Tag Archives: Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

Watch the F-35 perform its international airshow debut with an Air Power Demo

The F-35 made its debut in European Airshow circuit at the Leeuwarden air show, in the Netherlands.

On Jun. 10, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter made its international airshow debut during the “Luchtmachtdagen 2016” airshow at Leeuwarden Air Base.

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The first two Dutch F-35A aircraft, AN-1 (F-001) and AN-2 (F-002), that had arrived at Leeuwarden at the end of the type’s first eastbound transatlantic crossing, on May 23, performed an “Air Power Demo” along with RNlAF (Royal Netherlands Air Force) F-16s, AH-64, Chinook that simulated a series of attacks on the airfield.

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The Dutch F-35As were deployed to the Netherlands to conduct both aerial and ground environmental noise tests and perform flights over the North Sea range.

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The F-35 also performed a flyover in formation with a Spitfire and an F-16.

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Here below you can find an interesting clip showing the “Air Power Demo” by Robin van der Reest.

All images, credit: Marco Ferrageau

 

The Royal Air Force completes F-35B Tanker Trials a Week Early

….and here are some stunning air-to-air shots!

During a seven week detachment to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, a Royal Air Force (RAF) A330 Voyager tanker conducted 18 air-to-air refueling (AAR) test trials with an F-35B Lightning II Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft from the F-35 Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF).

According to the ITF, the testing campaign carried out by joint RAF – Pax River ITF test team was completed one week early, demonstrating the team’s efficiency by accomplishing its test plan in 18 flights rather than the scheduled 20 flights.

The trials included day, twilight, and evening plugs between the F-35’s IFR (In-Flight Refueling) probe and the tanker’s hose (indeed RAF’s A330 Voyager tankers are only equipped with the U.S. Navy’s standard “hose and drogue” system).

The test trials generated data for the assessment of the wing pods and the fuselage refueling unit in anticipation of a flight clearance that will support the U.K.’s F-35B Lightning II Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in 2018.

BF-04 Flt 363. RAF Voyager (KC-30) air refueling testing on 26 April 2016 piloted by RAF Squadron Leader Andy Edgell.

BF-04 Flt 363. RAF Voyager (KC-30) air refueling testing on 26 April 2016 piloted by RAF Squadron Leader Andy Edgell.

The U.K. has 19 RAF and Royal Navy personnel embedded within the F-35 Pax River ITF. Many of these British military participate in the shipboard developmental test (DT) phases for both the F-35B and F-35C.

BF-04 Flt 364 piloted by Mr. Billie Flynn tanks off an RAF KC-30 (Voyager) tanker on 2 May 2016 from NAS Patuxent River, MD

BF-04 Flt 364 piloted by Mr. Billie Flynn tanks off an RAF KC-30 (Voyager) tanker on 2 May 2016 from NAS Patuxent River, MD

U.K. personnel supported the first two phases of F-35B testing aboard USS Wasp (LHD 1) and the first two phases of F-35C testing aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), respectively. They are set to embark on the third and final phases of testing at sea for the two F-35 variants, ahead of the U.K.’s own F-35B Ship Integration trials scheduled to take place aboard UK’s new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in 2018.

BF-04 Flt 366. KC-30 Voyager AR Tanker Testing on 09 May 2016 with LCDR Ted Dyckman as the pilot.

BF-04 Flt 366. KC-30 Voyager AR Tanker Testing on 09 May 2016 with LCDR Ted Dyckman as the pilot.

HMS Queen Elizabeth will use a ski-jump ramp to help the launching plane take off with an upward flight path and a BAE Systems Test Pilot launched the F-35B from a land-based ski-jump for the very first time at Pax River in June last year.

BF-04 Flt 371 piloted by Lt Col Tom "Sally" Fields performs aerial refueling tests with a KC-30 Voyager tanker on 16 May 2016 from NAS Patuxent River, MD

BF-04 Flt 371 piloted by Lt Col Tom “Sally” Fields performs aerial refueling tests with a KC-30 Voyager tanker on 16 May 2016 from NAS Patuxent River, MD

Special thanks to Sylvia Pierson, F-35 Lightning II Naval Variants Public Affairs Officer (PAO). Photo Credits Lockheed Martin.

This GoPro video will transform you into a crew chief about to launch an A-10 Warthog!

This video will bring you as close to prepare the A-10 Warthog for launch as you can get without actually being a crew chief.

The following crazy cool footage was produced by 74th and 75th AMU (Aircraft Maintenance Unit) for the Hawg Smoke 2016 crew chief launch competition.

Scored off of strafing, high-altitude dive-bombing, low-angle high-delivery, Maverick missile precision, and crew chief activities, Hawg Smoke is a biannual competition that gathered 13 teams, flying 48 A-10Cs, between Jun. 2-4, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

The clip below shows a “Hog” with the 74th Fighter Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, being prepared for launch from the crew chief point of view.

The F-35A has started tailhook testing at Edwards AFB

Even the conventional variant of the Joint Strike Fighter must be prepared to use the tailhook to face directional control issues or braking failures.

Tailhook landings by land-based aircraft are used in emergency situations to arrest a plane experiencing a failure that could imply a braking malfunction.

That’s why almost all U.S. combat aircraft have a tailhook, including the U.S. Air Force’s new F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.

According to an Air Force release, the JSF Integrated Test Force have started the first set of tests for the F-35A’s tailhook at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Although F-35s have landed using a tailhook before, they did not catch the arresting wire at the speeds and weights being tested now.

F-35A tailhook tests

Since the tailhooks on the land-based aircraft are used rarely, they are designed as a one-time use device, as opposed to the Navy tailhooks. For this reason the F-35C (the carrier variant used by the Navy) has a significantly more robust tailhook that can be used for several thousands deploy-engage-retract-stow cycles.

The initial testing saw the F-35A AF-04 from the 461st FLTS (Flight Test Squadron) reach 180 knots over the ground, deploy the hook to catch an arresting cable in place and safely come to a stop.

The procedure was filmed by high-speed cameras for later review while telemetry data was collected.

“In the big picture, the F-35A tailhook is designed to stop the jet in an emergency primarily,” said Maj. Corey Florendo, 461st Flight Test Squadron project test pilot. “We have to make sure the system works as designed and as specified. We’re out there to verify the performance of the system, up to and including the worst case conditions we can possibly envision.”

According to the U.S. Air Force AF-04 had several successful engagements with the tailhook and arresting cable, which will clear the path for additional tests coming up, including different set ups (for instance with the plane not in the center of the runway).

F-35A tailhook emergency vehicles

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

 

Watch the video of the F-35 flying in formation (at high AOA) with the Thunderbirds

Short but interesting clip.

A couple of days ago we have commented an image that had appeared on Facebook showing a U.S. Air Force F-35A forming up with the Thunderbirds for a photo session in the skies over Ft. Lauderdale.

Even though it did not say anything special about the controversial stealth plane, some people bashed the F-35 over the cool image just because it showed the 5th generation fighter jet flying with a high AOA (Angle of Attack) close to the Thunderbirds.
The following video provides a different point of view over the same scene: taken from inside the cockpit of the F-16 #1 of the U.S. Air Force demo team, it show the F-35 keeping a “high alpha” on the Viper’s right wing, leveraging its well-known (or alleged, depending on the “party”) high AOA capabilities.Needless to say, this post is not pro or against the F-35, it’s just about an interesting footage showing two jets belonging to different generations flying together.



H/T Miguelm Mendoza for the heads-up