Main Image

F-35 Flight Simulator at Athens Accurus Aerospace

18 April 2017

A host of elected officials turned out for a chance to try their hand at the controls of an F-35 Lightning II flight simulator. Representatives Doug Collins and Jody Hice were joined by Mayor Nancy Denson and several county commissioners at Accurus Aerospace in Athens.

Danny Conroy, Directer of the Air Force F-35 program says the Athens facility builds parts for the aircraft’s frames and bulkheads.

“They build somewhere on the order of 300 parts that go into the aircraft to extremely tight specifications,” according to Conroy. “One of the technicians was telling me the specifications they have to meet is on the order of the size of a human hair.”

Those parts have to last for the life of the plane. While the $94 million price tag of the aircraft was once deemed “out of control” by Donald Trump, Conroy said they expect to get the price down to the 08 to 85 million dollar range. He says with over 1400 suppliers, direct and indirect jobs from building the planes total over 170,000 jobs across the country.

“Here in the state of Georgia alone, there are 21 suppliers and over 33-hundred jobs. That beings an economic impact to the state of Georgia to almost $297 million annually.”

The F-35 has three different models, for the Air Force, Marines, and Navy. In addition, eight international partners and three additional countries purchase the jet.

GPB NPR PRI American Public Media PRX BBC