April 24, 2012 (by Stephanie Stinn) - What distinction does James "JB" Brown have that no other F-22 Raptor test pilot has? More than 1,000 flight hours in the Raptor, that’s what.
Chief Test pilot, James 'JB' Brown in the cockpit of the F-22, where he flew past 1,000 flight hours. [Lockheed Martin photo by Kevin Robertson]
Brown, who is the Lockheed Martin F-22 chief test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB
), Calif., surpassed the momentous milestone on April 6. He was feted for his achievement with a dosing of cold water from teammates at Edwards AFB, immediately upon landing.
Logging a significant amount of hours in a fighter cockpit isn’t anything unique for Brown, who has 950-plus hours flying F-4s and F-117s. But, it was the stealthy F-22 Raptor that established new personal and company records.
He's been flying the Raptor for Lockheed Martin since 2002. Previous to this, he flew the F-117 for the company as a test pilot. Brown joined Lockheed Martin in 1994 after 14 years in the U.S. Air Force, where he flew F-4s, F-5s and F-15s.
Brown and the Raptor have spent a lot of time together, which is why the delivery of the last Raptor – tail number 4195 – on May 2 is yet another milestone for him.
"One of best parts of this job is watching the F-22 Raptor mature and progress," Brown said, adding that he will be in Marietta for the final delivery.
Brown continues to fly F-22s at Edwards AFB and log more hours – which is just one of the reasons he said he loves his job.
"[With this job], you never have the same two days in a row," he said. "Plus, flying the F-22 Raptor is just plain cool."