AIM-9X Sidewinder

AIM-9X is the newest variant of Sidewinder. The AIM-9X has the same rocket motor and warhead as the AIM-9M. Major physical changes from previous versions of the missile include fixed forward canards and smaller fins designed to increase flight performance. The guidance section has been redesigned and features an imaging infrared seeker. The propulsion section now incorporates a jet-vane steering system for enhanced post-launch agility. The X model is also compatible with the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System, which is designed for ease of target acquisition and decreased aircrew workload.

General Characteristics

Primary Function: Air-to-air missile
Contractor: Raytheon and Loral Martin
Power Plant: Hercules and Bermite Mk 36 Mod 11
Length: 9 feet, 5 inches (2.87 meters)
Diameter: 5 inches (0.13 meters)
Fin span: 2 feet, 3/4 inches (0.63 meters)
Warhead: Annular blast fragmentation warhead
Launch Weight: 190 pounds (85.5 kilograms)
Guidance System: Solid-state, infrared homing system

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Joint Strike Fighter

The F-35, or Joint Strike Fighter, is an advanced air system designed to replace older fighter aircraft used by the United States Air Force, Navy and Marine Corp. This state-of-the-art system must follow strict requirements but has always been designed under the direction of four pillars. The F-35 must be affordable, lethal, survivable and supportable.

Designed and manufactured in three different versions, the F-35 is able to meet a wide variety of needs, making it one of the most progressive and lethal fighter forces of its kind. These three different versions include:

  • Conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL)
  • Short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL)
  • Aircraft-carrying (CV)

All versions are designed with many essential elements unique to the F-35. A few of these necessary components include the aircraft’s propulsion system, avionics suite, weapons system and advanced flight control system. These pieces and many more are what make the F-35 a breakthrough, next-generation aircraft.

The F-35 is one of the premier aircraft tested at Edwards Air Force Test Center. It’s just another one of the advanced military technologies that our flight test engineers get to work on every day.


You’re not just any engineer.

You choose to tackle some of the most advanced engineering challenges in the world of aviation to help secure our nation’s lead in aerospace technology and protect our nation. You deserve more than just the usual benefits. You deserve benefits that are truly singular—the kind you’ll only find at Edwards.

  • Competitive Salaries
  • Annual Bonuses
  • Time Off and Monetary Awards
  • Paid Overtime and Compensatory Time
  • Vacation Days
  • 13 Sick Days Per Year
  • 10 Holidays Per Year
  • Alternate Work Schedules and Flex-Time
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Health/Dental/Vision with a Choice of Health Plans
  • 401(k)
  • Pension Plan
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Civilian Welfare Council
  • Wellness Program
  • Life Insurance
  • Paid Sabbatical
  • Continuing Education
  • Tuition Assistance
  • Family Support Center
  • Two Gyms on Base
  • Relocation Assistance

These are just the employment benefits you will experience. There are many advantages beyond these, such as on-base amenities and services that make your life easier and richer. And our location—it’s close to everything you want to do and everywhere you want to go.

Airmanship Program

Through Edwards’ Airmanship Program engineers can get practical experience in the flight environment and begin work toward a private pilot’s license. Training is provided at no cost and flights are conducted on base at the Aero Club, where you will fly general aviation aircraft with certified instructors.

Program Summary

Local Area Orientation Flight
You will complete a local area orientation, flown by a certified pilot, to increase your knowledge of Edwards AFB, its facilities and complexes, and its airfield operations. The orientation flight lasts approximately one hour. Before the flight, you will receive a briefing from your orientation flight pilot.

Private Pilot Ground School
The objective is to increase your practical knowledge of aerodynamics, airfield operations, navigation, weather, and physiology. Private Pilot Ground School is a multi-media, self-taught, computer-based curriculum completed over 10 weeks.

Test Demonstration Flight 
The objective of this flight, flown by your instructor, is to provide you with in-flight experience regarding the execution of typical avionics and flight dynamics tests. (The Local Area Orientation Flight must be completed prior to this test demonstration flight.)

FAA Instrument Ground School 
In Ground School, you will further increase your practical knowledge of airmanship relative to avionics systems and flight with an emphasis on instrument conditions. (FAA Private Pilot Ground School or the FAA Private Pilot Airman Knowledge Test must be passed prior to this training.) Instrument Ground School is a multi-media, self-taught, computer-based curriculum completed over 12 weeks.

FAA Pre-Solo Flight Training

The objective is to increase your knowledge of the cockpit environment and pilot workload. You will learn how to apply knowledge gained in FAA Private Pilot Ground School. (FAA Private Pilot Ground School must be completed prior to this flight training.) Your Pre-Solo Flight Training will be conducted at the Edwards Aero Club and will be taught by FAA certified flight instructors. The curriculum consists of approximately five flights (four day flights and one night flight), which you will complete over a three-month period.

Flight 1 Objectives: Become familiar with the training airplane and its systems. Learn about certificates, documents, and checklists. Understand how to conduct the necessary preflight activities. Learn about the functions of the flight controls, and how they are used to maintain specific attitudes. Gain an understanding of preflight preparation and procedures.

Flight 2 Objectives: Review preflight activities, ground operations, and attitude control during basic maneuvers using visual references. Emphasize correct procedures for air and ground operations.

Flight 3 Objectives: Review airspeed control during basic maneuvers and traffic pattern operations. Introduce stalls from various flight attitudes to increase understanding of airplane control during normal and critical flight conditions. Introduce attitude control by instrument references. Emphasize proper execution of the basic maneuvers and procedures learned so far. Introduce hand-held data recording on a kneeboard such as airspeed, altitude and engine RPM during basic maneuvers.

 Flight 4 Objectives: Develop ability to recognize and recover from stalls. Introduce secondary, accelerated maneuver, crossed-controlled, and elevator trim stalls. Introduce emergency procedures and practice hand-held data recording during advanced maneuvers. Emphasize correct procedures for steep turns, slow flight, stalls and stall recovery.

Flight 5 (Night) Objectives: Introduce the special operational considerations associated with night flying. Stress the importance of instrument references for maintaining attitude. Emphasize the physiological factors and additional planning associated with the night environment.

Electronic Warfare

The Electronic Warfare Group is the Air Force focal point for electronic warfare (EW) test and evaluation. It provides the world’s preeminent test and evaluation capabilities, resources and expertise for EW and avionic systems.

The Electronic Warfare Group has full EW test and evaluation capabilities to meet mission-specific requirements. Extensive test facilities include the Test and Evaluation Modeling and Simulation facility, systems integration laboratories for software test and integration, hardware-in-the-loop facilities to evaluate the effectiveness of EW systems and tactics, and installed systems test facilities, such as the Benefield Anechoic Facility. Open air ranges, flight test and measurement facilities provide antenna performance and aircraft radio frequency and infrared signature test and evaluation capabilities.


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