Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Crack in F-35C wing spar

Inspectors found a crack in one of the 13 wing “spars” of an F-35C Navy variant test aircraft, according to the F-35 Joint Program Office. The discovery will not impact current F-35 operations. The jet was undergoing cyclic loadings to the airframe in order to simulate operational flying durability, and to identify potential problems. During durability tests, aircraft are tested to 16,000 flight hours. The F-35C with the crack had more than 13,700 test hours, equivalent to 6,850 flight hours. One potential modification-fix may include adding about a half-pound to the weight of the aircraft. Any fixes will be incorporated to the remainder of the F-35 fleet. (Source: Defense News 11/16/15) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.