F-35 aerodynamic loads testing at Arnold AFB marks
By Philip Lorenz III
/ Published May 07, 2007
ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, TENN --
The U.S. Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) just completed aerodynamic testing on two variants of the
F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to support flight testing of the plane later this year.
With this latest test, AEDC surpassed 8,000 hours of JSF testing in the center's Propulsion Wind Tunnel facility in support of the System Design and Development phase of the program.
High-speed force and moment data gathered from a Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) and Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35 models will go into a database along with computer-aided analysis for performance analysis and flight control design and validation before flight testing can begin.
"This is the final high-speed test for our CTOL and STOVL aerodynamic performance and stability control databases on our 1/12-scale model," said Kim Kohrs, an F-35 stability and control analyst with Lockheed Martin. "We've done various testing of low speed and high speed un-powered force and moment testing for CTOL and STOVL through the years. This test is our last entry to conclude those databases."
Marc Skelley, Air Force project manager in AEDC's 716th Test Squadron, added, "This test along with aerodynamic testing on the Navy's carrier version later this year will finish up all of our scheduled F-35 wind tunnel testing in 16T during the System Development and Demonstration phase."
The CTOL is the U.S. Air Force variant that will replace the F-16 Fighting Falcon and A-10 Thunderbolt II and complement the F-22A Raptor. The U.S. Marine Corps is due to receive the STOVL F-35 variant to replace the AV-8B Harrier and F/A-18 Hornet. The United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and Royal Navy also will fly the STOVL variant.