Venom 19-01 which aligned with Hill’s Combat Showcase. https://t.co/3UtNLRYcp1 https://t.co/5d3JW876IH