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X-32 - Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

X-32 Technology

The direct lift propulsion design provides for both conventional and vertical flight using a proven two-dimensional, flow-blocking cruise nozzle coupled with a simple direct-lift nozzle system. It shifts to the vertical landing mode by redirecting unaugmented engine thrust downward through nozzles to produce lift.

Rework was almost non-existent when Boeing built the X-32 aircraft, thanks to advanced design and manufacturing techniques such as 3-D solid modeling, virtual reality, minimal tooling, and digital simulation of assembly processes. Boeing assembled the X-32 aircraft at 50% of planned staffing levels and with nearly 50% fewer work hours than previous comparable aircraft. X-32 tooling costs were reduced by more than half over tooling costs for the YF-22, and overall fabrication and assembly costs were 30 to 40% below projections.

During final-assembly, mechanics used PCs instead of paper drawings to read X-32 design specifications. Engineers reduced travel by using "virtual co-location" video links from Seattle, St. Louis and Tulsa to "meet" with their colleagues at the Palmdale factory.

Boeing integrated and tested the advanced avionics for its JSF aboard a modified 737-200 jetliner. The 737 Avionics Flying Laboratory helped reduce risk and costly flight-test hours by allowing evaluation and troubleshooting before the avionics are ever installed on a JSF.

Boeing validated the radar, antenna, and stealth performance of their JSF design with a full-scale model of their Preferred Weapon System Concept. Tests with the model have demonstrated Boeing's advancements in supportable low-observable technologies.

Boeing successfully completed four full-mission simulations of its JSF operational concept with pilots from the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and the U.K. Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. The simulations, which help validate the JSF weapon-system performance, incorporate high-fidelity data gathered from several sources, including the 737 Avionics Flying Lab and propulsion testing.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:39:35 ZULU