Lockheed Martin has performed full afterburner tests with its X-35AJoint Strike Fighter demonstrator as a prelude to the aircraft's first flight.


As part of the trials of the Pratt & Whitney JSF119-611 engine, Lockheed Martin test pilot Tom Morgenfeld performed dynamic accelerations and decelerations as well as engine runs at full military power (maximum thrust without afterburner) and full power with the afterburner. The tests were conducted at Lockheed Martin's Palmdale, California, facility.

Lockheed Martin and rival Boeing are shortly expected to make first flights of the conventional take-off JSF demonstrators.

Flight trials of the short take-off and vertical landing variants - the X-35B and X-32B, respectively - are due at the end of this year or in early 2001.

The teams are due to submit JSF engineering and manufacturing demonstration proposals in November.

Source: Flight International