Boeing Unveils Both X-32 JSF Demonstration Aircraft

Boeing unveiled not one -- but both -- of its X-32 Joint Strike Fighter concept demonstrators at a ceremony honoring the Boeing JSF "One Team" of employees, suppliers and Defense Department customers in Palmdale, Calif., on Dec. 14. The X-32A is pictured at left; the X-32B, right. The ceremony marked the completion of assembly of both aircraft before they transition to the flight-test phase of the program in early 2000. Boeing implemented a number of "lean" concepts, including advanced 3-D solid modeling and minimal tooling, to design and build the X-32s in less the time and at less cost than comparable aircraft. The X-32A will demonstrate conventional takeoff and landing for the U.S. Air Force and carrier-approach flying qualities for the U.S. Navy. The X-32B will demonstrate short takeoff/vertical landing requirements for the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.K. Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. First flight is on schedule for spring and summer 2000, respectively.