Lokckheed Martin Says It Has A Fix For The JSF's Fuel Dump
The first night flight in the history of the Lockheed Martin
F-35 Program was completed Wednesday at Edwards Air Force Base, CA.
Piloted by Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Mark Ward, AF-6, an F-35A
conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, launched at 1705
PST and landed after sunset at 1822. The mission consisted of a
series of straight in approaches in twilight and darkness. The
pilot also performed an evaluation of the F-35’s cockpit
lighting which Ward called, “the best he’s ever
seen.” The testing will clear the way for night refueling and
formation testing later this year.
Meanwhile, F-35 program manager Tom Burbage says the company has
come up with a fix for an issue with the fuel dump system that had
cropped up in early models of the airplane. Burbage told
Defense News that the modification will be installed in a
test airplane early this year, and testing will begin in the second
quarter on a permanent modification for all production
The problem arose with a fuel dump system nozzle that
was flush with the wing in order to maintain the stealth
characteristics of the airplane. The design allowed dumped fuel to
remain in contact with the aircraft, causing a fire hazard.
Burbage offered no details about the fix, other than to give the
timeline for its testing.