Alan Dron

Lockheed Martin's entry in the US Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) competition has grown in weight by no more than 25kg (60lb) over the past three to four months, a development the team yesterday described as "unprecedented" for an aircraft weighing in at 12,900kg.

At a briefing at the show yesterday, Frank Cappuccio, Lockheed Martin JSF programme manager, said that much of the team's efforts had been put into producing an X-35 concept demonstrator aircraft (CDA) that was as close as possible to the follow-on preferred weapon system concept (PWSC). They were on track to do so.

His colleagues and he had wanted to "substantiate most of the major risk items.

"On a programme like this, they really revolve around the propulsion system and I'm not talking about the basic F119, but about the engine and all the components that give you hover."

The team will place its F119-based JSF powerplant on an engine test cell at the Pratt & Whitney facility at West Palm Beach, California, "in the next month or two" for thrust and moment measurements.


The team says that its JSF entry, with the 37,000lb (164.6kN) powerplant, will have noise and ground erosion levels no worse than those of the AV-8B Harrier it says.

Martin Taylor, BAe's deputy project manager, says that tests on the engine system, which uses a shaft-driven lift fan in the STOVL version of Lockheed Martin's JSF entry, included successfully engaging and disengaging the shaft clutch and moving the three-bearing nozzle at full power and full rate.

Source: Flight Daily News