As any aircraft design enthusiast knows, when someone creates a new aircraft design they do far more than consider the range, speed, or weapons capability. Far more prosaic issues are also important: How hard is it for the crew chief to change a tire? How quickly can it be gassed and reloaded?
How hard is it to get spare parts?
Apparently, the JSF engine, when enclosed in its Read more…
Canada has reportedly announced its intention to purchase the F-35 Lightning II to replace its CF-18 fighters.
Canada has been a funding partner in the F-35 program from its inception, though this marks the first time it announced a plan to purchase the aircraft.
The announcement has already been met with political opposition from within the Canadian government.
An Air Force Times article highlights the progress in standing up the multi-service training units for the F-35 Lightning II at Eglin AFB, which is scheduled to begin this fall with the arrival of the first F-35 in November.
For the record, the F-35 variants have taken their first flights in only the past few months. The 200 “instructors” cited in the article (which may include maintainers) haven’t logged a single hour in an actual aircraft.
No worries, though; according to the wing vice commander, Marine Col Arthur Tomassetti, the training shouldn’t be too difficult: Read more…
Update: The F-35B has now accomplished the significant milestone of a vertical landing. Video from some of the testing can be seen here.
A news article at the Marine Times notes that the F-35B, the Marine Corps variant intended to replace the STOVL Harrier, has hovered in flight for the first time. Flight test programs are built on gradual advances, and as a result the JSF did not land from a hover, though it did a slow speed landing at 70 knots (probably about half the speed of a normal landing).
Like many large military acquisition programs, the F-35 test program has come under increasing criticism for delays and potential cost increases.