F-35 Flight Test Progress (July 2012)

July 10, 2012

F-35 program accrued the highest number of test points in single month during June, an accomplishment indicative of the program’s ongoing maturation.

Additionally, for the 18th consecutive month the F-35 test program remained ahead of plan.

As of June 30, the F-35 Lightning II 5th Generation multirole fighter had conducted 595 test flights in 2012 versus a plan of 445 and accrued 4,830 test points against a plan of 3,901.

In June, the F-35 program accomplished several flight test and production milestones:

  • During June, the F-35 test program accrued the most test points in a single month, 1,118, in program history.
  • On June 5, BF-5 became the first F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) jet to fly with Block 2A software.
  • On June 13, the first F-35C carrier variant (CV) night flight was completed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.
  • On June 13, F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) weapons pit drop testing was conducted for the first time at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
  • On June 14 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., BF-2 completed the first test flight for the F-35B STOVL variant with an asymmetric weapons load.
  • On June 25, AF-1, an F-35A CTOL test jet, accomplished the first F-35 weapon pit drop from an external station, a GBU-12 from station 2.On June 27, the program achieved the highest number of F-35 flights in a single day, 12.
  • Cumulative flight test activity totals for 2012 through June 30 are provided below:

F-35A CTOL jets have flown 260 times.

  • F-35B STOVL jets have completed 202 flights, 134 of which began with a short takeoff. Additionally, F-35B STOVL aircraft have conducted 55 vertical landings.
  • F-35C CV jets have flown 133 times.

Cumulative flight test activity totals for the duration of the program through May 31 are provided below:

  • F-35A CTOL jets have flown 907 times.
  • F-35B STOVL jets have completed 791 flights, 553 of which began with a short takeoff. Additionally, F-35B STOVL aircraft have conducted 334 vertical landings.
  • F-35C CV jets have flown 325 times.

Since December 2006, F-35s have flown 2,355 times and accrued more than 3,700 cumulative flight hours.

This total includes 91 flights from the original test aircraft, AA-1; 2,023 SDD test flights; and 241 production-model flights.

Lockheed Martin News Release

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