|Lift Fan Installed in X-35B Joint Strike Fighter |
Lift Fan Installed in X-35B Joint Strike Fighter
Palmdale, California -- January 12, 2001 -- (AFPN) -- The Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter team has successfully installed the shaft-driven lift fan in the X-35B as the short-takeoff/vertical-landing aircraft prepares for hover-pit testing here in February.
The Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter propulsion team installs a shaft-driven lift fan in the X-35B Joint Strike Fighter concept demonstrator. The X-35B will begin hover-pit testing in Palmdale, Calif., in February. (Courtesy photo)
The unique lift-fan propulsion system differs from traditional direct-lift systems, such as those used in the AV-8B Harrier. Whereas direct-lift systems channel hot engine gases to reach vertical flight, the Lockheed Martin system uses a counter-rotating lift-fan, located behind the cockpit and connected to the engine by a drive shaft, as a primary lifting force.
The fan produces more than 18,000 pounds of cool thrust in hover flight, with an additional 18,000 pounds coming from the main engine's vectored aft nozzle and wing roll-posts.
Because the lift fan amplifies engine power, vertical lift is achieved at lower power settings, reducing rear exhaust temperatures.
"The lift-fan concept has always held clear advantages for an aircraft of the JSF's dimensions," said Tom Burbage, executive vice president and general manager of the Lockheed Martin JSF program. "Now we're showing that the hardware itself is ready and reliable."
Courtesy of Air Force Flight Test Center News Service.
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