This presentation will describe the technical and program challenges involved in developing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and show how an innovative idea became an international program with engineers from half a dozen countries developing a single replacement aircraft for multiple aircraft types. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was developed to meet the multirole fighter requirements of the US Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and our allies. The Air Force variant is a supersonic, single engine stealth fighter. The Navy variant has a larger wing and more robust structure in order to operate from aircraft carriers, while the Marine Corps variant incorporates an innovative propulsion system that can be switched from a turbofan cycle to a turbo shaft cycle for vertical takeoff and landing. This propulsion system enabled the X-35 to become the first aircraft in history to fly at supersonic speeds, hover, and land vertically. The development team won the Collier Trophy, which recognizes “the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America” each year, for this accomplishment.
Dr. Paul Bevilaqua
Dr. Paul Bevilaqua has spent much of his career developing Vertical Take Off and Landing aircraft. He joined Lockheed Martin as Chief Aeronautical Scientist and became Chief Engineer of the Skunk Works, where he played a leading role in creating the Joint Strike Fighter. He invented the dual cycle propulsion system that made it possible to build a stealthy supersonic VSTOL Strike Fighter, and suggested that conventional and Naval variants of this aircraft could be developed to create a common, affordable aircraft for all three services. He subsequently led the engineering team that demonstrated the feasibility of building this aircraft.