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The F-35 thread, Mk II

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The F-35 thread, Mk II

Old 7th Jan 2023, 15:33
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Forbes reports Technology Refresh 3 (TR-3) will be retrofitted to Lot-10 on and TR-3 will allow upgrade to Block-4.
The retrofits require about 14 days of downtime and will be performed by Lockheed field teams during scheduled maintenance.

The UK had 15 of the current 29 aircraft delivered up to lot 9. So 14 of the currently delivered fleet plus those on order would appear to be eligible. (The lost one was the 18th for the UK)
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Old 8th Jan 2023, 00:29
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Thanks SLX’.
50% of the aircraft we’ve got up to now can’t be upgraded.
A projected fleet of 74 but only 59 of them will be to full spec’.
I assume the 3 in the ‘States will be replaced by the latest version & that those 3 older aircraft will come to the UK, so that’s 56 with the latest toys.
I am an interested UK taxpayer.

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Old 8th Jan 2023, 07:12
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"so that’s 56 with the latest toys"

That assumes we complete the buy - as time drags on the risks of continued deferral seem to increase
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Old 8th Jan 2023, 07:40
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Originally Posted by Flugzeug A
50% of the aircraft we’ve got up to now can’t be upgraded.
A projected fleet of 74 but only 59 of them will be to full spec’.
That's obviously not really ideal for the users especially of smaller fleeets. But it is kind of normal with the current crop of highly IT-packed fighters. Typhoon had this same issue with Tranche 1.
Sometimes the installed Hardware sets limits to Electronic devices which can't be easily overcome. Especially in a fighter that will be produced over decades this will not be the last such incompatibility.
The alternative would be to compromise the magnitude of the continued development steps. I think they are doing the right thing.
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Old 8th Jan 2023, 09:30
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The F-35 first flew in 2006 - the technology moves on at an ever faster pace.

I suppose one answer is to buy them in large lots - then of course they all are easier to maintain but then they ALL become obsolescent to some degree every time there is an upgrade.

what is a killer is to have say 35 aircraft with 6 different fits............. they're effectively all one-offs
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Old 10th Jan 2023, 15:33
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F-35 Conducts First Flight with TR-3 11 Jan 2023
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Old 18th Feb 2023, 20:58
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Interesting video:
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Old 19th Feb 2023, 16:40
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F-35 landing question.....

Up until a few weeks ago I've only seen the RAF B version land either vertically or rolling landing so doesn't apply.

But was passing Lakenheath recently and saw some USAF F-35A's in circuit so decided to stop and watch them. Was surprised that on the flare they still seem to be applying power even just after touchdown. So my questions are: Is this necessary as all other aircraft tend to throttle back at this stage? Or is it something generally taught on the F-35A,B or C Syllabus with the C Carrier version in mind in case they miss the cables?
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Old 20th Feb 2023, 07:45
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No, they won't be applying power after touchdown - you may be hearing the delayed sound of engine spool up from a second or two before touchdown. In fact, using APC (autothrottle equivalent) will automatically chop power to "idle" as soon as weight on wheels is sensed. It's certainly nothing to do with C models or cables.
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Old 28th Feb 2023, 20:15
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Recent SRVL funnies, 'Sharkey' wants to bash SRVLs again and pretend to be humourous. I'll let youse judge.



Too Heavy to Hover? The Brits found a solution! F-35B Lightning II SRVL (MSFS)

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Old 13th Mar 2023, 17:07
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14 Mar 2023 Pentagon rethinks F-35 engine program, will upgrade F135 Stephen Losey
Air Force will not develop new F-35 engine, keeping Pratt as sole contractor 13 Mar 2023

Last edited by SpazSinbad; 13th Mar 2023 at 17:26.
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Old 14th Mar 2023, 06:40
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Pentagon rethinks F-35 engine program, will upgrade F135

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is abandoning its efforts to develop a next-generation adaptive engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, according to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall.

Instead, Kendall said during a March 10 briefing on the fiscal 2024 budget, the military will stick with, and upgrade, the F-35’s current engine, in a major win for F135 maker Pratt & Whitney.

The decision means the military will not move forward with its Adaptive Engine Transition Program, an effort to fund research, development, prototyping and testing of a new kind of engine with enhanced thrust, power and cooling ability, The adaptive engine uses three streams of air to cool the engine and the jet, and has an adaptive cycle that allows it to adjust to the configuration that provides the most thrust and efficiency for a given situation.

Both General Electric Aviation and Pratt & Whitney had designed new engines as part of AETP, but only GE had pitched its engine — the XA100 — as a replacement for the F-35.

Military officials said Friday they determined Pratt & Whitney’s proposal to modernize the already existing F135s in a program called the Engine Core Upgrade was the most cost-efficient option that would work for all F-35s…..

Kendall also noted the military had serious doubts about GE’s ability to make its adaptive engine work in the F-35B, the Marine Corps variant.

“The Air Force, with the A variant, was the only service that was really seriously interested in AETP, for which it was a really good fit,” Kendall said. “There was some discussion about whether it could be made to go in the [Navy and Marine Corps’ carrier-based] C variant. But the Marine Corps variant was going to be very, very difficult, if not impossible.”…..
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Old 31st Mar 2023, 08:27
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F-35 Engine Running Too Hot Due To ‘Under-Speccing,’ Upgrade Now Vital

The F-35’s engine is having to work harder to cool and power the aircraft’s systems, leading to a logistical mess.

The U.S. military sees planned engine upgrades for all the variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as critical because the Pratt & Whitney F135 engines that power all of the aircraft have been "under spec since the beginning," according to the top officer in charge of the program.

This means the engines have to routinely operate at higher-than-expected temperatures, which has led to costly increased maintenance and logistics requirements and hurt the F-35's overall readiness rates.

Senior U.S. military officials stressed the F135 engine's limitations while defending a plan to pursue an Engine Core Upgrade (ECU) effort before members of a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee yesterday….
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Old 31st Mar 2023, 19:17
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Old 13th Jun 2023, 06:16
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Summary - Aircraft with TR3 hardware will start rolling off the production line next month, but the associated TR3 software build is late and isn’t expected to be validated and accepted until at least next April.

So deliveries will stop and LM will store all new build TR3 aircraft as they roll off the line until the software is approved.

TR3 is necessary for the long awaited Block 4 weapons upgrade.


Pentagon to halt upgraded F-35 deliveries in July amid software woes
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Old 13th Jun 2023, 09:29
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This was announced in March hearing. You need to do your summary again. Look at the details and not journalist thoughts. It has 50 to build, before TR3. They aren't being built in a month. I also saw that they also have the option to install TR2 and swap later

"Lockheed Martin said in an email to Defense News that it is too early to say how many fighters might be affected, and the company did not say how many F-35s with TR-3 hardware it expects to build this year. The company originally planned to deliver between 147 and 153 total fighters in 2023.

Lockheed on Monday said that it has so far delivered more than 45 F-35s this year, with about 50 more TR-2 F-35s now under construction."
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Old 3rd Jul 2023, 05:54
  #597 (permalink)  
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US State Dept. clears $5.6 billion sale of F-35s for Czech Republic

WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department approved a possible sale to the Czech Republic of F-35 aircraft, munitions and related equipment worth up to $5.62 billion, according to a June 29 announcement.

The sale, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, would include 24 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters…..

The potential sale to the Czech Republic would also include 25 Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines, 70 AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles, and various other bombs, electronic warfare and radio capabilities, among other equipment…..

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of this possible sale, the release said, adding that the actual dollar value could be lower “depending on final requirements, budget authority, and signed sales agreement(s), if and when concluded.”

If the sale goes through, the Czech Republic will join nine Foreign Military Sales customers to the F-35 program.
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Old 3rd Jul 2023, 13:44
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Different mod states on your fleet of aircraft is nothing new. The RAF Jaguar comes to mind, the OCU which was run on a shoestring budget once the newness had worn off trained students who got to learn a whole different cockpit when they arrived on a Sqn.
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Old 27th Jul 2023, 22:44
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They knew about it, didn’t put in the pilots’ notes - then blame the pilot for not taking the right separation?

Oh, and it looks like changing the software is low priority as the circumstances are unlikely to reoccur. But the, with the backlog it wouldn’t probably be addressed for for another 10 years anyway….


Software glitch during turbulence caused Air Force F-35 crash in Utah

An F-35A Lightning II fighter crashed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, last October when turbulent air confused its avionics, rendering the jet uncontrollable, an Air Force investigation has found….

The accident unfolded just after 6 p.m. local time on Oct. 19, 2022, as a quartet of F-35As returned to Hill from an “uneventful” training sortie, the report said. The jet that crashed, assigned to Hill’s 421st Fighter Squadron, was approaching the base as the third aircraft in the four-ship formation.

As they prepared to land, the pilot felt a “slight rumbling” of turbulence from the wake of the aircraft in front of him, the report said. The bumpy air caused the F-35′s flight controls to register incorrect flight data, and the jet stopped responding to the pilot’s attempts at manual control.

The pilot tried to abort the landing and try again, but the jet responded by sharply banking to the left. Further attempts to right the aircraft failed, and the pilot safely ejected north of the base. His F-35 crashed near a runway at Hill.

The entire incident lasted less than 10 seconds, the report showed.

The aircraft “looked like a totally normal F-35 before obviously going out of control,” an F-35 test pilot who watched the accident from the ground told investigators. “I did see really large flight control surface movements — [stabilizers], trailing edge flaps, rudders all seem to be moving pretty rapidly.”

Investigators found that the pilot involved in the crash hadn’t followed turbulence procedures in effect that day. That requires airmen to fly farther apart, with at least 9,000 feet between landings.

However, the report noted that the F-35′s flight manual tells pilots to space out their landings by 3,000 feet, and doesn’t specify how far apart they should be in case of turbulence.

Simulations confirmed that the issue stemmed from the jet’s misinterpretation of the flight data, not the physical effects of turbulence itself.

“The F-35 enterprise has over 600,000 flight hours and this is the first known occurrence where wake turbulence had this impact on the air data system,” the report noted.

The Air Force said the likelihood of a similar accident happening again is minimal.

“As with any aircraft accident, we will incorporate the findings from this report as appropriate to improve processes and enhance flight safety across the Air Force,” an Air Combat Command spokesperson said….
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Old 28th Jul 2023, 12:13
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On the bright side, first confirmed A2A kill for the F-35!

Note that the F-35 sheds very tight, intense and persistent vortices from the wingtips. One of these seems to have blanketed the air data sensors (probe+flush) on the trailing jet, and consequent wildly erratic readings sent the FCS into full GIGO mode.
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