F-35 blast tests performed

July 18, 2011 at 8:03 AM
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PATUXENT RIVER, Md., July 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy's F-35 integrated test force completed the first jet blast deflector test on the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter.

The test was completed earlier this month at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The testing collected data on the effects of F-35C engine exhaust on fleet-representative 4- and 6-panel JBD units and the flight deck in front of the JBDs.

Temperatures, pressures, sound levels and velocities were tested to collect environmental data and validate a JBD cooling panel configuration model.

"From an aircraft perspective, the testing went without a hitch," said Tom Briggs, air vehicle engineering lead. "We adjusted to weather delays to complete 40 test points on schedule, all because of the teamwork between the (integrated task force), Lakehurst and industry crews."

Each Nimitz-class aircraft carrier has a JBD for each of its four catapults. The size, cooling configuration and angle to the catapult vary slightly between the four, so the test team had to repeat various tests -- military and limited afterburner power takeoffs -- for the various JBD configurations.

With greater technical capabilities, the single aircraft JBD testing will be repeated with an F/A-18 to collect the same data or comparison between the two aircraft and the development of a combined cooling model for the entire fleet.

The test team collaborated with Naval Sea Systems Command during the testing to measure the effects of heat on the flight deck.

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