Case Studies

F-35 Lightning II Fighter


The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three variants of the F-35 will replace legacy fighters for the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps, and 10 other countries around the world.

The F-35 Lightning II Maintenance Training system is a total training solution for the state-of-the-art F-35 Lightning II weapon system. Located at Eglin AFB, the Integrated Training Center (ITC) is the home to a full spectrum of the latest courseware, electronic classrooms, simulators, flight events and event-based maintenance training.

Solution

AAI Services, an operating unit of Textron Systems, received a competitive award from Lockheed Martin to design and develop the aircraft systems maintenance trainer (ASMT) in support of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. AAI teamed with DiSTI to produce a training media solution that combines realistic aircraft simulation with high fidelity 2-D/3-D images in a classroom training environment.

The ASMT provides training for student maintainers on ground operation, maintenance, and testing procedures for the F-35 aircraft systems. The ASMT is one element of the F-35 Training System, a family of training devices developed by Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training & Support in Orlando, FL.

Developing a comprehensive virtual environment for an aircraft still under development requires a software toolchain that is tolerant of design changes. DiSTI’s VE Studio toolkit was up to the challenge due to its database-centered process-driven production method. Changes and updates to the aircraft data easily transition through the workflow that incorporates automated build and regression testing tools. The toolchain also enables the production and management of all three U.S. DoD aircraft variants and the variants delivered to the partner nations.

Results

The F-35 ASMT serves as a comprehensive maintenance training solution providing the trainee a full-spectrum experience. The application walks the student through the entire repair procedure starting from tool crib equipment/part check-out and continuing through equipment staging, repair, de-staging, and concluding with tool crib check-in.

In addition, students connect the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) laptop to the training device and use it to retrieve aircraft health and maintenance action information as they would in the real-world. In all, the ASMT manages 300 Engineering Orders with over 1,000 maintenance procedures.

Core technologies that supported the program’s overall success included the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) data, the VE Studio toolkit to produce the high-fidelity 3D environment, and physics-based simulation models. This application is driven by AAI’s realistic aircraft simulation software and managed by an advanced instructor operator station for student monitoring and scenario management.