Tuesday, March 4, 2014

DTN News ~ F-35 CANADIAN CONNECTION: F-35 Makes First Flight Sporting Canadian-Made Tail Wing Assembly

Defense News: DTN News ~ F-35 CANADIAN CONNECTION: F-35 Makes First Flight Sporting Canadian-Made Tail Wing Assembly
*The US Department of Defense (USDOD) has planned to acquire 1,763 F-35As by 2034
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by K. V. Seth from reliable sources Canadian Manufacturing
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - March 4, 2014: A new F-35 Lightning II fighter jet sporting a Canadian-made tail assembly took to the skies for the first time last month, according to Magellan Aerospace Corp.

The Winnipeg-built tail assembly flew on an F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) variant from defence giant Lockheed Martin’s final assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas, on Feb. 26.

“Magellan delivered the horizontal tail for the aircraft that flew today in December 2012,” Scott McCrady, Magellan’s F-35 program director, said in a company release.

“Since then our annual production rates have been steadily increasing and are expected to continually increase over the next several years as the F-35 program matures.”

Mississauga, Ont.-based Magellan is under contract with BAE Systems to produce horizontal tail assemblies for the CTOL variant of the F-35 and is expected to produce more than 1,000 assemblies for the program over a 20-year period.

Magellan, under contract with engine maker Rolls-Royce, has also been producing the vane box assembly and transition duct for all of the F-35B Short Take Off and Landing (STOVL) variant of the fighter jet.

The company has also been producing “a number of composite assemblies and machined details” directly to Lockheed Martin.

The F-35A is the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) or F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft. The single-seat, single-engine fifth-generation F-35A has been designed and is being developed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics for the US Air Force (USAF) and allied air forces. The multi-role, supersonic, stealthy fighter aircraft is designed to undertake air defence, ground attack and reconnaissance missions.

The F-35A will replace the USAF's F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters and will supersede A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft by 2028. It is also expected to replace F-15 fighters. It addition, the F-35A will complement the F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter.
Design features of the F-35 Lightening II aircraft CTOL edition

The F-35A CTOL variant of the F-35 aircraft is designed mainly as a low-visibility aircraft with air-to-ground attack and air-to-air combat capabilities. Turning agility of the aircraft is nine times the force of gravity.  

The F-35A is more affordable as its operation and support is expected to cost 40%-50% less than current-generation aircraft used by the USAF. Another affordability feature of the aircraft is that approximately 80% of its parts are common to other variants of the F-35 aircraft.

Low visibility capability allows the aircraft to defy, retort and avoid enemy threats. State-of-the-art electronic systems add to the positional awareness of the pilot. Low-radar profile helps in maintaining the aircraft's low visibility by allowing loading of weapons and fuel internally.

Due to its lower logistics footprint, the aircraft can be positioned in an easier way than the USAF's existing fighter aircraft.

Development of Lockheed Martin's fifth-generation fighter aircraft F-35A

The critical design reviews (CDR) for CTOL variant of the F-35 aircraft were conducted in February 2006. The first flight of F-35A was undertaken in December 2006. The initial production order for two F-35A aircraft was sanctioned in April 2007.

A slightly improved version of the original aircraft was flown in November 2009.
The first night flight of F-35A was carried out in January 2012. The aircraft was tested with external weapons for the first time in February that year at Edwards Air Force Base, California. First night re-fuelling mission was completed one month later in March, while the first in-flight re-fuelling mission was completed in April 2012.

Orders and delivery of the CTOL variant of the F-35

In December 2011, the Japanese Air Self-Defence Force selected the CTOL variant to replace its ageing F-4 fleet. Israel has also shown interest in buying at least 100 F-35A aircraft.

The first two production aircraft were handed over to the USAF in May 2011. Two more F-35As were delivered in September 2011. The fifth and sixth aircraft, designated as AF-12 and AF-13 respectively, were delivered to the 33d Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base in October 2011.

The F-35A was initially planned to achieve initial operational capability (IOC) in March 2013. The IOC is now projected to take place in 2016.

The US Department of Defense (USDOD) has planned to acquire 1,763 F-35As by 2034.


The F-35A is equipped with an internally-mounted GAU-22/A Equalizer gun manufactured by General Dynamics. This 25mm gun is designed for greater effectiveness against ground targets.

The aircraft's weapon station includes three external pylons on each of the two wings with a combined capacity of 6,800kg. Moreover, there are two internal bays with two pylons each with a combined payload capacity of 8,100kg.


Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is supplying its AN/APG-81 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar for the aircraft. The company is also supplying the AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS) missile warning system, which is fitted with six electro-optical sensors.

An electronic warfare suite, designated as AN/ASQ-239, will be supplied by BAE Systems. Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) communication system will be provided by Harris Corporation.


The 15.7m F-35A aircraft can fly at a maximum speed of 1.6 Mach. The combat radius and maximum range of the aircraft on internal fuel are 1,093km and 2,200km respectively. Maximum g-rating of F-35A is 9.0 and weapons payload capacity is 8,160kg.
Pratt & Whitney engine for the F-35A fighter aircraft

The F-35A CTOL is powered by a single F135 engine (F135-PW-100 variant) manufactured by Pratt & Whitney. The F135 is a two-spool afterburning turbofan type engine capable of producing maximum thrust of 191.3kN and intermediate thrust of 128.1kN.

The F135 engine is an enhanced version of the F119 engine which powers the F-22 Raptor. F135 measures 135m in length and has an inner diameter of 1.17m. Overall pressure ratio of the engine is 28. Internal fuel capacity is 8,382kg.

*Link for This article compiled by K. V. Seth from reliable sources Canadian Manufacturing
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*Photograph: IPF (International Pool of Friends) + DTN News / otherwise source stated
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News Contact:dtnnews@ymail.com 

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