News story: UK F-35 Lightning II testing begins in the US

Discussion in 'MoD News' started by MoD_RSS, Feb 9, 2015.

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  1. Engineers, pilots and maintainers from 17(R) Squadron have started work on the British F-35B Lightning II aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

    Their work is to test and evaluate the aircraft to make sure that when it comes into service it will be the best of its kind for the Royal Navy’s future Aircraft Carriers and the Royal Air Force.

    But before the Squadron were able to start testing under UK regulations, they had to put processes in place to allow them to work independently in the US. And so today, 9 February, 17(R) Squadron are marking this declaration.

    Chief Technician Daniel Foulkes, from the Royal Air Force, is the Maintenance Controller for 17(R) Squadron. His role is to co-ordinate all the maintenance for the UK F-35.

    Daniel Foulkes said:


    The advance in technology has really helped with the maintenance of the F-35. We’re using computers now whereas before we were relying on using usual manual methods. So it’s sped up a lot of the testing and made the whole process more efficient.

    There’s a lot of excitement here since the F-35 arrived. We’ve spent a long time getting UK processes and regulations in place so that we can receive the aircraft and start testing the aircraft ourselves.

    Commanding Officer of 17(R) Squadron, Wing Commander James Beck, said:


    For a pilot, it’s a dream come true to fly from Edwards [Air Force Base]. It’s where Chuck Yeager flew his mission and now we’re the first nation outside of America to fly independently under our own regulations.

    F35 testing in the US

    As well as working in an international testing environment, 17(R) Squadron has another unique quality in that it is made up of Royal Navy as well as Royal Air Force personnel.

    Squadron member Gary Lister is a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy. His role is to maintain the ejection seats and crew escape system, as well as managing the weapons on the aircraft.

    Fully trained in avionics and having served 28 years in the Royal Navy, Gary has seen the aircraft transform over the years. From helicopters to Harriers, Gary has worked on a spectrum of aircraft, but it is with the F-35B Lightning II that Gary has been able to give his engineering skills a real boost.

    Gary said:


    It has a myriad of sensors and technologies which means every aspect of the aircraft is constantly being tested. This means when snags are found, they aren’t just fixed, but analysed and scrutinised to help future fault diagnosis and streamline the maintenance effort.

    By testing the aircraft operationally at Edwards the Squadron will be able to put the aircraft through its paces at an operational tempo and prove its potential as a true multi role 5th Generation aircraft.

    Continue reading...
     
  2. Lidster was my relief, it could have been me sunning myself in the states!!!! Bugger


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  3. Meanwhile the UK is anxiously awaiting the matchstick model of the F35-B Lighting II which is estimated to be delivered in 2030 unless defence cuts dictate otherwise!
     
  4. The boys and girls out there at the moment are absolutely living the dream. Remember Tim/Zoidberg from on here? Gucci house, Mustang, chicks, the works.

    That's what you join up for...
     
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  5. I bet the yanks are loving Lidsters quaint northern monkey accent. Good luck to them all living the dream dits are made of


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  6. wave_dodger

    wave_dodger War Hero Book Reviewer

    So very true, it's all there if you want it and ask for it.
     
  7. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    It made its debut at the naming ceremony.

    Pah, you should see the deckchairs lined up outside Lowden Building in Rosyth.
     
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