Lockheed Martin F-35A Achieves Another Milestone: Deploys to Edwards Air Force Base for Expanded Testing
(Source: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company)
12:00 AM, October 6, 2008
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --- The Lockheed Martin F-35A successfully flew from Fort Worth, Texas, to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Oct. 1 to begin expanded flight testing and initiate test activities at Edwards. Flying non-stop for more than 1,000 nautical miles, this was the aircraft's first long-range, cross-country flight.>> "The ferry flight out was perfect," said F-35 Test Pilot Jeff Knowles. "The aircraft performed exactly as expected. Inflight refueling was flawless and we landed with no maintenance discrepancies. We couldn't have asked for a more successful first long-range flight.">> During the F-35's deployment to Edwards, the flight test team will conduct ground and flight test activities for propulsion, aerial refueling and logistical support, and will hold training exercises for the test team.>> "We expect to begin local Edwards flight operations next week after the test team has received the appropriate local-area orientation," said Doug Pearson, Lockheed Martin vice president of the F-35 Integrated Test Force. "Support from the Air Force Flight Test Center has been outstanding and I look forward to an efficient, innovative and very productive F-35 flight test program.">> All 19 F-35 Developmental Test aircraft are currently in production and will be completed by the end of 2009. Additionally, production has begun on the first four Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) aircraft.>> The F-35 Lightning II is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation stealth fighter, formidable at both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. The three F-35 variants are derived from a common design and use the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide to replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.
Australia's first F-35A – commonly known as the Joint Strike Fighter is on track to be operational in 2020, according to New Air Combat Capability Project Manager Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Kym Osley.