Thu, Nov 12, 2009
Vought To Conduct Full-Scale Drop Tests On F-35C Lightning II
Vought Aircraft Industries has taken possession of an F-35C
Lightning II joint strike fighter test article from Lockheed Martin
Aeronautics Co. and will perform full-scale drop testing on the
aircraft in early 2010.
The tests are being conducted to verify the strength of the
F-35C Navy variant landing gear and airframe structure for carrier
landing operations. Pre-test aircraft preparation includes the
installation of special drop test fixtures, test systems and
instrumentation on the aircraft. Actual drop testing is currently
estimated to start in January and continue through April at the
Vought Structures Test Lab here.
"Our Dallas facility has a long history of conducting carrier
suitability testing for Navy aircraft," said John Vaught, manager,
Vought's Structures Development and Prototyping Labs. "We are
thrilled to conduct a test program on a transformational fighter
jet that is designed for survivability in the 21st century."
Test objectives include structural verification of the aircraft
landing gear and airframe for critical landing conditions.
Over 500 channels of data will be recorded during each drop test
event to measure loads, stresses, deflections and accelerations at
various locations on the landing gear and airframe. High-speed
video cameras will also be utilized to document each test
As a former prime contractor to the U.S. Navy, Vought's Dallas
facility designed, built and conducted drop tests on the A-7 and
F-8. It also supported Lockheed Martin by providing S-3A drop
tests. Vought has performed static and durability tests on a number
of other aircraft as well, including the S-3A, EA-6B, B-2, P-3,
A-10 wing, Global Hawk wing, C-17 horizontal stabilizer, and F-14
wings and nacelles.
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