Fokker Technologies (Papendrecht, The Netherlands) has signed an agreement for the delivery of flaperon and outboard leading edge wing flap (OLEF) components for the next low-rate initial production lot 9-10 of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Spread over the period from 2015 to the end of 2017, this selection represents an additional value of tens of millions in US dollars and secures employment for 100 highly qualified specialists at Fokker in Hoogeveen, The Netherlands, for the coming years.
The F-35 flaperons are 3m long flaps on the wing trailing edges while the OLEF are flaps on the wing leading edges, both vital for the controllability of the aircraft. The unique design is based on the low maintenance combination of composite and titanium with a better resistance to fatigue and corrosion. The design of the flaperons & OLEF contributes to improved aircraft performance by saving weight and increasing strength at the same time. Fokker has been manufacturing both structures since Low Rate Initial Production Lot 3 for the F-35 aircraft. Fokker also produced more than 2000 sets of flaperons for the Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft type for many years. Production of the F-16 components started in 1978 and is still ongoing today.
"Fokker is excited by this achievement; this shows we are moving forward in an expeditious way with the project,” says Hans Büthker, CEO of Fokker. “The selection for the follow-on production orders is a very important step. This order will secure employment for around 100 employees, a figure that will be doubled if the total production order is received.”