An F-35A Lightning II conventional takeoff and landing aircraft, known as AF-1, completed its final test mission for clean wing flutter recently. Flutter testing was conducted to ensure the jet’s structure could withstand various aerodynamic loads verifying the F-35A’s design. The mission, flown by Maj. Ryan “Gunner” Reinhardt, marks the conclusion of three years of testing that now allows the F-35A to proceed with tests continuing to expand its flight envelope and validate predictions in real-world scenarios. The testing demonstrated the F-35 is clear of flutter, at speeds up to 1.6 Mach and 700 knots with weapon bay doors open or closed, critical to performing its combat mission. Data collected proves the F-35A flight dynamics maintains a large margin between its designed airspeed and airspeeds where possible flutter could occur.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2012 were $47.2 billion.
Source: Lockheed Martin