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LM F-35 Lightning II Flies Supersonic

The F-35 accomplished four transitions through the sound barrier, spending a total of eight minutes in supersonic flight.
by Staff Writers
Fort Worth TX (SPX) Nov 19, 2008
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter flew supersonic for the first time yesterday, achieving another milestone. The aircraft accelerated to Mach 1.05, or about 680 miles per hour.

The test validated the F-35 Lightning II's capability to operate beyond the speed of sound and was accomplished with a full internal load of inert or "dummy" weapons on the one-hour flight.

"The F-35 transitioned from subsonic to supersonic just as our engineers and our computer modeling had predicted," said Jon Beesley, Lockheed Martin's chief F-35 test pilot.

"I continue to be impressed with the aircraft's power and strong acceleration, and I'm pleased that its precise handling qualities are retained in supersonic flight, even with a payload of 5,400 pounds (2,450 kilograms) in the weapons bays."

Beesley said it was also a significant achievement for a test aircraft to fly supersonic for the first time with the weight of a full internal load of weapons. The milestone was achieved on the 69th flight of F-35 aircraft AA-1. Beesley climbed to 30,000 feet (9,144 meters) and accelerated to Mach 1.05, or about 680 miles per hour, over a rural area in north Texas.

The F-35 accomplished four transitions through the sound barrier, spending a total of eight minutes in supersonic flight. The flight was preceded by a high-subsonic mission earlier in the day. Future testing will gradually expand the flight envelope out to the aircraft's top speed of Mach 1.6, which the F-35 is designed to achieve with a full internal load of weapons.

related report
GD Awarded F-35 Lightning II Gun System Contracts by LM
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), has been awarded two contracts by Lockheed Martin for the production of GAU-22/A gun systems for the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter aircraft. The contracts have a combined value of nearly $9 million.

According to General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products Gun Systems Program Manager Howard Brott, "Our GAU-22/A gun system serves a vital role in the F-35 aircraft's tactical air-to-ground support capabilities. In addition, the 25mm GAU-22/A brings increased range in air-to-air engagements compared to the 20mm guns common on today's fighters.

The gun system's high rate of fire and consistency are key features for future F-35 pilots, and its reliability contributes significantly to lower operating and aircraft maintenance costs."

The F-35 Lightning II internal gun system is based on a derivative of General Dynamics' proven GAU-12/U 25mm Gatling gun. It will be used on the F-35 Conventional Take-off and Landing (CTOL) variant and will include the GAU-22/A gun and its associated components. General Dynamics is also developing an external gun system for other variants of the F-35.

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Safer, More Reliable Electroshock Weapons
Gaithersburg MD (SPX) Nov 19, 2008
Electroshock weapons - such as stun guns and other similar devices that temporarily incapacitate a person by delivering a high-voltage, low-current electric shock - have helped law enforcement officers safely subdue dangerous or violent persons for years.







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