Caught on Tape: JSF

cox-jsf

Our friend Bob Cox at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram put his tin foil hat on and ran the gauntlet at Area 51 last week to snap this neverbeforeseen shot of an alien spacecraft from the Planet Blue.

Well, not exactly.

The intrepidest of intrepid JSF reporters snapped this photo of a carrier varient JSF on its way to drop testing at the Vought facility there in Texas.

Lockheed Martin folks tell us this aircraft is CG-1, a ground test model that was being hauled to Vought Aircraft’s facilities for, get this, drop tests. Now that’s a test I want to see.

So to dispel any conspiracy theories out there, there is no evidence to lead us to believe that this aircraft was flying over the rural areas and suddenly dropped in for an unscheduled visit. In fact, although the carrier version is designed for hard landings, this wasn’t one.

Be sure to read the rest of his post and a JSF test update. And keep your eyes pealed. Maybe you’ll catch the next JSF sighting at your local haunts.

(Gouge: BC)

— Christian

  • freefallingbomb

    You are going to drop an 83-million-dollar plane to the floor?

    Are these the same scientists who built the plane?

    • JEFF

      As opposed to not testing it?

      • freefallingbomb

        You really need to drop a real aircraft from a ladder to see what happens to it?

        • DualityOfMan

          Yes, you do. Simulations only go so far.

          • freefallingbomb

            So, what exactly do you simulate here: Warplanes falling from a shelf in a hangar?

            Please be patient while explaining that to me, I’m black…

          • DualityOfMan

            If you read cagepete’s response, you would know that this is simulating a hard landing.

  • DualityOfMan

    I doubt it’s a complete aircraft. It’s probably an airframe with ballast.

  • Vstress

    Yeah, it will be the same airframe used for static tests… this airframe is now useless… it’s outlived it’s worth and a good way to gain some data is to drop test it.

    Interestingly enough… I have heard people saying (in the industry) that the people managing the JSF project were trying to save costs by making this airframe also perform the fatigue tests!!! Luckily somebody down the line had the intelligence to listen to the engineers and create a brand new airframe for that test.

  • Cagepete

    Back in the day, when I was doing landing gear design, drop tests were standard procedure for carrier based aircraft. Maybe they still are. The A-7, for example, was designed for a 30 ft/sec sink speed. Vought has a drop test facility in Grand Prairie and is across town from the F-35 factory in Fort Worth.

    The first drops could be quite exciting with parts flying around the test lab.

  • steve

    Actually, I remember seeing test footage from FA-18 drop tests. I was amazed at how high they dropped from. I think people are forgetting just how violent a carrier landing can be. It would probably be nice to know the bird can handle it,

  • bdwilcox

    Looks like Gargamel is using stolen Smurf technology.

  • justin

    Shit I work at one of the 2 Vought facilities in the Dallas Fort Worth area. I need to figure out if it is coming to mine.

  • freefallingbomb

    To the poster “Vstress” :

    Part I :

    You wrote: “I have heard people saying (in the industry) that the people managing the JSF project were trying to save costs by making this airframe also perform the fatigue tests!!! Luckily somebody down the line had the intelligence to listen to the engineers and create a brand new airframe for that test.”

    You mean that it’s not realistic to perform both tests on the same test airframe because these two types of strain (metal fatigue and rough landings, on land or sea) never show up simultaneously? Naah, you’re probably right: NOT on carrier planes! Silly me. Stupid, stupid, me.

    (Continued)

  • justin

    Yup its here, its about a 1000ft away from me but access to the test lab has been restricted so no looking. dang