Aviation

Why there was an F-35 fighter jet on a semi truck in Wichita

A Lockheed Martin F-35 jet arrives in September 2015 at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research received an F-35 ground test article from Lockheed this week for disassembly and inspection of its airframe following extensive ground testing of the fighter jet’s durability.
A Lockheed Martin F-35 jet arrives in September 2015 at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research received an F-35 ground test article from Lockheed this week for disassembly and inspection of its airframe following extensive ground testing of the fighter jet’s durability. File photo

Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research has a new research project, and it’s a fighter jet.

NIAR accepted delivery of a Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter ground test article this week. It was brought to town on the trailer of a semi-truck.

NIAR said in a statement that it will fully disassemble the test article this week for inspection after it underwent extensive testing at Lockheed in Fort Worth, Texas. The testing at Lockheed was to prove the F-35 airframe’s structural integrity following simulated maneuvers the aircraft will undergo in its lifetime.

“The F-35 Lightning II is the most advanced fighter jet in the world and we’re proud to play a key role in validating its performance and ensuring its success,” NIAR said in the statement.

Jerry Siebenmark: 316-268-6576, @jsiebenmark

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