Pax River JSF Team Takes Fighter Out to the Desert
The short take-off and vertical landing variant of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter successfully completed a major prerequisite test for in-flight performance Aug. 15.
Test vehicle BF-2 completed the first air starts, which test the ability of the F-35’s propulsion system to restart during flight. Verifying the restart capability of the propulsion system is part of the initial flight test program for the F-35 and a prerequisite for high angle-of-attack testing, scheduled to start next year.
The core of the F-35B’s propulsion system is the F135 engine, capable of more than 40,000 pounds of thrust. Using multiple restart methods during the tests, BF-2 successfully completed 27 air starts at various altitudes.
To execute air start testing, the F-35 Integrated Test Force (ITF) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River ferried BF-2 and an F/A-18 chase aircraft from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 to the F-35A testing facility at Edwards AFB.
A team of approximately 60 ITF and VX-23 personnel provided engineering and maintenance requirements for the events. The detachment to Edwards from NAS Patuxent River overlapped with a busy summer flight testing schedule.
The F-35B is the variant of the Joint Strike Fighter designed for use by U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings to provide air power from amphibious ships, ski jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at Pax River prior to delivery to the fleet.
Source: PEO(JSF) Public Affairs