JSF Heat Woes Being Fixed: Trautman

JSF Heat Woes Being Fixed: Trautman

London — Changes are being made to the integrated power package (IPP) on the Marine’s F-35 that should limit heat damage to carrier decks and other surfaces, Lt. Gen. George Trautman, deputy commandant for aviation, told DoD Buzz in an exclusive interview one day before the start of the 2010 Farnborough Air Show.

“We have made the decision to adjust the IPP,” he said Sunday, reshaping the nozzle so that the enormous thrust comes out in an oval shape instead of the more highly focused circle now used. The oval “will resolve that problem for almost all surfaces,” he said.

Joint Program Office documents detailed concerns that the STOVL version of the F-35 was too hot and too noisy for carriers and too hot even for some asphalt surfaces.


An operational assessment of the JSF said that heat may force “severe F-35 operating restrictions and or costly facility upgrades, repairs or both.” The OT-IID report says “thermal management” will “increase the number of sorties required to prepare an operational unit for deployment during summer months” at most American bases. It rated basing as red: “unlikely to meet criteria — significant shortfall.”

Trautman acknowledged the JPO concerns about heat and noise but said neither was a game changer nor a serious threat to the program. Heat is “not a show stopper,” the general said, noting the Harrier generates about 1,470 degrees versus 1,500 degrees for the F-35.

On the noise front, Trautman said the F-035 actually is a bit quieter for those standing near the airplane and he said the aircraft has been subject to more noise testing than any previous aircraft. It is, he said, a “non-factor” for the program, though noise is always a management issue for ground and carrier crews.

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The F-35B, I think represents the largest improvement in comparison to older generation aircraft when comparing all of the models of the F-35. This is the first time that the U.S. has had a supersonic V/STOL aircraft and it also is a decent increase in range over the AV-8B. Also it is the first Marine Corps aircraft with Stealth.

The F-35C represents an improvement over all prior Navy aircraft because of its stealth capability. The speed is about the same as current Navy aircraft.

The F-35A is less capable then the F-22 in all aspects. The F-16 is faster and maneuverability and speed are on par with it.

I think for the reasons I mentioned and budget issues I would cancel the F-35A. This would open up funding for more F-16’s and more F-22’s. Another reason that the cancellation of the F-35 would not be a serious issue is that with the T-33 replacement program just starting it gives the air force the opportunity to develop a fighter version that is stealthier then the F-35 and a trainer version which is not.

The F-35A

The statement seems to only address the IPP (APU mode) exhause and not any issues with regard to the thermal management system (TMS) or the engine exhaust effects on the JBD (C model) or the LHA/LHD deck for the B model. So does this mean that the $70m projected milcon for each ship with F-35 will not be required? To me this looks like more marketing spin than technical fact.

Benjamin,
The problem with the F-35B is that although it represents a significant improvement over the AV-8, you are still in a position where the reduction in range and payload as a result of a VSTOL capability is greater than any increase in flexability you gain from having a VSTOL aircraft. Although exact numbers are somewhat hard to come by, the VSTOL varient looks to have about 4000lbs less fuel that the CTOL (18K+ vs 14K+). Assuming a fuel reserve of 1000lbs this really is 17K vs 13K. I’m not sure how LM spins that into a combat radius difference of “only” 110NM (610 vs 500) but I would be pretty suprised if it wasn’t realistically more like 200 nm difference. Probably even more if any VTOL was involved. You can find a lot of perfectly good airfields in that 200NM difference. AV8s have rarely (almost never) been “forward deployed” to soccer stadiums or freeway overpasses. F-35B is even less likely to do so. The only justification is small deck amphibs, and it’s a high price to pay.

Perhaps you would have the F-35B operating from a 3,000 foot runway closer to the battlefield (resupplied by KC-130) thus eliminating considerably more than 200NM.…of course this is the same argument you could make for using helicopters instead of MV-22 for many missions, IMHO.…

If you are going to tank the aircraft, then who cares about getting it closer to the battlefield (assuming you’re not going all the way from MO). I would rather have the endurance and extra payload. If you just want to be real close, use helicopters for CAS. It seems unlikely that you are going to need to penetrate denied airspace in a 5th gen fighter from just a couple hundred miles. Giving up 4000lbs of fuel and a couple more thousand pounds of payload is not worth the ability to operate off a 3000′ strip. And I would make that argument about helicopters vs MV-22. I’m not saying that MV-22, AV-8 or F-35B don’t “work”, just that the trade in $ and performance is not worth it.

Well the big deal (for the USMC and RN) is the ability to operate such a fighter off a ship smaller than a full sized carrier.

Flying Harriers from hidden foward operating positions was widely discussed during the Cold War, the concept may not be applicable everywhere, but there are some benefits.

So the heat generated is only 30*F warmer than the Harrier; get the names of the nit pickers that are out to sideline the aircraft, there is more than here than what is being argued. Some politician isn’t getting his share of the spoils. This craft is a marvel to behold. The competition is stronger than at any other time in history; every country that builds its own version of the JSF; they all say they are nearly identical; why is it none of them are using another plane as the standard to build to? All that is necessary to eliminate the heat issue is to blend the exhaust with ambient air; they can use the same fan to draw the cooler air dramatically bringing down the temperature. This is an opportunity that I wish I had been on this Project Development Team. I find the knowledge to development tighter than on any other project in Aviation History. I still believe the Saucer is buildable. The nea sayers still believe the world is flat. They have options for 6000 of these F35’s to build; we will have them in our arsenal for no other reason than to keep up with those folks having purchased the aircraft.

Money is not the reason for arguing against developing the aircraft; the cash is bleeding everywhere; we’re spending money we don’t have; nothing has been done to stop this; the difference is we’re getting nothing for it.,. Obama Longa Ding Dong has the check book.

BMiller wrote, ” So the heat generated is only 30*F warmer than the Harrier”

They may be talking about TPT, not the temp at the deck in VTO mode. The F35’s tailpipe is much closer to the deck than the exhaust nozzles on the Harrier.

BMiller wrote, ” So the heat generated is only 30*F warmer than the Harrier”

They may be talking about TPT, not the temp at the deck in VTO mode. The F35’s tailpipe is much closer to the deck than the exhaust nozzles on the Harrier.

To those worried about spending money we don’t have: Where was you when GWB was throwing dollars all over Iraq? I don’t remember anyone crying about this subject before. Why now? You wouldn’t be trying to inject a little politics here would you?
Let me say the value of a dollar hurts me more than most as I have to change my $$ to local currency. Under Obama it hasn’t gotten as low as it did under GWB.

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