Friday, January 30, 2015

F-35 tested in extreme weather lab

F-35 at McKinley Lab. Air Force photo
For the past four months a Marine Corps short take off vertical landing variant of the F-35 has undergone extreme weather testing at McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The F-35B is from the Patuxent River Integrated Test Force in Maryland, and the tests are being done by the 96th Test Wing. The testing is designed to validate the capability of the plane to operate in weather conditions anywhere in the world. With 13 countries currently involved with the program, the F-35 must be tested in meteorological conditions representative of those locations from which it will operate, ranging from the heat of the Outback of Australia to the cold of the Arctic Circle above Canada and Norway. The F-35B arrived at Eglin in September and is expected to remain at there until March in a six-month assessment. The laboratory supports all-weather testing of weapon systems to ensure they function regardless of climatic conditions.  (Sources: Multiple, including The Aviationist, Intelligent Aerospace, NAS Patuxent River, 01/29/15, Eglin Air Force Base, 02/02/15)