Weapons test F-35A flies

written by australianaviation.com.au | April 22, 2010
AF-2 takes off on its first flight. (LM)
AF-2 takes off on its first flight. (LM)

The seventh F-35 JSF development aircraft  made its first flight from Fort Worth on April 20, flying for one hour with pilot Jeff Knowles at the controls.

The aircraft, an F-35A dubbed AF-2, will be used to validate the F-35’s weapons suite, and as such is the first to be fitted with the new internal four-barrel General Dynamics GAU-22/A 25mm gun which is capable of firing 3000 rounds per minute.

The gun testing will validate its vibration, acoustic and recoil loads, while additional weapons testing will include vibro-acoustic loads with the weapons-bay doors open and closed with various weapon configurations, and eventually, weapons clearance and launch trials.

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