Being 3,000-lb overweight put the STOVL variant of the JSF Strike Fighter, the F-35B Lighting II, almost a year behind schedule. But die forgings made of 7085 alloy aluminum by Alcoa, Pittsburgh, Pa. (www.alcoa.com), helped the design team quickly shed the pounds. In fact, the STOVL version ended up further along in schedule than the carrier and conventional versions even though it used what were considered the most-complex 7085 alloy-aluminum die forgings in the F-35 program. The monolithic forgings, which weigh up to 6,000 lb, will provide primary support for the wings and engine.

Other Alcoa aerospace units will provide items such as highly engineered joining devices from Alcoa Fastening Systems, specialty alloy plate from Alcoa North American Mill Products, and high-pressure turbine blades for F-35 JSF engines and structural aluminum castings from Alcoa Power and Propulsion.

Edited by Stephen J. Mraz