Lockheed Completes F-35A Airframe Testing

Lockheed Martin announced Wednesday that it has finished full-scale static testing of the F-35A, the conventional takeoff and landing version of the F-35 strike fighter. This testing was completed five months ahead of schedule, in less than half the time of legacy programs—and with “zero structural failures,” stated the company. “This was a major milestone, and the test results demonstrate that the F-35 has a fantastic airframe,” said Mick Ord, BAE Systems’ F-35 managing director. BAE is one of Lockheed’s principal F-35 industry partners. The static tests began last August and were conducted predominantly at BAE Systems’ facility in Brough, England, using AG-1, a dedicated F-35A test aircraft. The testing verified the strength and stability of the aircraft’s structure to 150 percent of its design limits, or 13.5 G’s. The F-35A is the configuration that the Air Force is buying.