Edwards AFB, CA —The clock is counting down for selection of a design for the U.S. Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) later this year (see DN 2/17/1997).
Boeing's X-32A JSF demonstrator recently completed its flight test program which included simulated aircraft carrier landings.
Boeing's demonstrator for the land- and carrier-based versions, the X-32A, recently completed flight tests which included: low-speed aircraft carrier approach tests; aerial refueling; supersonic flight; and side-mounted weapons bay vibration and acoustic tests. The short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) prototype (X-32B), featuring redirected engine fan and exhaust flows like the existing Harrier, was scheduled to fly by the end of March.
Lockheed Martin's X-35C, its carrier-capable demonstrator which features an enlarged wing, is now at the Patuxent River test center for the Navy for continued carrier testing. The conventional takeoff version (X-35A) for the Air Force completed its test program late last year and is being outfitted with an engine-driven lift fan for STOVL flight testing as the X-35B. These flights should start by late spring.
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