3005. X-35 Weight Control

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Title3005. X-35 Weight Control
Publication TypeConference Paper
Paper Number3005
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsMaijala, Glen
Conference59th Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, June 5-7
Conference LocationSt. Louis, Missouri
PublisherSociety of Allied Weight Engineers, Inc.
Date Published6/5/00

Effective weight control is mandatory for any successful short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft. The demanding task is made more difficult when the aircraft has a high degree of commonality with variants designed as replacements for high performance Air Force and Navy fighters.

This challenge was placed squarely in front of a Lockheed Martin led team when, in November 1996, it was selected as one of two participants for the concept development phase (CDP) of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. Each contractor was to develop two aircraft that would demonstrate technologies it deemed critical to being able to produce a multi-service fighter to replace the F-16, F/A-18, and the AV-8. Lockheed Martin?s demonstrator aircraft, which are designated the X-35A, X-35B and X-35C, are currently undergoing final assembly and system checkout testing at its Palmdale, California location and are schedule to fly before year end.

This paper describes and examines the weight management aspects of the X-35 program that contributed to the achievement of the healthy weight margin its STOVL variant now enjoys. The effectiveness, strengths, and weaknesses of the aspects are explained. Some of the aspects addressed include: the roles of the mass properties engineer, subcontractor weight management, weight ?plan-to-perform? profiles, weight reduction programs, definition and use of target weights, ?value of a pound,? the ?weight czar,? and program management?s role in weight control. Following the examination of the weight control processes are recommendations for improvements.

Key Words17. Weight Engineering - Procedures
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