B-21轰炸机将在爱德华兹基地进行试验

KC-46项目首架试验飞机,一架改装后的767-2C
(EMD-1)于10月15日离开波音西雅图工厂首次抵达爱德华兹空军基地。该机计划在爱德华兹基地停留约2周时间,波音公司和第418飞行试验中队将开展地面效应和燃油加载疲劳试验。

JSF综合试验队已在爱德华兹空军基地开始F-35A尾钩的首轮试验。海军的飞机着舰时需要尾钩挂住航母上的拦阻索,JSF的海军型机F-35C装有专为海军设计使用的更结实的尾钩。空军型F-35A飞机的尾钩只在着陆距离不足或者飞机出现刹车故障或方向控制问题时,用于帮助飞机停止。该尾钩设计成一次性使用,不像海军飞机的尾钩可以展开、收回和收起。第461飞行试验中队项目试飞员Corey
Florendo称,F-35A尾钩设计成在紧急情况下使飞机停止,试验目的是确保该系统按设计要求工作,验证该系统的性能,包括在最恶劣的情况下的性能。初始试验包括在地面将F-35A加速到180节、约200英里/小时。随着AF-04号F-35A试验飞机在跑道上减速滑行,高速相机记录下整个过程。工程人员规划好展开尾钩的时间,试飞员按计划的时间展开尾钩以挂住拦阻索,使飞机安全停止,这一过程中收集有关数据、并对视频进行评审。AF-04飞机已成功完成了几次尾钩挂索试验,为后续更多试验打下了基础。未来该机将进行多种条件下的试验。该尾钩试验计划将在今夏持续进行。JSF
Tailhook Testing Begins At EdwardsAlthough also called a tailhook, the
emergency arresting hook fitted to the US Air Force’s F-35A is a
single-use device that does not use the usual hooked metal bar fitted to
the US Navy’s F-35C carrier variant. (USAF photo)EDWARDS AFB, Calif. —
When most people hear “tailhook” they think of U.S. Navy planes and
aircraft carriers. However, almost all U.S. combat aircraft have a
tailhook. That also goes for the Air Force’s new F-35A Joint Strike
Fighter. The JSF Integrated Test Force here conducted the first set of
tests for the F-35A’s tailhook. F-35s have landed using a tailhook
before, but not at the speeds and weights being tested now. By nature,
Navy aircraft need tailhooks to catch arresting wires on aircraft
carriers. The Navy’s version of the JSF – the F-35C – has a
significantly more robust tailhook that is designed differently for Navy
purposes. On Air Force planes tailhooks are only used to help the jet
stop when landing distance is insufficient or if the jet has a brake
malfunction or directional control issue. They are designed as a
one-time use device whereas Navy tailhooks like on the F-35C can deploy,
retract and stow. “In the big picture, the F-35A tailhook is designed to
stop the jet in an emergency primarily,” said Maj. Corey Florendo, 461st
Flight Test Squadron project test pilot. “We have to make sure the
system works as designed and as specified. We’re out there to verify the
performance of the system, up to and including the worst case conditions
we can possibly envision.” The initial testing included powering the
F-35A at 180 knots over the ground; about 200 miles an hour. As high
speed cameras record, AF-04 from the 461st FLTS speeds down the runway.
Engineers plan the time to deploy the tailhook, and when the time comes,
the test pilot deploys the hook to catch an arresting cable in place to
safely stop the fighter. Data is collected and the video footage is
reviewed. “There’s a lot of parameters that we’re looking at. Obviously,
we’re curious about the forces on the hook. Aside from just the numbers,
we’re also curious if the tailhook system is going to be safe. ‘Is the
cable going to do something like hook the main landing gear and not the
cable?’ No one has done this before, and before this happens to someone
out in the Air Force, we want to see it and make sure it works,”
Florendo said. AF-04 had several successful engagements with the
tailhook and arresting cable, which will clear the path for additional
tests coming up. Florendo said they will be looking at different
“offsets” in future tests. “Ideally you want to be in the center of the
runway, but we want to also test to see what happens when the pilot is
not in the center,” he said. Like most other test projects on Edwards,
JSF tailhook testing requires heavy coordination throughout different
organizations on base and off. “Obviously, we’re not the only program
that executes here at Edwards,” said Andrew Soundy, Lockheed Martin
experimental test pilot. “We have the main runway that has the permanent
cables attached, so if we’re doing cable testing or landing gear
testing, we really need sole use of the runway. If we used the permanent
cables, we would severely impact the outer runway.” That’s where the Air
Force’s 820th RED HORSE Airmen from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, come
in. RED HORSE stands for rapid engineer deployable heavy operational
repair squadron engineers. The team set up the mobile aircraft arresting
system on Edwards’ 12,000-foot inside runway so impact on other flight
operations is minimal during testing. “I’ve been involved in a lot of
test projects over the year, this one has probably the most input from
multiple different agencies and it’s great to see the way it’s all come
together,” said Soundy. “The big thing to me is the team effort that’s
been going on here at Edwards. This is a great place to be doing testing
with the weather that we get here and the experience we have here; all
those teams coming together to make this happen has been great.” Testing
will continue this summer.

[美《航宇日报》2011年7月13日报道]
F-35A第2架试验飞机AF-6计划于7月12日在爱德华兹空军基地完成首次成熟性飞行。

[据美国《空军杂志》网站2017年3月7日报道]美国空军3月6日确认,该军种很可能会在加利福尼亚州爱德华兹空军基地测试B-21“袭击者”,但相关官员表示测试开始时间尚未确定。美国空军发言人安斯特藩克向《空军》杂志表示,“爱德华兹空军基地是美国空军飞行试验的基地,我们历来在那测试新飞机。如以前所说,第一架B-21飞机预计最早将在本世纪20年代中期交付该基地。根据《驱动》报道,爱德华兹空军基地第412测试联队司令官卡尔舍费尔空军准将3月3日在羚羊谷委员会贸易和商业展望会议上宣布B-21不仅将在爱德华兹进行测试,而且“将在不久的将来进行测试”,斯特藩克是在上述报道后做出评论的。斯特藩克说,使用“不久的将来”这个词可能是相对的,因为现在已经是2018年了,而新的轰炸机计划将在20年代中期开始测试。她说,“时间仍然待定”。

地面效应试验将收集气动数据用于KC-46A模拟器升级以及支持鉴定试验。燃油加载疲劳试验将收集飞机在KC-135或KC-10加油机之后呈受油编队飞行时的典型数据。虽然KC-46的任务是为其他飞机实施加油,但该机也可能需要从其他加油机如KC-10或KC-135飞机受油以延长航程。燃油加载疲劳试验将首先测试KC-46作为授油机的性能。KC-46A后期还将在爱德华兹基地的Benefield微波暗室进行试验,以及开展空中加油鉴定试飞。

AF-6和AF-7的成熟性试飞是F-35今年秋季按计划进行飞行员培训前需完成的工作之一,目标是利用这两架飞机完成Block
1A软件在埃格林基地进行飞行员培训前的验证,该批次软件包括任务航电系统、基本的导航与仪表、某些雷达与电子战系统的功能。

成熟性试飞阶段是五角大楼在今年F-35项目做出调整以降低研制风险过程中新加入的。Block
1A软件包并不适用于实际作战,只用于初始飞行员训练。

洛马公司发言人Laurie Quincy称AF-6计划在7月12日完成首次Block
1A飞行,该机在研制试飞中曾装Block
1软件完成飞行。他说AF-7迄今已完成5次成熟性试飞,包括1次软件回归测试和4次训练课程飞行。这些成熟性飞行将确保飞机能支持飞行员训练所需的课程飞行任务。这4次飞行内容主要是飞机基本性能评估。软件回归飞行中飞行员利用升级后的软件完成了以前曾完成过的机动过程。

成熟性试验结束后试飞重点将转移到在埃格林完成AF-8至AF-13的测试飞行,在今年秋天开始正式训练飞行前,五角大楼已指定进行2个月的作战通用性评价,在这一阶段,来自美国空军和海军的专业人员将对F-35进行正式训练的就绪程度进行评价。

AF-8到AF-12都已完成首飞,AF-13也将在不久后完成首次飞行,不过目前这些飞机尚未交付给埃格林基地。Quincy表示,与F-35
研制与验证阶段的试验飞机不同,AF-8和AF-9是生产型机,飞行中并未用试飞测试设备进行监控,洛马与军方正在认真对试验数据和文件进行详细评审,以便确定飞机交付日期,评审需要确保飞机可在作战环境中飞行,而这些评审所需的时间比原先预计稍长。

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