Lockheed Releases June Test Statistics for JSF
Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter program accrued the highest number of test points in a single month during June, according to an announcement by the company Tuesday, and marked the 18th consecutive month the F-35 test program remained ahead of its revised test plan.
As of June 30, Lockheed says all variants of the F-35 Lightning II had conducted 595 test flights in 2012, versus a plan of 445, and accrued 4,830 test points, far above the planned 3,901.
Lockheed also announced the delivery of four F-35s since June 29, meaning that the Pentagon now has more operational-coded F-35s than test aircraft. A total of nine F-35s have been delivered for the year, giving the defense department a total of 30 aircraft fleet-wide. Of these, 16 are operational aircraft and 14 are test planes.
Last month, the F-35 program also accomplished several flight test and production milestones:
- The program accrued the most test points in a single month (1,118) in program history.
- On June 5, BF-5 became the first F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) jet to fly with Block 2A software
- On June 13, the first F-35C carrier variant night flight was completed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.
- On June 14 at Pax River, BF-2 completed the first test flight for the F-35B STOVL variant with an asymmetric weapons load.
- On June 27, the program achieved the highest number of F-35 flights in a single day, 12.
Cumulative flight test activity totals for 2012 through June 30 are as follows:
- F-35B jets have completed 202 flights, 134 of which began with a short takeoff. Additionally, F-35B aircraft have conducted 55 vertical landings.
- F-35C jets have flown 133 times.
Cumulative flight test activity totals for the duration of the program through May 31 are as follows:
- F-35B STOVL jets have completed 791 flights, 553 of which began with a short takeoff. Additionally, F-35B STOVL aircraft have conducted 334 vertical landings.
- F-35C CV jets have flown 325 times.
Since December 2006, F-35s have flown 2,355 times and accrued more than 3,700 cumulative flight hours. This total includes 91 flights from the original test aircraft, AA-1; 2,023 SDD test flights; and 241 production-model flights.
Source: Lockheed Martin