F-22 completes round of static tests
3 January 2001http://defence-data.com/storypic/f22stresstest.jpg [not image]
The F-22 Raptor programme has completed all ground-based static tests required to before the next-generation air dominance fighter can enter production.
This latest achievement satisfies the eighth of 11 criteria the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) will use to decide that the F-22 programme can enter low-rate initial production for the first ten aircraft. The programme will complete the remaining three criteria in the next few days. The DAB is scheduled to meet today to review criteria completion and make a production decision.
The last test necessary to satisfy the DAB criteria, designed to test the forward fuselage inlet duct, was carried out on one of two non-flying aircraft airframes specifically built for this kind of testing. The loads applied during this test were based on pressures the F-22 could experience during operational usage.
"This test achievement is really significant," said Brig. Gen. Jay Jabour, F-22 System Programme Director. "It is a testament to the strength of the aircraft, and now clears the Raptor for complete scheduled flight envelope limits for 2001 flight tests. "
The full-scale ultimate static test programme consists of 19 "Air Vehicle" level conditions and a set of "local" level conditions. The Air Vehicle level tests were the first phase of the test programme and were designed to test the strength of the primary components of the aircraft with the forces and pressures it could experience in actual flight. Limit load tests, completed in 1999, tested the aircraft to 100 percent of simulated flight conditions, according to David Bushroe, F-22 System Programme Office strength and static test lead.
One of the DAB criteria established for the year 2000 was to complete the static testing necessary to support envelope expansion of the flight test aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base. All the Air Vehicle level conditions and nine of the local level conditions were defined to support this criterion. The latest test completed was the final local level test condition required for the DAB criteria. Once analysis of the test results is complete, the "clean wing" (without extra fuel tanks or munitions) aircraft configuration will be allowed to fly above current flight limitations, Bushroe said.
The second phase of the test programme consists of the remaining local level tests and is designed to exercise the localised structure of the aircraft to ultimate load levels. This test phase will be completed in April 2001.
REF XQQAS XQQAR
Solid-state video recorder integrated with F-22 displays
3 January 2001
Video data from the F-22's analogue Head-Up Display and digital Block 3 Secondary Multifunction Display has been recorded on solid-state memory in compressed format for the first time. The Data Transfer Equipment with Mass Memory and Video Recorder (DMVR) manufactured by Fairchild Defense, a part of Smiths Aerospace, recorded the data from the displays to its solid-state data transfer cartridge. The DMVR is being developed under an EMD contract valued at more than $13million with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.
The cockpit mounted DMVR combines data transfer and video recorder functionality into a single unit eliminating the need for trouble-prone videotape recorders. It records four channels of video and uses the same lightweight, removable, solid-state data transfer cartridge as Fairchild Defense's Airborne Video Solid-state Recorder (AVSR) and AVSR-Precision Attack (AVSR-PA). The AVSR records four channels of video and is a drop-in replacement for single and triple-deck recorders. It is designed to survive the severe environment experienced by fighter aircraft. Lockheed Martin recently selected the AVSR - PA for use in the LANTIRN pod for Bomb Impact Assessment.
Playback of the recorded video data is done with a personal computer. The solid-state media used in the data transfer cartridge eliminates rewinding and fast-forwarding and video from multiple displays and multiple aircraft is automatically synchronised. Other features, including event marking, allow significant improvements in the methods used by pilots to debrief a mission.
REF XQQAS XQQEE