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Author Topic: F35 top secret photo's on a boat and not the Queen Elizabeth  (Read 1132 times)

Brian60

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F35 top secret photo's on a boat and not the Queen Elizabeth
« on: August 01, 2018, 05:46:29 pm »

Sorry I can't give any more info than the photo's,not because it was a top secret delivery to BAe Brough via the river Humber, but because I know nothing else about them, don't know the photographers name, the date or anything, The tug is called Shovette and I think from what was discussed the barge is called Felix Tow ( I think).
Apparently they were undergoing secret testing at the Brough plant, as you can see they were heavily disguised with tarpaulins  :embarrassed: :embarrassed:

garethjones35

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Re: F35 top secret photo's on a boat and not the Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2018, 07:29:49 pm »

The F35 airframe was shipped to Brough in 2009 for full scale fatigue testing.  The Brough site was (and maybe still is, I am not sure now I have retired after about 40 years there), the centre for excellence in structural and dynamic testing in BAE Systems.  The site has completed several major fatigue test programmes over the last 50 years including Buccaneer, Phantom, Hawk, Tornado, Typhoon, Nimrod and F35 Lightning II.


Maybe the programme is now not quite so secret as the airframe left Brough in April this year and there is a BAE Systems video showing it leaving by the same method it was delivered, by barge on the River Humber.  There is a link to the video here [size=78%]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqCtUlUqKrE[/size]


I wonder if Robert Blackburn could ever have envisaged an aircraft as complex as the F35 when he first set up the site at Brough in 1916.  It is the oldest site, continuously involved in manufacturing aircraft, anywhere in the world.


Gareth
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TailUK

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Re: F35 top secret photo's on a boat and not the Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2018, 10:34:35 am »

Given the cuts in Defence Spending I'm surprised that this isn't the Royal navy's new Aircraft carrier.
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derekwarner

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Re: F35 top secret photo's on a boat and not the Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2018, 12:48:57 pm »

Not understanding a lot of the history of aircraft design, does this mean that the UK is providing fatigue stress analysis of the F35 for their own behalf or is it a collaborative type of thing that the US will use ?

Either way, when we in Australia have our own F35's ...I wonder which set of calcs would be applicable to our aircraft?

Well spotted & reported anyway guys  :-))

Derek
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garethjones35

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Re: F35 top secret photo's on a boat and not the Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2018, 04:29:29 pm »

Hi Derek,


I cant give you an authoritative reply as I never worked on the F35 programme and the last time I worked in Structural test at Brough was when I was a graduate apprentice in 1970/71.  I spent a few weeks in the Buccaneer full scale fatigue test control room monitoring the test which was running at the time,  That basically meant looking out for any red or amber lights on the rig controls, listening for any strange noises from the specimen, particularly on the high g parts of the duty cycle and looking for hydraulic leaks.


Given the time that the F35 test at Brough started and the fact that the specimen was an F35A (and the UK are buying F35B)  I suspect it was a generic test to find out any major problems ahead of full scale production so that any major mods required could be embodied early.  I would expect that given the three major variants of the aircraft and the wide variety of customers there will be several more fatigue tests done, tailored to the specific build standards and duty cycles.  I dont know when or where they are going to be done, or even if they will be carried out.  Maybe computer design and analysis has progressed to the point where a full structural test is not deemed necessary, but that seems to be a rather large leap of faith to me.


Maybe Australia will do their own full scale fatigue test as they have done for the Hawk Mk 127.  I guess it depends on the fleet size they buy as to whether its justified as a stand alone test or done in conjunction with other customers.


Gareth
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KitS

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Re: F35 top secret photo's on a boat and not the Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2018, 04:50:46 pm »

A large chunk of the F-35's fuselage is built by BAe at Salmsbury in Lancs. so it's not surprising that they do the fatigue work at Brough.

I think that's only the F-35Bs though, the VSTOL version that the RAF and FAA are having.
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Kit

Netleyned

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Re: F35 top secret photo's on a boat and not the Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2018, 05:12:36 pm »

These aircraft are being sold to us
at a fine high price, but UK companies
are doing the expensive testing?
Back in the past,
Angled flight decks VTOL Catapults
all Brit developed and paid for.
Ends up with Dodgy Barnet Man
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dodes

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Re: F35 top secret photo's on a boat and not the Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2018, 05:20:01 pm »

Have been led to believe that their is a lot of UK investment and build involved in the F35 builds we are buying and the true price because of this is less than U.S. quotes given.
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gingyer

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Re: F35 top secret photo's on a boat and not the Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2018, 07:40:39 pm »

Nobody will give any exact figures on how much is being spent and where a prime example is
Lockheed Martin (a US company) is doing all the computer code work...Only a few miles away from me in sunny Glasgow!!!


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KitS

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Re: F35 top secret photo's on a boat and not the Queen Elizabeth
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2018, 08:13:09 pm »

A large chunk of the engine that lifts the F35 is made here in the UK by Rolls Royce. Even the engines of the US Marines version are made here.

Before I retired I installed the monster machine they use to weld the blades of the lift fans onto the centre section, and that was in Nottingham.

It is a joint venture, it's not just us buying totally US designed and built stuff.
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Kit
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