Recent F-35 Flights and Developments
from various Lockheed Martin press releases.
- The next two photos show a formation flight of the navy variant flown on April 18, 2012. F-35C Lightning II carrier variant test aircraft launched together and conducted formation flying at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The planes, known as CF-1 and CF-2, were piloted by Navy Cdr. Eric Buus and Marine Corps Lt. Col. Matt Taylor, respectively. The mission tested flying qualities of the aircraft while taking off, landing and flying in formation for more than one hour.
- The fourth photo shows BK-1, the United Kingdom’s first F-35 Lightning II production aircraft, flying its inaugural flight April 16. Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti took the short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) jet through a series of functional flight checks during a sortie that lasted 45 minutes. The jet will complete a series of company and government checkout flights prior to its acceptance by the U.K. Ministry of Defence. The U.K. MOD will use this plane for training and operational tests at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., beginning later this year.
- The final photo shows the first F-35 Lightning II for The Netherlands moving out of the F-35 production facility on April 1. This is the latest step in the production process leading to its eventual assignment to Eglin AFB, Fla., later this summer. The Netherlands will use the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) jet, known as AN-1, for training and operational tests for pilots and maintainers. AN-1 will undergo functional fuel system checks before being transported to the flight line for ground and flight tests in the coming weeks.