Joint Strike Fighter: Aircraft Final Finish Facility

Joint Strike Fighter: Aircraft Final Finish Facility

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Client: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

Completion Date: 2008

Burns & McDonnell programmed, designed and constructed this multistory, 226,000-square-foot complex that supports the production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft at Air Force Plant 4 in Fort Worth, Texas. The $110 million facility integrates a management engineering lab and office function, a complete coatings process including automated robotic coating, and a complex network of large industrial utilities.

The facility requires more than 2 million cubic feet per minute of critical process airflow, separated into eight independent production areas, each capable of custom programmable condition modes with a range of 70 degrees to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, 40 percent to 60 percent relative humidity and 35 to 200 feet per minute laminar flow. The facility boasts an energy recovery system that reduces energy use by 40 percent and reduced facilities construction cost by 8 percent. The facility is also equipped with integrated aircraft utility systems and tooling support infrastructure to maximize production efficiency.

The facility’s metrology-controlled, laser measurement system can provide real-time position measurement on the production article to 0.030 tolerance. Schedule coordination was both unique and critical. The cutting-edge coatings process was being developed simultaneous to the design and construction of the facilities. The facility design and construction delivery was programmed to maximize coating process development time while minimizing the construction completion lag behind process development. The January 2008 completion met all F-35 production support requirements with a budget savings of approximately 5 percent.

The Aircraft Final Finish (AFF) facility is used to complete and tie in all coatings and placement of appliqués. It is approximately 145,000 square feet, comprising nine full aircraft bays capable of housing entire aircraft with mechanical/electrical mezzanines above the bays. Bay functionality includes prep, sanding, painting, priming, oven curing and washing. The facility included automated coating facilities for the application of high-tolerance coatings. An auto-adjusting laser projection system is integrated into the paint booths, providing high-tolerance layout instruction and real-time work instruction.