Design Flaw May Have Caused F-35 Generator Failure

So, seven of the 10 F-35 test jets have been cleared to resume flying after two generators failed in an F-35A during a test flight last week.

The generator failure was caused by a “design artifact” that was unique to the new versions of the planes and investigations continue into the cause of the incident, according to Reuters. This means the three newest F-35 test jets will remain grounded until the issue is completely resolved.

We’ll see how fast they can fix this “design artifact” (you mean a part, guys?) and get the new jets up in the air. The issue being that they’ll have to implement this fix into all the new planes currently on the production lines. Hopefully, if won’t have too much of a ripple effect on the production process. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear more.

One of the older Air Force test jets cleared to fly again has already taken to the skies at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

  • brian

    You see the sad thing about the whole project is that if they had designed the STVOL on a platform distinctly designed for an STVOL fighter. Its sad that poor project design has done this to a fighter that should have been out the door many years ago.

    • Brian Black

      That’s an F35A with the genny fault, not a B.

      The generators are likely common across all three types, and are not part of the vertical lift gubbins.

      • brian

        Its not the point, if they were just designing a platform for the A/C blocks, they would have iterated to a final product faster and you would have less room for redesigns that cause these kinds of problems. Velocity is not just about getting stuff out the door, its also about leaving less room for sub projects to be messed up by over ambitious teams.

        • Gregory Savage

          Brian it failed on all of the airframes. Get a clue, you obvioiusly aren’t an engineer, so who cares what you “think” they should have designed.

          • Oblat

            There are lots of signs end even a law suit that shows that Lockheed doesn’t have enough competent engineers working of the F-35. Obviously a measure to make more money during development.

            Any competent project manager will tell you to get rid of the fluff and kill the F-35B.

      • Guest

        The only thing different about most of the components between the 3 variants is there location on the airframes.

    • Oblat

      But the marines needed their flying unicorns to make them special !

    • Connect

      Can someone restart this thread, please? The participants’ general inattention to such details as sentence structure and spelling almost distract me from the more problematic across-the-board lack of citations or testable propositions. I’m having a hard time deciding who I want to make fun of with my colleagues.

      Hndl pls thx

      • mcluvin

        Respectfully suggest looking in the mirror and beginning there. Citations and testable propositions? Sentence structure and spelling? Seriously? Here?

    • Gary

      If the point is that making one platform fit all needs is the main problem with the F-35, I certainly agree. I am reminded of the F-111, which was McNamara’s idea to economize by having the Air Force and Navy share a platform. It eventually found uses, but not as originally intended.

  • blight

    Interesting catch. Makes you wonder what advancement the new one had over the old?

    • @Brianckramer

      It reduced airframe hours, preserving the life of the jet, by making it sit in a hanger. At this rate these things will last forever.

      • Oblat

        And when you did fly you could only make low G turns because otherwise you would burn out the electrical system. - further improving aircraft fatigue life

        • Oblat

          Ah sorry that was the old model - the new system saves gas by having the flight controls as a side effect of the the air-conditioner.

      • Candy

        RPlN7N Wow! That’s a really neat answer!

  • William C.

    Artifact? Did somebody copy a mistake from a CAD drawing into the actual generator or something? Speak English Lockheed.

    • Stix

      Design Artifact - somethng that was in the new design drawings (taken from the old drawings) - was not removed from the “updated” version. Therefore you have a design artifact. In plain english - The new updated design included some of the old design.

  • Oblat

    The electrical system looks like a disaster. It takes really bad planning to build 10 aircraft with an electrical system that can only supply 60% of what is needed and results in actuator lockup if you maneuver. Then when this was discovered they put in a new design - obviously a quick kludge that has failed again. Meanwhile they haven’t even managed to convert the old aircraft over to the kludge. Never mind another kludge is surely on it’s way.

    The F-35 redesign rate is twice what they claimed in the project re-basing and that is already twice what it should be.

    But according to our resident contractor shill Bill the whole generator fiasco can be put down to ‘poor government specifications’. Because that is the contractor code for poor design.

    • William C.

      Oh what a joy it must be to never have to deal with government paperwork like yourself Oblat. Yep, our government may be broke in countless different ways but that has no effect on defense procurement, it is all big bad industry’s fault.

      Hamilton Sunstrand makes the generator and power supply for the F-35, the problem with it lacking enough power for the C variant was fixed already.

      Tell me Oblat, what European junk do you want to sell us? I mean you’ve lobbied so hard for Airbus in the past, do you want us to by the Eurofighter or Rafale or something?

      • Oblat

        >Hamilton Sunstrand makes the generator and power supply for the F-35, the problem with it lacking enough power for the C variant was fixed already.

        Bill when performance goes from 65% to zero that is not called “fixed already”

        • William C.

          Can you read? I specifically said:
          “the problem with it lacking enough power for the C variant was fixed already”

          If you had half a brain you could comprehend that I was referring to the power supply problem, not this “artifact” that caused a malfunction.

    • Joe Schmoe

      It’s a dark day in hell when I agree with what Oblat says in the entire thread.

  • My Name

    From these fails I can read that United states hs started to take the damage of same kind of society arrangement than that Japan is taking damage of now. I so wished for the Japan to lats a little longer as they hve better morals and better oldfacion education and thinking manner. A little more Aryan one I migth say. You would have been so run over.
    But these damages in these leadership systems come all apparent only in case of wars as people can be sacraficed unlimitedly with unlimited option set in case of peace time need. Unfortunately 1941-1945 plan with Japan came trough.. :) :)

  • @E_L_P

    And… USAF has now stated to the Hill that IOC for the F-35A will be 2018. 2 more years from when a year ago they pushed it up 2 years to 2016.

  • Stix

    ah remember when they designed aircraft on paper, and it took 18 months or less. Now we have computers and CAD - 15 years plus - The Private Sector.. can they really do it better or do they just sell it better ?

    • blight

      I imagine designing modern aircraft using slide rules and paper wouldn’t give you pleasant results.

  • Tony C.

    The generator failing is a major in flight failure, on older aircraft, the
    flight manual usually states jettison the canopy and pull the face
    curtain, you are going for a rocket ride. This problem could be a
    show stopper!!

  • projob66

    I assume the aircraft has a RAT or battery reserve to get on the ground after a dual gen failure. Must be interesting keeping the flight computers and control software going through these transitions from gen to gen to battery to RAT…

  • halcyon

    Is your participation in this thread Dr. mandated therapy for anger management problems? Why do you flame so much?

    Even when you make good points its hard for the adults to have a conversation in these threads when you are just flaming day and night.

  • phrogdriver

    Most FBW aircraft have at least some of their flight control computers powered by dedicated power sources precisely for that reason.

  • USA

    Check this out - LM workers drinking and smoking pot during lunch:…