Week of 10/10/2019

ATF Clears 500th Jet

Last month, the Acceptance Test Facility (ATF) cleared its 500th F-35. Another key milestone demonstrating our program maturity, progress and readiness to ramp to full rate production.

The ATF uses industry-leading technology to provide a full-scale aircraft test that verifies each F-35 meets its radar cross section specification.

During testing, we place a fully built and coated F-35 in flight configuration. The test does a 360-degree radar characterization and establishes the Signature baseline for F-35 before we deliver to our customers.

In the beginning, this process took upwards of 27 hours. Today, we can accomplish an entire ATF in just nine hours. This means we can test two aircraft in one day. In our march to full-rate production, the team continues to find ways to strategically accomplish upgrades and conduct maintenance to meet the increasing number of F-35s rolling off our Production Line.

This is a significant improvement and shows our ability to fire on all cylinders. Nice work team and I look forward to 500 more!

Quality Captures Generational Knowledge

Today, I want to highlight how one of our Quality teams shattered silos to create a single verification guide and significantly improve our processes.

This verification guide brings together years of experience and generational knowledge to create a repeatable process across functions. Production and Quality teams use the verification guide for Final Acceptance preparation.

Since the guide's implementation, we have seen per aircraft, an 15.9-hour reduction in Flight Acceptance Hours Per Unit (HPU) and an 22.5-hour reduction in Scrap, Repair and Rework (SRR) and an overall projected savings of 539.17 labor hours per aircraft. These are no small numbers. This guide improves efficiency and reduces Quality escapes on the Production Floor.

To create the guide, the team sought feedback, performed in-process audits and found new ways to implement ideas. Their collaboration Drives Change and ensures that every member of the team, has the tools and systems to exceed expectations for our customers.

Thank you to the team for coming together to create a solution that helps ensure we build the highest quality and most capable aircraft for generations to come. Great work team!

New Lightning Keepers Episode

Almost 80 years ago, the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base began. Today, Luke is home to the largest fighter wing in the world. The newest episode of Lightning Keepers highlights the maintainers at Luke who keep our jets in the air.

The 56th Fighter Wing is the primary F-35A training base for the USAF and eight international partner air forces. This episode shows the rich culture of Luke and the training excellence of F-35 aircraft maintainers, known as the Lightning Keepers.

These mechanics perform continuous improvements to fighter and enhance the F-35s mission readiness. Maintainers are the men and women at the frontlines who ensure that we deliver More Readiness @ Less Cost and Agile and Affordable Modernization. Great work to the team and it was awesome to see our maintainers in action!

The F-35 Is California Dreaming 

This weekend, the F-35 Lightning II Demo Team took to the SoCal sky for the Pacific Air Show. Thousands came to Huntington Beach to see the F-35 in action.

In a stacked airshow, the F-35 was California dreaming with the USAF Thunderbirds, RAF Red Arrows, Canadian Forces Snowbirds and more.

There are only a few more opportunities to see F-35 Demo Pilot, Andrew “Dojo” Olson soar through the skies. In a few months, the F-35 Demo Team will move from Luke Air Force Base to Hill Air Force Base and they will reveal the new 2020 Airshow pilot.

Thank you to the men and women at Luke AFB for your work to support the F-35 Demo Team – as well as your dedicated efforts to train the world’s greatest fighter pilots.