Skinning the F-35 fighter
---Fasteneing the all-composites skin on the Lightning II requires machining and drilling technology that is optimized for cost-efficiency
When the Obama Administration announced earlier this year that the F-22 fighter jet program would be cut from the 2010 U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) budget, sentiment among Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. employees at the company’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility was bitter and sweet. The cavernous plant — 1 mile/1.6 km long and 0.25 mile/0.4 km wide — is the assembly point not only for the F-22, but also the forthcoming F-35 Lightning II, an unscathed survivor of the DoD’s budget-cutting process.
From a budget perspective, the DoD’s preference for the F-35 — or Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) — is understandable. Its flyaway cost of $83 million (depending on variant), is a relative bargain compared to the F-22’s $143 million. And codevelopment of the plane with cost-sharing partner countries ensures a long orders list — Lockheed Martin plans to deliver more than 3,000 F-35s through 2036.
Unlike the air-to-air F-22, the F-35 is a multirole craft, designed for air-to-air and the air-to-ground combat that U.S. airmen are more likely to face, going forward. The multirole design makes the F-35 highly adaptable. It comes in three variants: the F-35A for conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL), the F-35B for short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL), and the F-35C for carrier-based landing (CV). Multirole capability enables it to replace the F-16, A-10, AV-8B and the F-18 in the U.S., and the Sea Harrier and GR.7 in the U.K. In the U.S., it will complement existing F-22 and F-18E/F fleets. From the manufacturing perspective, the variants share a common design for more than 20 percent of the airframe structure, thus reducing program cost.
Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor for the F-35, having won the bid in October 2001. Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems are the principal partners on the project. The three companies are more than halfway through a 12-year System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase, which includes production and testing of 19 aircraft. Composites have been a major part of the manufacturing effort. Northrop Grumman makes the center fuselage at its Palmdale, Calif., plant; BAE Systems produces the aft fuselage and tails at its facility in Samlesbury, U.K. ATK (Magna, Utah) makes the wingskins; Lockheed Martin makes the forward fuselage and assembles finished aircraft in Fort Worth. The first F-35, a CTOL variant, flew for the first time on Dec. 15, 2006. All SDD aircraft are in production or on the flight line for testing; the first 14 production-model F-35s have started assembly
HPC was recently invited to tour the massive Fort Worth facility and see firsthand how composites are being shaped for this next-generation fighter.
进入主题， 11.6/09, 高性能复合材料杂志被邀请去参观那个硕大无比的厂房以及获得复合材料怎样应用与新一代的JJ 中的第一手资料
关于复合材料在35上面的使用原则就是： 凡是使用温度能满足要求的地方， 能使用复合材料， 就是用碳纤/环氧复合材料....................
当有些蒙皮需要更耐温的材料时就用氰特的 CYCOM 5250-4 双马树脂预浸料-------(-真是奢侈-)------
(要是把这个质量控制好了， 突破了， 航空复合材料成本雪崩！）