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Boeing X-32 is an experimental prototype demonstrator for the Joint Strike Fighter Programme. The aim is to develop an affordable next-generation aircraft with a common design that can be used in three different versions that will replace aging aircraft.

Boeing has built two concept demonstrator aircraft called X-32A and X-32B. The X-32A concept demonstrator made its first flight on 18 September, 2000, and completed its flight test program on Feb. 3, 2001. The X-32B made its first flight March 29, 2001 and at present is being tested to validate the Boeing direct-lift approach to STOVL flight.

The Boeing X-32 is has a simple, modular airframe design. The competion criteria set forth by the U.S. government is that the aircraft has to have a common design and to have the ability to be produced in three different versions:

  1. Short take-off and vertical landing version to replace its AV-8B Harrier and F/A-18 Hornet
  1. Conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) version to replace the F-16 and A-10, and to complement the F-22A Raptor
  1. Carrier-based strike fighter to complement the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and to replace the A-6

Each of these variants must perform unique missions and flight characteristics and share a high level of commonality to reduce costs. 

Boeing X-32 (JSF) Specifications

Type: Experimental Prototype Demonstrator for the Joint Strike Fighter

Country: USA

Main Powerplant: 1 x Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan

Empty Weight: 10,200 kg

Maximum Take-Off Weight: 22,700 kg

Length: 13.6 m

Span: 11,0 m 

Wing Area: 55 sq m

Crew: 1

Maximum Speed: Aprroximately Mach 1.5

History of Boeing X-32

In 1997 Boeing merged with McDonnell Douglas who had developed F-22, F-15, F/A-18E/F and AV-8B. This experience allowed Boeing to take maximum advantage of McDonnell Douglas' extensive military airplane and fighter heritage to strengthen the Joint Strike Fighter team. 

16 November 1996 Boeing is awarded a  $660-million Joint Strike Fighter contract to proceed with 51-month Concept Demonstration program.

11 August 1997 Boeing completes two significant propulsion tests validating operability goals for JSF propulsion system components and concept design.

5 February 1998 Boeing announces Palmdale, California as the final assembly site for its X-32 concept demonstrators.

14 April 1998 Boeing completes the detail design of major forward fuselage components for the two JSF X-32 concept demonstrator aircraft.

22 June 1998 Pratt & Whitney begins tests on the first JSF X-32 engine.

4 Novemeber 1998 Boeing delivers first JSF X-32 single-unit wing skin to Palmdale, Calif., for assembly.

2 Decemeber 1998 Boeing completes final design review of its X-32 concept demonstration aircraft with the U.S. Defense Department's JSF Joint Program Office.

4 February 1999 Boeing announces JSF design update for configuration.

9 April 1999 Boeing 737 Avionics Flying Laboratory for the JSF program makes first flight in Wichita.

30 July 1999 Boeing powers up Joint Strike Fighter X-32A Concept Demonstrator.

11 November 1999 Pratt & Whitney completes assembly of the flight-test engine for the JSF X-32A.

10 December 1999 Boeing begins JSF avionics testing aboard 737 Avionics Flying Laboratory.

14 December 1999 Boeing unveils both X-32 JSF demonstration aircraft.

22 February 2000 Boeing announces JSF will feature voice-recognition technology.

24 May 2000 X-32A completes low- and medium-speed taxi tests.

8 June 2000 Boeing demonstrates JSF weapon-system capabilities in live-fire exercise.

19 July 2000 Propulsion system installed in X-32B STOVL concept demonstrator.

17 August 2000 Boeing selects Martin-Baker to produce JSF ejection seat

18 September 2000 X-32A completes first flight at Edwards Air Force Base, California

23 September 2000 X-32A completes second flight

15 November 2000 X-32A begins simulated aircraft carrier landing tests

20 December 2000 X-32A completes first aerial refueling

21 December 2000 X-32A completes supersonic flight

10 January 2001 X-32B completes low- and medium-speed taxi tests.

26 January 2001 X-32A completes flight-test with loaded weapons bay.

3 February 2001 X-32A completes flight testing.

9 March 2001 X-32B completes maximum-thrust engine runs.

22 March 2001 X-32B completes final flight-certification tests.

29 MArch 2001 X-32B completes first flight.

16 April 2001 X-32B completes first in-flight conversions to STOVL mode.

11 May 2001 X-32B arrives at Patuxent River to complete STOVL flight testing.



Boeing's X-32 JSF Home Page: Picture from Boeing.

Boeing X-32 Links

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Updated: Tuesday 1st, April, 2014

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