Transitions to Full-Rate Production
Eaton has been a major systems and technology provider for the F-35 LIGHTNING II since the beginning of the aircraft development programme. Eaton’s expertise in hydraulic system design, development and integration supports the F-35’s performance capabilities and mission readiness.
Eaton is a key systems supplier for all three variants of the F-35 jet. Contributions include the aircraft’s hydraulic power generation system, hydraulic utility actuation sub-system, wing fluid delivery system, STOVL lift fan propulsion unit lubrication system, and nose wheel steering control. Eaton content on the F-35 optimises reliability and availability and includes hydraulic pumps, motor pumps, hydraulic and electric actuators, hoses, quick disconnects, swivels, valves, tubing, and sensing and sealing components.
Eaton also provides maintenance and repair services to keep F-35 fleets operational worldwide. As the F-35 transitions to full-rate production, Eaton is working with Lockheed Martin on initiatives to meet significant ramp-up demands with a focus on affordability, quality and customer satisfaction.
Eaton applies a suite of rigorous quality- and cost-control programmes to all phases of its manufacturing operations, including a Zero Defect Plan designed to lower F-35 costs by making parts more readily available, mitigating unnecessary rework and consistently achieving on-time deliveries. The Zero Defect Plan uses quality lead indicators to improve F-35 products by eliminating quality escapes, in addition to quality accelerators that help teams quickly identify, contain and prevent escapes.
Currently, Eaton is performing internal rate readiness reviews of F-35 production execution plans to ensure schedule stability and eliminate potential sources of manufacturing risk. In addition to teaming with customers on strategies to make aircraft more affordable, Eaton is mastering 3D printing and other innovative additive manufacturing technologies to build complex, high-performance components. Eaton’s cutting-edge additive manufacturing technologies provide real-world solutions for customers by accelerating speed to market, lowering cost and improving system performance.