In April, aircraft and personnel assigned to both the U.S. 134th Fighter Squadron and 158th Maintenance Group headed to RAF Lakenheath to perform tests alongside their personnel from the F-35 Joint Program Office and members of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.

Tests and evaluations were conducted to collect acoustic and bioenvironmental data in protective aircraft shelters specific to the F-35A Lightning II.

Image shows an F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 158th Fighter Wing Air, Vermont National Guard, stands static inside a protective aircraft shelter prior to the start of an acoustic and emission test at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, May 4, 2021. Prior to testing, acoustic sensors are affixed to the skin of the aircraft in structurally critical locations where acoustic pressure levels cannot be exceeded. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jessi Monte)

Aircraft were run for two days in different shelters, while the rest of the two-week visit involved equipment set-up and test calibration.

“Given the fact that the engines, sound and thrust profile are very different between airframes, this test was necessary to determine the parameters of safe shelter operation,” said Tech. Sgt. Galen Topper, an F-35 maintainer assigned to the 158th Maintenance Group.

“We set out to find out at which location in the shelter the aircraft could run without exceeding the safe limits for noise, dangerous gas and engine exhaust. The shelters we tested have been in place at Lakenheath since late in the Cold War and have sheltered many aircraft, the most recent of which being the F-15.”

Tests were completed using sensitive microphones and sensors on and around the F-35As to obtain accurate noise level measurements. Air quality sampling equipment was also positioned around the concrete shelter and in the cockpit.

According to Topper, all test data was safely collected with no incidents.

You can read more from the U.S. Air Force here.

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David
David
28 days ago

Hell’s teeth, the National Guard are getting F35s.

Brit AR used to get a lot of hand me down equipment etc – I remember being on an old THREE ton Bedford during training at Saighton Camp, MK2 landies etc mid 80s.

Incomparable.

MarkF
MarkF
28 days ago
Reply to  David

David, funnily enough I had the same thought as I started reading the article re National Guard.

Joe16
Joe16
28 days ago
Reply to  David

Generally speaking, the US National Guard in all branches expects far more commitment than UK counterparts- and as such are far more actively deployed (in larger units too, I believe). They’re expected to commit a minimum of one weekend a month and two weeks a year, but bear in mind this is in a country where you’re lucky to get 14 days paid annual leave and the work ethic is somewhat more intense. I think that the air units are often more actively assigned to defence missions, allowing the USAF to be more expeditionary in nature too. I’ve seen in… Read more »

Thomas
Thomas
28 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Yes and no, I work for an American corporation, I get 3 weeks paid vacation, 1 week (40hrs) of sick time I can take by the hour, and 10 days off between Christmas and New Years. I’m also a reservist and we are protected by law, a company cannot fire us for doing military stuff (training/deployments etc). Some companies (to include mine) will match any loss in pay, basically they pay the difference in pay if being mobilized causes you to take a pay cut. That said, we do have the opportunity to mobilize regularly if we so choose, as… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
28 days ago
Reply to  Thomas

Thanks for the perspective of experience- that’s really interesting to have! Mine is taken from my time working for a US-headquartered company (Texas), and their terms weren’t as generous as yours from speaking to them (I was on UK terms, so don’t have first-hand experience like yourself). But, then again, maybe I misunderstood their griping! That’s great that your company is so supportive of your choice to serve in the reserves too, do you mind me asking in what capacity? The original question was whether/why reserve/National Guard units seem to have very good kit, when most reserve forces make do… Read more »

Thomas
Thomas
27 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

It totally depends on what company you work for, some are good, some are bad. Reservists are protected by the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Act of 1994, basically your company has to hold your job and maintain all scheduled pay raises for up to 5 years of military service. There are other benefits, you can pay for health insurance through the reserves, while not free, it is considerably cheaper than most civ healthcare plans and it has better benefits associated with it. For a family its about $238 a month, for a single service member its around $47ish (I… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
27 days ago
Reply to  Thomas

Ah, sorry, my mistake in mixing up the reserves and National Guard…!
Thanks for the information, I do like the way that the US does seem to honour its servicepeople- at least that’s my impression.

Thomas
Thomas
26 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

No worries, its extremely confusing even for us….Just google Title 32 vs Title 10….it can get convoluted quickly. But I do think the UK would benefit from an expansion in their reserves, both in size and capability. it really isnt a huge burden. Yes, I lose a weekend off, but I get to fly to a different state, hang out with other servicemembers, drink beer when we are off. I know some units that do their two weeks (annual training/AT) down in Central America doing bi-lateral engagements/training etc. Its not unusual to get an overseas AT assignment. So if you… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
28 days ago
Reply to  Thomas

I will never complain about my 6 weeks paid annual leave plus bank holidays, and 6 months full pay on sick again 😄🙈

Thomas
Thomas
27 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

It just depends on what company you work for. I have a friend who works for a company that allows for unlimited paid vacation Salaried employees are all covered under the Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA), basically if you hurt yourself (or get sick, whatever), you submit an FMLA claim and an insurance company pays you 100% of your salary for the entire time you’re out, I believe it goes out to a year or more, so in this case, our benefits would be better than yours. However I feel as if we have drifted a little bit from… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
27 days ago
Reply to  Thomas

haha 😄, yes, drifted a tad. FMLA sounds like a good scheme though 👍

farouk
farouk
27 days ago

Interesting article on the GE Aviation adaptive cycle XA100 prototype engine. An adaptive cycle engine is a novel turbine that can change air flow through three different air streams, depending on an aircraft’s need for efficiency or extra power. The US Air Force (USAF) has been funding development of the engine type since 2007.Adaptive engines work by changing the volume of air flow that bypasses the turbine core by opening a third stream when flying in cruise mode. This third flow – in addition to the core flow and bypass turbofan flow – increases the engine’s efficiency. Alternatively, in high-thrust… Read more »

Last edited 27 days ago by farouk
Chris
Chris
27 days ago

The F-35 is loud as hell. Louder than any modern fighter jet I have seen.

Derek
Derek
26 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Is that because it’s forcing all it’s output down one pipe instead of two, or is that too simplistic?

Paul T
Paul T
25 days ago
Reply to  Derek

Pretty much,its a ( relatively) huge Engine with Lots of Thrust,no way around it id guess.