- In a major milestone toward flight testing next year, Boeing has connected electrical power to its Joint Strike Fighter X-32A concept demonstrator. The X-32A is in final assembly and systems installation here.
The cockpit's interior lighting, multifunction displays, heaters and several display panels were the first systems powered by an external source. Each system tested was fully operational. Electrical checkouts of the aircraft's avionics and subsystems are underway on a daily basis.
"Running power into the aircraft is important because we can now verify all of the systems being installed," said John Priday, X-32 assembly manager. "We're powering up systems as they come on line and testing their functionality. I'm pleased to report we're very much on track - our subsystems are operating as we expected."
Boeing is competing to build the JSF under a four-year joint U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps concept demonstration phase contract, while also defining the characteristics of the preferred weapon system concept - the operational JSF.
Boeing is building two X-32 aircraft that will meet the JSF program's three concept-demonstration phase objectives: 1) demonstrate commonality across the variants, including design/build processes; 2) demonstrate its direct-lift propulsion concept for short takeoff/vertical landing hover and transition; and 3) demonstrate low-speed carrier approach flying qualities.
Assembly of both Boeing X-32 concept demonstrator aircraft is on schedule and within budget.