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KarelXWB
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Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:21 pm

A F-35 was severely damaged - possibly destroyed - in a Monday morning fire on the runway at Eglin Air Force Base. No injuries were reported and officials have begun an investigation into the incident.

Source:
http://news.usni.org/2014/06/23/brea...35-eglin-air-force-base-pilot-safe
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flyingturtle
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:47 pm

This F-35 was suicidally in love with the T-50...


  


David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:03 pm

The fire appears to be an one-off incident, with no expectations for a fleet-wide grounding:

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2...AF-F-35-Fire-Will-Not-Ground-Fleet

Quote:
WASHINGTON — The fire that broke out on an F-35A model Monday will not ground the fleet or alter plans to bring the Joint Strike Fighter to the UK, service officials said today.

No other F-35A models have been grounded by the fire, which broke out as a pilot was preparing for a flight Monday morning at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The plane is attached to the 33rd Fighter Wing.

However, the damaged F-35 model is still on the runway while investigators determine the cause of the fire, which may lead to altered or curtailed test flights from other models at Eglin.

A spokeswoman for the program said the Pentagon expects a preliminary assessment of damage by week’s end, but may not receive engineering analysis until further down the line.
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:35 pm

Strange that we had a picture from the Russian T-50, and still none from the F-35...


David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:41 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 3):

When you drop a couple hundred million on a self immolating aircraft, you can't afford cameras
 
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seahawk
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:35 am

Sounds legit: "We do not know the cause of the fire, but it surely was a one-off incident."
 
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Aesma
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:21 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 2):
However, the damaged F-35 model is still on the runway while investigators determine the cause of the fire

That's strange, do they expect that the runway caused the fire ?
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
JohnM
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:49 pm

Glad the Canadian propaganda ministry is on top of this issue. I would expect no less.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:31 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 3):
Strange that we had a picture from the Russian T-50, and still none from the F-35...


David

Partially because there was an Indian delegation present when the T-50 went up in flames. Can't exactly hide that in front of a major delegation of foreign dignitaries and officials coming for a demonstration flight.

Also, because there's no photos, it makes me doubt the "destroyed" part. If a jet is a smoking piece of wreckage, usually someone will take a photo because it isn't going anywhere fast as they will have to wait for the investigators to come and do their thing. If a jet is "seriously damaged" they can still tow it or lift onto a recovery truck pretty quickly.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 6):
That's strange, do they expect that the runway caused the fire ?

They probably have some idea of what caused it, but not 100% sure. Thus, they are remaining tight-lipped until the full results come back.
 
mjgbtv
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:48 pm

Perhaps FOD or a bird strike?
 
Cross757
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Thu Jul 03, 2014 5:33 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 2):
with no expectations for a fleet-wide grounding:
Top
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:38 am

Fire was caused by a fan disk failure in the 3rd stage. This was a possible quality control problem. The procedure will be an inspection to check the fan disk, which takes 90 minutes. This will cause delays with the deployment of 4 F-35's to the UK:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/0...-inspections-idUKKBN0F72F020140702
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Thu Jul 03, 2014 2:41 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 14):
This was a possible quality control problem.

yes, The F-35 is a quality control problem. Trillions down the hole, no planes that work and it should be in service today. However I'd say its the whole process from awarding the contract to the people supposed to enforce the laws of the United States of America who are broken. The fan disk failure is a symptom, not a cause.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:14 pm

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 15):

yes, The F-35 is a quality control problem. Trillions down the hole, no planes that work and it should be in service today. However I'd say its the whole process from awarding the contract to the people supposed to enforce the laws of the United States of America who are broken. The fan disk failure is a symptom, not a cause.

1. The amount of money spent is less than a trillion, it's only a few billion. And the trillion dollar number, beyond being completely out to lunch in terms of how it was calculated, including everything from expected fuel costs, labour costs, and disposal costs.

2. Sure, we can have an accelerated testing and development phase, but we will get people killed. The B-58 Hustler first took flight in 1956 and was IOCed in 1960. By the time the B-58 had flown as much as we have flown the F-35, we crashed 10 of them. Throughout the entire service life, we crashed an additional 14. A total of 36 flight crew members were killed in B-58 accidents.

Yes, we should rush through testing and development without any regard for safety or sound engineering practices.   

And how long did Eurofighter take to achieve IOC or gain any basic combat capability?

[Edited 2014-07-03 08:18:28]
 
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Thunderboltdrgn
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:29 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 2):
with no expectations for a fleet-wide grounding:

They are grounded now.

Quote:
The international air show debut of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is in doubt
after the US Department of Defense grounded the entire fleet on 3 July.

Based on the findings of an initial report into the 23 June fire that broke out aboard an F-35A
at Eglin AFB, the DoD has mandated further checks of the JSF fleet’s Pratt & Whitney F135 powerplants.
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...s-international-debut-into-401075/
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seahawk
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:21 pm

Such things happen. Interestingly another P&W engine after the GTF failure on the CSeries.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:22 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 19):
Such things happen. Interestingly another P&W engine after the GTF failure on the CSeries.

Yep. It is normal procedure for the US Military to ground specific types of aircraft after accidents. Normally the grounding last until all inspections are complete. In fact, it is the correct thing to do to insure the safety of the men and women who work around and operate them.

Remember when a F-15 broke up in mid air a few years back? Fleet-wide grounding of the F-15 fleet with the USAF, Japanese Air Force, and the Israeli Air Force until inspections were conducted. Yes, this did put a lot of strain on these operators, with the Japanese being forced to rely on older F-4 Phantoms for air defence, and the USAF being forced to rely on Canadian assistance in patrolling a number of NORAD air sectors for a while. But they got through it.

Better to err on the side of extreme caution when possible.
 
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seahawk
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:50 am

This, btw, is one of the reasons why I think the USAF will always need 2 fighter types, so that such an incident can never round the entire fleet.
 
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kanban
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:20 pm

Still waiting for some some Canadian farmer to wander on base and take a few pictures....      
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:06 am

The fire appears to be an isolated incident:

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/21...an-isolated-incident#ixzz375wZOrqt

Quote:
Pentagon: F-35 fire likely an isolated incident

The blaze on an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that grounded the military’s fleet might be an isolated incident, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer told lawmakers Thursday.

“There’s a growing body of evidence that this may have been an individual situation, not a systemic one,” Frank Kendall told the House Armed Services Committee.

Kendall said the department has “inspected all the existing engines that are in service” and “we have not found ... anything that suggests the type of problem that we think caused this failure.

This is supported by the fact that the aircraft involved was a recent delivery from LRIP lot 5 with less than a few hundred hours on the frame. Probable manufacturing defect?
 
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kanban
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:10 pm

The key words here are all open ended "appears", "likely", "growing body", "may have", "might be".. while I agree analysis will take time and congressional committees want answers yesterday, I wouldn't go so far as to start blaming the suppliers yet.
 
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par13del
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:29 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 13):
And how long did Eurofighter take to achieve IOC or gain any basic combat capability?

How about how long it took to get the U2 and the SR71 up and deployed in an era of slide rulers and no 3D computer modeling?

When are we supposed to see the benefits of computer technology on the military side of things, to say that one a/c took X number of years to IOC and use that as a benchmark for a new program does not say much.
Military programs today are just that, programs, gone are the days when OEM's were looking to develop and produce a new a/c, today its all about the weapon system. Everyone agrees and knows that millions are wasted but no one seems to know how to stop it, at least everyone is happy to denounce the waste during and after it is spent.
 
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:10 am

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 12):

yes, The F-35 is a quality control problem. Trillions down the hole, no planes that work and it should be in service today. However I'd say its the whole process from awarding the contract to the people supposed to enforce the laws of the United States of America who are broken. The fan disk failure is a symptom, not a cause.

Very well said.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:25 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 21):
How about how long it took to get the U2 and the SR71 up and deployed in an era of slide rulers and no 3D computer modeling?

How many people got killed when prototypes crash or when military aircraft were introduced despite some very serious shortcomings and technical faults back then? Example: F-100 Super Sabre. In the first 100,000 hours of service, there were 95 major accidents with 6 fatalities. Later aircraft were improved, but the USAF still lost a quarter of the F-100 fleet in crashes.

Or better yet, how many aircraft were manufactured and then quickly retired with major capabilities missing or major deficiencies not resolved until a few variants down the line back then? Literally thousands of examples.

Aircraft systems are getting increasingly complex and it is not just relegated to just one manufacturer; witness the projected $700 million dollar overrun on the KC-46, what should be considered a relatively straightforward conversion of their venerable 767 airliner.

Moreover, this isn't a trend limited to the military industry: civilian aerospace is seeing the same issues. Bombardier's C-series will require over 12 years of development from initial launch to deliveries, whereas earlier generations like the 777 required 6-7 years. Waving one's hand and saying "We'll do it better next time, because we're smarter than those people" ignores the very long trend for the industry.

Underlying all of this is that avionics development, even with a good base to start, just takes time. The Super Hornet was successful, simply because they reused most of the F/A-18C's avionics, which meant that the Super Hornet really wasn't that much of an improvement (if at all) over its predecessor at IOC. Boeing basically got the USN to pay for real avionics development in the decade after its true IOC, through various development spirals. As a result, the Super Hornet is much more capable, only because they had 20 years of development behind it.

Quoting par13del (Reply 21):
Everyone agrees and knows that millions are wasted but no one seems to know how to stop it, at least everyone is happy to denounce the waste during and after it is spent.

As I said in another thread:

Quote:
Development problems aren't new. EVERY fighter developed by everyone has had some issues with development. Fighters have been introduced into service with severe shortcomings or flaws that were widely known by practically every user in the world. This is why we do development testing and evaluation; to find these flaws and fix them!
 
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par13del
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:37 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 23):
How many people got killed when prototypes crash or when military aircraft were introduced despite some very serious shortcomings and technical faults back then?

So the only way to prevent death is to spend billions and have programs go years overdue? As an example, the oxygen generator issue for the F-22 was discovered when during design, testing production???
I now work for an insurance company, and when finances get involved even the cost of human life can be factored in, ever wonder why despite all the equipment soldiers on the ground are still used, we protect the equipment more because it cost more than the human element. Morbid but its the way of the world.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 23):
Or better yet, how many aircraft were manufactured and then quickly retired with major capabilities missing or major deficiencies not resolved until a few variants down the line back then? Literally thousands of examples

Yet they were able to make said a/c, determine them failures and move on, versus today where every single development is a 100% sure bet. In today's environment one may say they were lunatics to cancel B-2, F-22 and Presidential helo production. How about millions on an LCS ship with various modules to alter its modes of operation, how exactly is it being deployed and the modules not even designed, millions can not resolve a timing issue?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 23):
Aircraft systems are getting increasingly complex and it is not just relegated to just one manufacturer; witness the projected $700 million dollar overrun on the KC-46, what should be considered a relatively straightforward conversion of their venerable 767 airliner.

So you are agreeing with our point, no one said it was limited to any particular nation or OEM, one can ask the question though, how do all these engineers all have the same issue? US engineers are not working in Europe or vice versa but they all have the same problem even when no new tech is being introduced, they all have delays which are somehow unforseen but when they occur everyone knew about them, I am now falling on the side of these things being big business.
Look how fast IED's in war created MARP vehicles, and how much longer it is now taking to design a peace time replacement with its associated cost.
 
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Groover158
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:23 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 24):
when finances get involved even the cost of human life can be factored in, ever wonder why despite all the equipment soldiers on the ground are still used, we protect the equipment more because it cost more than the human element. Morbid but its the way of the world.

I'm not sure what you are saying here. Are you saying that the US consciously puts its soldiers in harm's way just because it would rather do so than to field expensive equipment? The value of life does get estimated following a loss; but if this value becomes a key factor that determines people to be put in harm's way, then I am thinking jail time. Remember the Ford Pinto memo?
 
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kanban
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:11 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 23):
Or better yet, how many aircraft were manufactured and then quickly retired with major capabilities missing or major deficiencies not resolved until a few variants down the line back then? Literally thousands of examples.

As usual your justification for waste and errors is "because we've always done it that way".. - quotes are mine for emphasis-

For the time and money spend on this design, it would seem that we should seeing a useable product by now.. yes they fly..but they are still prototypes in test. Let's look at it another way you build 100+ test vehicles to do the job of 10-12, is that because they are not robust enough to handle test program conditions? Reminds me of a armored vehicle that could travel 60 miles on paved roads between each major service.. You make a point of all programs have lost a plane or two during that phase, well if you have 10 test planes and lose one that 10%, but if you have 100 and lose one it doesn't matter because 1% isn't statistical relevant.

Now above I quoted your statement about quick program retirees because of missing capabilities or deficiencies... this program will continue to produce planes with missing capabilities or structural, mechanical, or computing deficiencies for the next 10 years.. how is that better?

It would have been far smarter and significantly cheaper if they'd completed the design, built a small test batch and then done nothing until they had resolved all the design and production problems. This slow rate concurrency is far from the money saver it was portrayed.. however the remanufacture/completion of all the early units will either be a separate very expensive contract, or as I predicted some time ago, the first units will be going to the desert before a fully battle ready unit comes off the line.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:32 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 24):

So you are agreeing with our point, no one said it was limited to any particular nation or OEM, one can ask the question though, how do all these engineers all have the same issue? US engineers are not working in Europe or vice versa but they all have the same problem even when no new tech is being introduced, they all have delays which are somehow unforseen but when they occur everyone knew about them, I am now falling on the side of these things being big business.

Technical and developmental problems happen on a very regular basis for any large developmental projects, civilian OR military, especially one as complicated as designing an aircraft.

Quoting par13del (Reply 24):
Look how fast IED's in war created MARP vehicles, and how much longer it is now taking to design a peace time replacement with its associated cost

That is because we accepted systems that we knew from the start that had major technical deficiencies and shortcomings for expediency's sake. Notice how quickly the US military disposed of the war-time MRAPs; they were unsuitable for the US military in the long run because of the know deficiencies and shortcomings.

When the US military needs a capability NOW and in large numbers, they are willing to accept whatever equipment meets that capability, despite any potential or real shortcomings that are known well in advanced. However, when the US military has the time to develop hardware to meet a capability, they will do so at a much more slower pace and take more time to make sure whatever equipment they do get meets their needs completely.

Quoting kanban (Reply 26):
Now above I quoted your statement about quick program retirees because of missing capabilities or deficiencies... this program will continue to produce planes with missing capabilities or structural, mechanical, or computing deficiencies for the next 10 years.. how is that better?

The difference is that previous aircraft when introduced had major capabilities cut out due to cost savings, or technical risks, only to be introduced at a later time frame.

Concurrency is not the boogieman people and politicians make it out to be. Concurrency is nothing new, and warplanes don't spring fully formed/armed from the head of Zeus. That LM and the DoD gave this fact-of-life a name and actually planned for it accordingly doesn't really change things much.

The takeaway IS that we fielded needed technology as fast as possible knowing we’d learn something new, or possibly fall short (without fear), or learn we needed different or just ‘better’ technology. We then incorporated those lessons learned to get the systems we needed. Most of the time those precursor aircraft had limited front-line service lives and were seconded or scrapped less than a decade after they were built.

Compare that approach with today’s approach; the one used for the F-35. A limited number of aircraft have been produced, with the intention of making them all (or nearly all) meet the baseline standard (Block 3) through subsequent modification. There will probably be around 200 aircraft (or fewer) produced before the first Block 3 plane is rolled out, far less than 10% of the currently planned total production run, and all but the most early of those jets will be upgraded to baseline standard via mostly software/component updates.

Quoting kanban (Reply 26):
Now above I quoted your statement about quick program retirees because of missing capabilities or deficiencies... this program will continue to produce planes with missing capabilities or structural, mechanical, or computing deficiencies for the next 10 years.. how is that better?

It would have been far smarter and significantly cheaper if they'd completed the design, built a small test batch and then done nothing until they had resolved all the design and production problems. This slow rate concurrency is far from the money saver it was portrayed.. however the remanufacture/completion of all the early units will either be a separate very expensive contract, or as I predicted some time ago, the first units will be going to the desert before a fully battle ready unit comes off the line.

According to this report by a team of analysts from Center for Naval Analysis in the Defense concurrency isn't a bad thing:

http://www.dau.mil/pubscats/ATL%20Do...ep-Oct10/Birchler%20sept-oct10.pdf

Quote:
Our results, based on examining 28 programs across all Services, are very similar to those of the Congressional Budget Office and RAND studies with one surprising exception: While from a purely statistical point of view we found that the relationship between both planned and actual concurrency and cost growth was very weak, in both cases, there seems to be a “sweet spot” of about 30 percent concurrency. That is, programs that plan on spending 30 percent of RDT&E funds while concurrently spending procurement funds actually experience the lowest average cost growth. Similarly, those programs that actually do spend about 30 percent of RDT&E funds while concurrently spending procurement dollars, even when not originally planned, also experience lower cost growth. Furthermore, programs with planned or actual levels of concurrency below 30 percent experienced higher cost growth than those with higher levels of concurrency. In other words, lower levels of planned or actual concurrency were actually worse than higher levels of concurrency. This is the complete opposite of what many in the acquisition community believe. We speculate that lower levels of concurrency may expose the program to higher levels of external changes.

Note what I've bolded. The report says, in fact, less concurrency is really bad; programs with low levels of concurrency experience higher rates of cost growth compared to similar programs with more concurrency.

Even if the production ramp up hadn’t been delayed by playing the ‘concurrency’ card, there still would have been far fewer F-35s needing upgrade than obsolete precursor aircraft produced in fielding previous ‘major’ types. Stretching the program adds more costs and more total risks, just fewer technical ones.
 
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kanban
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:28 am

Oh the innocence of youth, they believe anything put in front of them by people with a career interest at stake..

Concurrency is only cost effective if the units are complete and few if any retrofit programs must be activated.. this program will either pay big bucks for retrofit or they will park the incomplete units and no saving.. but we shall see.
 
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par13del
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:36 am

Quoting groover158 (Reply 25):
I'm not sure what you are saying here. Are you saying that the US consciously puts its soldiers in harm's way just because it would rather do so than to field expensive equipment?

I'm saying that cost is factored in everything, from equipment to lives lost, and not just the USA but every country who has a military and in particular those who also have a military industrial complex which build their weapons. The major item on the soldier side is improved medical facilities and we can all agree that those endeavours are not funded as well and I'm not talking about the recent VA issue, more on the lines of improved battle field medicine.
I recall as far back as the Falkland crises when torpedoes were fired, they actually listed the cost of those fired, I'm sure they could also do that for every gallon of gas or bullet fired.
Computer technology todays means that running totals can be maintained easily, it is now a numbers game, so why it is far fetched to believe that it also applied to research and development.
Hey, I could be wrong but as I said, with all the computer tech today which make every day Joes into designers, ace photographers etc. how is it that development is not benefiting in the same manner?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 27):
That is because we accepted systems that we knew from the start that had major technical deficiencies and shortcomings for expediency's sake.
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 27):
However, when the US military has the time to develop hardware to meet a capability, they will do so at a much more slower pace and take more time to make sure whatever equipment they do get meets their needs completely.

The first one allows you to deploy equipment based on your needs, if the USA gets involved in another conflict in a year or so they are coming back from the desert. They may not be good for driving around town in peace time, but............
The supposed new vehicle they were looking at has already been cancelled due to cost, go figure.

The second one due to its development time span is always based on someone's dream of what combat will be in the future, which usually morphs into what is the required bottom line of the OEM.
The Bradley and Stryker, were they designs that went through the process to ensure that they met all the requirements, if so what was the end result when they were actually deployed to combat?
The mobile and transportability of the Stryker is a great peace time weapon system, however, in combat, the armor required to protect the soldiers who use the vehicle resulted in transmissions which could not take the load, weight that made it non-transportable and less maneuverable.

Let's not talk compromise, if you take years and billions to produce a weapon system compromise should be the last thing listed.
 
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Groover158
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:48 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 29):
I'm saying that cost is factored in everything, from equipment to lives lost, and not just the USA but every country who has a military and in particular those who also have a military industrial complex which build their weapons.

We don't treat lives and equipment the same. Sure, military forces need to be cost-conscious with the use of their equipment but they don't value lives against the cost of equipment. The risk to lives is linked to the value of the outcomes of the mission and if the mission can be completed safer through the use of expensive equipment, then it's likely to be pursued.

Quoting par13del (Reply 29):
I recall as far back as the Falkland crises when torpedoes were fired, they actually listed the cost of those fired, I'm sure they could also do that for every gallon of gas or bullet fired.

This is why a logistician is so important to the war-fighting effort. No bombs, guns, bullets, etc = no-win situation.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:07 am

The fire was caused by the turbine blades rubbing in the engine’s low-pressure section and the surrounding cowl, and is confirmed to be an isolated incident:

http://aviationweek.com/defense/f-35-latest-engine-fire-cause-emerges

Quote:
The blade rubbing that prompted a fire in an F-35A – leading to a fleetwide grounding July 3 – took place in the third-stage fan of the integrally bladed rotor (IBR) in the low pressure section of the F135 engine, according to Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, program executive officer for the U.S.–led F-35 program.

The three-stage IBR sits behind the front fan in the F135 and compresses the air before passing it into the high-pressure core. Each stage is separated by a stator and rotates within the casing, which is lined with an abradable strip to maintain tight clearances between the blade tips and the inner wall of the compressor casing. This enables tight tolerances while reducing pressure loss and some rubbing is acceptable. In the engine for AF-27, the blades were rubbing far in excess of the design, creating excessive heat and microcracking in the blades. The resulting high cycle fatigue failure forced the section to “come apart,” Bogdan says, prompting the fire June 23 at Eglin.

The pilot safely egressed and the flames were extinguished with foam.

Senior Pentagon officials say the problem thus far appears isolated; officials have inspected all 98 Pratt & Whitney F135 engines in service, Bogdan says. “All 98 of the other engines did not indicate the same phenomena as the one that failed,” he said. “We have created a body of evidence now that we think is ample enough to fully understand what happened.”

Hopefully, the decision to resume flying will come shortly, due to the negative inspection results for the rest of the fleet, and a exact cause worked out.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:25 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 31):
Hopefully, the decision to resume flying will come shortly, due to the negative inspection results for the rest of the fleet, and a exact cause worked out.

And just in time; grounding has been lifted:

http://www.investing.com/news/stock-...heed-f-35-fighters:-sources-294874

Quote:
U.S. military officials have lifted a fleetwide grounding order for Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets, but will maintain some operating restrictions on the jets given an ongoing investigation into a massive engine failure last month, sources familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.
 
sovietjet
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:32 pm

No more grounding however the F-35 will not be going to the UK.
 
checksixx
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:24 am

Odds are that the UK aviation authority wouldn't have cleared the jet to fly in time anyways.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:15 am

Already some lessons learned from this incident regarding policies and procedures:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/...heed-fighter-idUSKBN0FL2JK20140716

Quote:
(Reuters) - The engine failure that grounded Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jets and the warplane's now-canceled appearance at two UK air shows provided key "lessons learned" for the companies that build the jets, and the military forces that use them.

While the outcome was disappointing for air show visitors and many people involved in the F-35 program, U.S. military and industry officials said both the engine incident and air show planning allowed them to learn a lot about handling future problems and taking the jets overseas.

The $400 billion weapons program is the world's largest single arms project and encompasses three different U.S. military services, eight countries that helped fund the plane's development, two other foreign militaries, and a separate Pentagon office, as well as three separate aircraft models.

U.S. military officials on Tuesday announced that they had approved limited flights of the F-35 jets but imposed mandatory engine inspections and various flight restrictions, and banned the planned flights to Farnborough air show.

The latest grounding - the program's 12th to date - was not the longest, but it was complicated by the fact that U.S. and British jets were due to leave for Britain just days after the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine on an Air Force jet broke apart and caught fire at a Florida Air Force base on June 23.

Strict Air Force protocols for safety investigations - which include quarantining the affected jet - also meant that engineers from the Pentagon and engine maker Pratt did not have access to the affected jets for days, which slowed efforts to get the jets flying again.

Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed's aeronautics division, told Reuters on Wednesday that Lockheed and its key suppliers learned a great deal while preparing for what would have been the F-35's first foreign deployment, building on the planes' first deployments to the USS Wasp for testing in 2011 and 2013.

He said Lockheed developed detailed plans for transporting and storing spare parts, provided maintenance support and tested international use of the computerized logistics system called ALIS that stores mission plans and maintenance data - and all those systems worked well.


Carvalho said he was less concerned about hashing over what happened in this incident than ensuring improved procedures to deal with any future mishaps. Any changes to procedures would be led by the government in consultation with industry, he said.

"The fundamental question coming out of the last three weeks is, okay, if this were to occur again, how do we do this better?" he told Reuters at the Farnborough air show that was supposed to celebrate the new jet's international debut.

He said differentiated plans were needed to deal with incidents that affected each separate model, as well as those that were common to all three.

Air Force Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan, the Pentagon's F-35 program chief, told reporters earlier this week the program would review and revamp current communications procedures about accidents and other safety concerns.

Marine Lieutenant General Jon Davis, who took over as deputy commandant for aviation on July 1, said the military was used to doing "after action reports" about what went right and wrong on any military operation.

"We are going to get smart about how we do things as a joint program. That will probably be the number one thing that comes out of this," Davis said. "I can guarantee that we’ll come up with a little bit different construct for the next time around."

Davis said the services' needed to retain the responsibility for investigating accidents and mishaps, but it was critical to do that in a way that allowed sharing of information, at an appropriate level, with affected other operators.

He said the services should also look at ways to ensure quick sharing of data about pilot training and procedures, as well as emergency response procedures, as more and more jets are fielded in a growing number of countries in coming years.


Endre Lunde, F-35 spokesman for Norway's defence ministry, welcomed the effective safety procedures used in this case.

Lunde said the latest incident had "highlighted some challenges in how we handle such incidents in a large multinational program, and we expect that this also will be subject of review in the time going forward."

Paul Adams, president of Pratt & Whitney, said the fact that the program was still doing developmental testing while already producing larger numbers of jets - a practice called concurrency - had actually helped officials get more insight earlier in the performance of the engines and other components.

Basically, there is a need for better sharing of information and cooperation between users and between the supplier and the customer, which would have sped up the investigation and cleared aircraft quicker.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:47 am

The issue has been identified:

http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive...014/Therein-Lies-the-F135-Rub.aspx

http://defensetech.org/2014/09/03/fl...-cause-of-f-35-fire/#ixzz3CIYYwFDx

Basically, the natural flex in the engine is the root cause of the rubbing fan blades. What happened was that this specific aircraft performed a certain maneuver a few weeks prior to the fire caused the engine to rub against a rubber piece at a much higher rate — and nearly double the temperature — than it was designed to do. This caused micro-fractures in the fan blade, which went unnoticed until the fire.

The fire started when the affected fan blade basically cracked wide open under centrifugal load and then pierced the left aft fuel tank.

The proposed fix is redesigning the area involved in the engine to create more room to allow the engine to flex without excessive rubbing. A prototype engine with the fixes is expected to be tested in October. Also being tested is an improved new engine break-in procedure as a short-term fix to better analyze how it performs under increasing loads.

The damaged aircraft is expected to be used as a static training tool for battle damage repairs for technicians.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:17 am

Some more details on the proposed fix and how it compares to engines that don't exhibit the excessive rubbing:

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.o...blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=1603

On the subject of why the engine failed: basically, it happened with a component that in other engines never require frequent inspections:

Quote:
Bennett Croswell, president of Pratt & Whitney military engines division, which manufactures the joint strike fighter’s F135 engine, said he believes that weeks before the fire, a pilot performed a “relatively aggressive maneuver” that may have caused the seal plate within the third-stage fan to overheat and form “micro cracks.” In time, those micro-cracks propagated to other third-stage fan components, including a titanium arm that broke apart from the engine and pierced through the fuel tank, starting the June 23 fire.

"These type of seal systems are on legacy platforms ... and we've never had an issue,” he said. “This was not an area that we thought we needed to do recurring inspections on until we had this event," Croswell said.

Croswell stressed that although the maneuver “had a lot of pitch, yaw and Gs to it,” it was still within the flight envelope of the jet.

The military expects that a fighter’s engine components will rub together and produce heat during flight, Bogdan said.

"Fighter engines [are ] actually not static things when you put them in an airplane,” he said. "When you pull Gs on the airplane or you yaw or you roll the airplane, the engine actually flexes."

On how Pratt is going to test how the failure occurred and reach a root cause: there will be a ground test rig with the seal and fan blades. They will look at how the seal is manufactured to see if how the foam seal is manufactured at certain densities affects the rubbing that is being seen.

And more details on the proposed fix: basically, the seal will be pre-trenched from the beginning, which should eliminate the problem altogether. With how the engine is currently built and operated, the fans generate the trench after some hours of operation, and has been broken in. Also being considered is a new engine break in procedure that will create the trench in the engine without causing a scenario that led to the excessive rubbing and fire:

Quote:
The company plans to conduct ground testing of an engine that has “pre-trenched” the polyimide rub strip in the third stage fan, which should eliminate rubbing, Croswell said. Currently, the normal rubbing of components inside the engine creates the trench after use. If ground testing shows that pre-trenching has no detrimental effect on engine performance, the company will begin flight tests in October.

Should testing be successful, Pratt & Whitney will retrofit the existing system development and demonstration aircraft F-35s with pre-trenched engines. That could begin as early as November and conclude by the end of the year.

.
.
.
.

Pre-trenching could be adopted as a long-term solution, in addition to the other six options under consideration by the joint press office, he said.

The company is also working with F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin to validate a set of uniform maneuvers that can slowly build a trench without causing a hard rub, Croswell said. The companies are culling data from the rub rig, as well as other modeling and simulation assets, to develop those maneuvers.
 
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kanban
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:32 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 37):

well that addresses the one failure, however does it also address the other 5 engines.. ? were those other 5 involved in similar flight routines? (I don't know is an acceptable answer)
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:42 am

Quoting kanban (Reply 38):
well that addresses the one failure, however does it also address the other 5 engines.. ? were those other 5 involved in similar flight routines? (I don't know is an acceptable answer)

There were actually three engines involved that had the same issue, per the earlier article:

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.o...blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=1603

Quote:
Three other engines were found to have hard rubbing, Croswell said. All of them probably pulled an aggressive maneuver early in the lifecycle of the engine.

It seems when the engine experienced the hard maneuvering and loads in its life cycle mattered.
 
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kanban
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:03 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 39):

somewhere in the other thread, 5 engines were discussed, so are we to believe the other two were either just cautionary or were they a totally different issue?
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:38 pm

Root cause analysis is in, and they have determined that it is excessive blade rubbing that caused the fire:

http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive...2003%202014/F-35-Engine-Fixes.aspx

Quote:
F-35 Engine Fixes
03 Nov 2014 John A. Tirpak

"Officials have completed the root cause analysis on why an F-35 engine caused an aircraft to burn in June, and temporary fixes are underway, program executive officer Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said. As he’d previously expected, compressor blades rubbed too tightly against a polyimide seal, causing overheating, which cracked and broke the blades.

The short term fix is to operate some of the current engines with a very specific operational profile to burn in the current engines over a pair of one hour flights, and for the rest to have a trench cut into the seal material. To make up for lost time, they intend on ramping up flights to wartime levels to catch up with the rest of the planned test schedule.
 
Ozair
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:40 pm

Further info has been released including a cost estimate as a result of the fire. Not sure if that means they intend on repairing the effected F-35 or if it will be scrapped or perhaps used for additional damage testing.

The U.S. Air Force on Friday said last year's catastrophic F-35 engine failure, which grounded the entire fleet of jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp for a month, cost over $50 million.

The Air Force's Air Education and Training Command said its investigation of the June 23 mishap involving the F135 engine built for the jet by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, showed the mishap was caused by a failure of the third-stage rotor of the engine's fan module...

It also contained the first estimate of the cost of the incident, in which part of the engine broke off, cut through an internal fuel tank and triggered a fire that burned the rear two thirds of the jet.

"Pieces of the failed rotor arm cut through the engine's fan case, the engine bay, an internal fuel tank, and hydraulic and fuel lines before exiting through the aircraft's upper fuselage," the Air Force said. "The total mishap damage is estimated to be in excess $50 million."...

"Operations are fully-restored, with engine fixes in place in production and in the fleet," said Joe DellaVedova, spokesman for the F-35 program office.

He said the program had caught up on testing and training deferred as a result of the mishap, and the incident had only a "negligible impact" on the planned timetable for the military services to declare the planes ready for initial combat use.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/...rtin-fighter-idUSL1N0YR1B320150605

These are the only pictures I have seen of the event.

http://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/F-35-damaged.jpg

The exit point of the failed rotor arm.
http://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/F-35-damaged-detail.jpg

[Edited 2015-06-06 14:42:42]
 
CPH-R
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:57 am

And to prove just how life-like simulators are these days, a F-35 sim burst into flames the other day after it had been set up at Roskilde Airshow. The latter is taking place this weekend, and both Boeing and Airbus Military (or whatever they're called these days) are present to try and make a last-minute push for their products (F/A-18 and Typhoon respectively) to be chosen to replace the RDAF F-16's.
 
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AirlineCritic
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:57 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 42):
These are the only pictures I have seen of the event.

Wow. It is not exactly in mint condition any more...
 
Ozair
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:43 am

Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 44):
Wow. It is not exactly in mint condition any more...

As quoted below the repair cost, if they decide to repair the frame against using it for additional damage or fatigue testing, is not cheap but not unexpected.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 42):
"The total mishap damage is estimated to be in excess $50 million."...
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Fire Breaks Out On F-35

Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:10 am

The pilot involved has been named, and was recently given an award for flight safety by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh:

http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDispla...rd-after-aircraft-malfunction.aspx

Quote:
WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III awarded a 58th Flying Training Squadron fighter jet pilot the Koren Kolligian Jr. trophy for flight safety in a ceremony at the Pentagon Sept. 23.

Capt. Timothy K. Killham, an F-35A Lightning II pilot, was given the award that recognizes outstanding feats of airmanship by an individual aircrew member, who by extraordinary skill, exceptional alertness, ingenuity, or proficiency, averted accidents or minimized the seriousness of the accidents in terms of injury, loss of life, aircraft or property damage.

Killham experienced engine malfunction on his jet during a takeoff June 23, 2014, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. With the aircraft engulfed in flames, he skillfully controlled the plane, aborted takeoff, and got himself to safety — a move that saved his life and the aircraft.

Air Force investigators later found the source of the fire and worked with the manufacturer to resolve the problem for future aircraft. This will save lives well into the future, allowing the Air Force to safeguard Airmen, prevent mishaps, and preserve combat readiness, said Maj. Gen. Andrew M. Mueller, Air Force chief of safety.

The incident was caused by a failure of the third-stage rotor of the engine fan module, according to an Air Education and Training Command Accident Investigation Board. Accidents such as this are rare, but pilots are trained to always remain calm and alert, following emergency procedures.

“Training makes the difference between life and death in these situations,” Mueller said. “Habit patterns instilled through training, which starts on day one in the Air Force, and then the self-discipline to adhere to those habits under pressure, are what keeps the Air Force safe.”

Killham agreed and credited training and practice for his success.

“I had been taught and practiced the emergency procedures (abort and egress) for this event ever since pilot training,” he said. “When the fire happened, the decision-making process was simple from training. The fire just added a lot of adrenaline to the situation.”

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