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Video: F-35 Goes On The Attack... And Wins!

 Ok, it was only the 'air' that was attacked, but right up to the limit angle of 50 degrees the Lightning II proved to be up to the task. To be able to maintain control at these insane AOA's is quite impressive and would tend to indicate that the F-35 still has the ability to live up to its potential. It also appears that the aircraft was tested into this extreme part of the flight envelope very quickly, a sign that it is well prepared for such an extreme environment.

Here's part of the official Lockheed-Martin press release on the testing: EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., November 19, 2012 – An F-35A Lightning II conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft rapidly expanded its high angle of attack (AOA) test envelope to its 50 degree limit in only four flights during recent flight testing here. F-35A test aircraft are limited to AOAs of 20 degrees until their controllability is proven at a higher AOA limit of 50 degrees.  The ability to rapidly progress to the maximum AOA indicates a sound aerodynamic and flight control system design. High AOA testing will continue on the F-35A for several months testing the capabilities of all design loadings and the flight control system.

 Also, this story from Eglin AFB in Florida, where 33rd Fighter Wing is testing the F-35, shows that they recently trained four pilots in the F-35 from no experience with the aircraft to fully qualified joint strike fighter pilots in less than half of the time allotted. This is another great accomplishment and good sign overall for the F-35 program.

 I'm sure the F-35 will continue to have problems, issues, setbacks and frustrations... but you can't possibly hope to develop the most technologically advanced fighter jet in the world without all of these undesirable elements. I'll add that I believe people who have to use the 'lefty-loosey-righty-tighty' crutch should remain completely silent about the progress of the F-35 program. #journalistsandbloggers

F-35A with its nose to the sky at very high angles of attack in recent testing (photo: LM)

Video screenshot showing the attached spin recovery parachute hardware on this F-35A

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Reader Comments (3)

Is it a government requirement to play heavy metal music whenever a fighter plane is featured? It sure seems like it.

November 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Krentz

Peter Krentz- I will admit that I find the use if heavy music to be both somewhat distracting and mostly inappropriate when we look at the capabilities of a lethal killing machine like the F-35... but I suppose it's part of the effort to appeal to the video-game-players who are seriously considering becoming part of the military. I like heavy music myself, and I get the 'cool' factor of using it in these videos, but I'd much rather see a more disciplined approach to presenting the aircraft to the public.

November 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartt (admin)

Well put response, Martt. I agree with you.

November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Krentz

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