Posts Tagged ‘F-35’

Luke (AFB) – not dead … yet

Big news out of Washington at the end of last week – at least as far as Arizona is concerned. Luke AFB made the first cut – and is still in the running to be considered as the primary training base for the F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter).

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F-35 – unarmed


Originally uploaded by Lockheed Martin

“…the JSF is often referred to as a “bomb truck” that will attack ground targets once the skies have been cleared of any enemy fighter threat by dedicated air superiority fighters like the F-22 Raptor and F-15 Eagle.”

I guess the designers really stuck by this logic – especially for the Navy/Marine Corp version of the JSF. Because only the Air Force (CTOL) version will have an internal gun.

[At first I thought it was a trade off between the internal gun and the VTOL system, but even the Marine Corps CTOL version will not have the internal gun]

That seems to be a serious compromise – which I am sure that the pilots will grumble about from the start.

There is a reason that the F-4 Phantom was redesigned to include an internal gun on the ‘E’ model. I guess none of the Lockheed-Martin designers have studied history.


F-35 prototype goes Supersonic for the 1st time


Originally uploaded by Lockheed Martin

The much maligned F-35 Lightning prototype broke the sound barrier during a test flight yesterday.

From Ares (AviationWeek’s blog) – – – –

It was AA-1’s second flight of the day and the 69th since its maiden sortie on Dec. 15, 2006. Total flight time is just past the 95-hour mark – not a huge amount, but if anyone is plotting this out, the curve has been reasonably steep in the last few weeks.

LM says AA-1 completed four runs to Mach 1.05 for a total supersonic time of 8 minutes. The aircraft was also carrying a full 5,400 lb. internal load of (inert) weapons.