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Industry News
Lockheed: F-35 met 2010 flight test targets

Lockheed says the overall F-35 program reached its 2010 goal of 394 test flights, although some variants fell short of their targets for the year.

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Posted on: 12/20/2010
Source: CompositesWorld

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Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, Md., USA) reported on Dec. 15 that the composites-intensive F-35 Lightning II program team reached its 2010 goal of 394 test flights jointly established by the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office and Lockheed Martin. Since the first flight of the F-35 on Dec. 15, 2006, the program has logged a total of 531 flights, expanding the performance envelope of the three F-35 variants and testing the mission systems.

"We exceeded our 394-flight goal and expect to meet our overall test-point goal this year by reaching ahead and working 2011 test points," said J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed Martin vice president of F-35 Test and Verification. "While we are still behind on our overall STOVL variant testing, we are working through a plan to get us back on track."

In November, the program completed 60 flights against a plan of 51. Both the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) and the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variants exceeded their monthly flight targets. The F-35C carrier variant (CV) jet fell just two flights short of its plan.

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.  

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