An "all-electric" version of the Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter is undergoing ground testing to demonstrate the electric actuation system intended for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

Electric actuation promises to reduce the JSF's weight and cost and improve maintainability. Ground testing began when external 270V DC electrical power was applied to the modified F-16 at Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems' plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin functional verification of the "power-by-wire" flight control system.

After initial tests to verify operation of the power distribution system, an 80kW, two-channel, fault-tolerant generator from Sund- strand and five electric actuators from Parker Hannifin will be installed on the aircraft.

Full-up aircraft integration testing will then begin. Flight testing is due to start in the middle of 1999.

The Lockheed Martin JSF team has also completed a "key" pilot-in-the-loop simulation to evaluate a high resolution multipurpose infrared sensor and its integration with other onboard sensors and offboard data sources.

The simulation scenario involved two JSFs sharing and fusing data from each other's sensors and from an airborne early warning and control aircraft.

Source: Flight International