Lockheed Martin X-35

The Lockheed Martin X-35 was a testbed as part of the " Joint Strike Fighter" program ( abbreviated JSF, German " common combat aircraft "). After the X -35 against the competitor of Boeing, the X -32 was able to prevail, it was further developed into the F -35 Lightning II.

JAST program

The requirements for the JSF emerged in the so-called " Joint Advanced Strike Technology " program (abbreviated JAST, German " common advanced fighting technique "). The officially on 24 January 1994 launched program actually started already in 1993. The JAST program replaced the previous programs " Multi-Role Fighter " and "A / FX ". On the located at this point in the development machine F -22 Raptor and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, it had no influence. Thus began the requirements for the JSF set. In addition to the different flight performance, which should be provided, and the weapons and sensor technology has been defined, and called for stealth are some. To reduce costs it was decided early on that the JSF should be based on a strong single- engine design, as used in the F -16 and, to a slight dual interpretation, as in the F-18 they Hornet the euro Fighter Typhoon or French Rafale is being used. Based on these requirements ranged initially Boeing, Lockheed Martin, McDonnell Douglas, along with British Aerospace and Northrop a first concepts. After Great Britain also joined and together with the USMC called in the program a STOVL version to replace the Harrier, Northrop withdrew from the competition, because you kept the financial risk too big. On November 16, 1996 Boeing and Lockheed Martin were charged with the development of two prototypes. The construction contract had a volume of 750 mil. U.S. $. The design of McDonnell Douglas was rejected as too complex.

JSF competition

The X-35 made ​​its first flight on 24 October 2000, during the X -32 this was achieved already on 18 September. In the nearly one-year test program could meet the requirements, according to William Bach, an official of the U.S. Department of Defense, both models. A special feature of the test program was of course the demonstration of vertical take-off and landing characteristics. This was the X -32 for the first time on 22 February 2001. X -35B could this show, however, until 24 June 2001.

On 26 October 2001, the X -35 was declared the winner, with which the construction contract for the JSF went to Lockheed Martin. The decisive factor was the conventional interpretation of the X -35, which was a lower development risk. The lift system of the X -32 was significantly more complex and thus the STOVL version would probably become much more expensive. At the same time suffered from the X -32 partly from weight problems, which is why the flight performance of the X-35 were better. Also, economic reasons have played in the decision for Lockheed Martin a role, as the company as a pure defense company is dependent on large orders of the Pentagon, while Boeing is able to survive by his civilian area without the JSF contract.


The X-35 is a relatively conventional design. Consisting of delta wing with elevator and rudder dual many elements of the F -22 are included in the design, due to the stealth requirements. The tail fins are angled slightly outward. In the same angle to it are the air intakes, which are buckled inwards at the front end. This feature came from the F -105 Thunderchief. Some of the weapons carried internally by externally mounted weapons not to increase the radar cross section.


X -35A

The X -35A is the basic version of the JSF and is an aircraft with conventional take-off and landing characteristics ( CTOL ). The first flight took place on 24 October 2000 in Palmdale ( California / USA), the first supersonic flight on 21 November 2000. After the test, the X -35A was completed in November, was from this the X -35B.

X -35B

The X -35B is an aircraft that can take off and land vertically (VTOL ), but is used mainly the STOVL variant ( short takeoff and vertical landing). The suspension stability is achieved by a Liftfan behind the cockpit ( arrangement as in the EEA VJ 101), which is connected to the only engine in the rear, as well as the exhaust jet, which after by a " 3 -Bearing Swivel Module" by 90 ° can be swung down. The control of the aircraft powered by the engine is done by nozzles in the wings. The first hover over a grid was held in Palmdale ( California / USA) on 22 February 2001. The first transition from hover to horizontal flight was successfully carried out on July 3 at Edwards AFB (USA ), the transition from horizontal flight to vertical landing on 16 July 2001.

X -35C

This version is designed for use on conventional ( Catapult ) aircraft carriers (CV). The main distinguishing features are the enlarged wings, the reinforced landing gear and the tail hook on the rear. The first flight took place on December 16, 2000 held in Palmdale ( California / USA), between January 2001 and 10 March 2001 3 250 simulated aircraft carrier landings were carried out.


  • Minimum (empty weight ): 266 kg / m²
  • Maximum (Max takeoff weight ): 522 kg / m²
  • A Pratt & Whitney PW611 - turbofan engine
  • A Rolls -Royce Lift System
  • With afterburner: 156.07 kN
  • Without afterburner: 111.83 kN
  • STOVL thrust: 80 kN
  • Control jets: 12 kN
  • Maximum (empty weight ): 1.40
  • Minimum (maximum takeoff weight ): 0.71