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Saturday, February 26, 2011

First Production F-35 Flies

The first production F-35, CTOL aircraft AF-6, made an hour-long first flight today (Feb. 25) from Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth plant, flown by test pilot Bill Gigliotti.

blog post photo
Photo: Tom Harvey, Lockheed Martin

AF-6 and AF-7, the second F-35A in the two-aircraft LRIP 1 low-rate initial production batch, will be ferried to Edwards AFB, where they will be used to assess the maturity and suitability of the initial flight envelope and mission-system functionality to begin training.

blog post photo
Photo: David Drais, Lockheed Martin

AF-6 would have flown earlier, but the post-production decision to use both it and AF-7 in the behind-schedule flight-test program meant the aircraft had first to be instrumented. Still, I am sure someone will can us how late this particular milestone is.

Meanwhile, here's the video:

Video: Lockheed Martin

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