Italy Plans First F-35 Flight in October 2015

Production milestones, roll-outs, test flights, service introduction and other milestones.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post15 Jun 2015, 05:46

Italy Plans First F-35 Flight in October [a lot more & about Dutch F-35s at URL]
14 Jun 2015 Tom Kington

"ROME — The first F-35 flight outside the US will take place in October when Italy's first F-35 begins test flights after rolling off the country's final assembly line, a Lockheed Martin official said.

After entering service with the Italian Air Force, the aircraft, AL-1, will then fly across the Atlantic in the first quarter of 2016, probably via the UK and Iceland, to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, where Italian pilots will train, said Debra Palmer, the Lockheed executive leading F-35 work in Italy.

That is the same route that joint strike fighters were due to take to reach the UK from the US last summer to appear at the Farnborough International Air Show. The appearance was canceled when the JSF fleet was grounded due to a fire in the engine of one aircraft....

...In March, the first of Italy's planned 90 JSFs rolled off the line, and this month its engines were turned on for the first time.

"A full engine run can take two to three days but this took one day," Palmer said. "Technicians on site from Pratt and Whitney said this was the cleanest run they had personally seen on an engine."

AL-1 is now undergoing minor planned modifications before it will receive final coatings beginning the week of June 23 in the aircraft final finishes building, a process that will take about six weeks. The work will be undertaken by Alenia Aermacchi with technology transfer oversight provided by Lockheed experts for the initial planes, Palmer said.

"It is important to assure this complex technology is done flawlessly. The Italian MoD has paid for us to oversee the work to this purpose," she said.

Around Aug. 20, the aircraft will move for about two weeks to the acceptance test facility

From the start of September, software will be loaded onto the aircraft, Palmer said, before the first flight takes place in the first or second week of October.

"Lockheed Martin will do three acceptance flights before the customer makes three flights," she said. However, since Italy does not have trained JSF pilots yet, the customer flights will be undertaken by US Air Force test pilots. "It will be that way for a couple of years."

The first two Italian JSF pilots will start training in September in the US. One will stay in the US as an instructor while the second will return to Italy.

After the six test flights, AL-1 will return to the aircraft final finishes building for any touch-ups required at the end of November before official delivery takes place in December.

"Since our contract is with the US government, the plane is officially delivered to them, and then immediately on to the Italian government," Palmer said.

When AL-1 and AL-2 are ready, both will make the trans-Atlantic flight to the US early in 2016. In total, 11 Italian aircraft will go to the US for Italian Air Force and Navy pilot training. Air Force pilots will head for Luke to train on the conventional-takeoff and -landing F35A, and both Italian Navy and Air Force pilots will train at Beaufort Air Force Base in South Carolina with the short-takeoff, vertical-landing (STOVL) variant...."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /71037536/
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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lookieloo

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Unread post15 Jun 2015, 08:37

All I could think about...

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adalessa

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Unread post07 Sep 2015, 16:00

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Unread post07 Sep 2015, 16:04

Great news!!!
Viva l'Italia!
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Unread post07 Sep 2015, 18:25

First pictures - escorted by a Typhoon...

http://theaviationist.com/2015/09/07/fi ... st-flight/
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Unread post07 Sep 2015, 18:37

Italy’s F-35A Flies Inaugural European Flight
07 Sep 2015 Cameri, Italy

"Italy’s first F-35A Lightning II, known as AL-1 and assembled at the Cameri Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility, flew for the first time today marking the program’s first-ever F-35 flight outside the United States.

Lockheed Martin F-35 test pilot Bill “Gigs” Gigliotti, lifted off the runway at 1:05 p.m. European Standard Time for a 1:22 hour check flight in AL-1 marking a historic milestone for Italy, Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi manufacturing cooperation and Lockheed Martin.

“The first flight of AL-1 is a monumental achievement thanks to the hard work and dedication of our Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi and Lockheed Martin teammates,” said Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin F-35 Program General Manager. “Italy’s ‘primo volo’ (first flight) sets a firm foundation for Italy’s F-35 program and future opportunities for the Cameri FACO. My heartfelt congratulations to all who worked tirelessly to bring us to this major international program milestone.”

Today’s first flight for AL-1 went as planned. “As expected, the jet performed exceptionally well and without any surprises,” Gigliotti said. “I’m honored to have flown AL-1 on its maiden flight and grateful to the Cameri team for providing a great jet. We look forward to continued successes leading up to aircraft delivery later this year.”

The Cameri FACO is owned by the Italian government and operated by Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi in association with Lockheed Martin. The Cameri FACO’s F-35 production operations began in July 2013 and ‘rolled out’ Italy’s first F-35A aircraft, AL-1, in March. AL-1’s official delivery to Italy is expected by the end of the year. The facility will assemble both Italy’s F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant and the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant, and is planned to assemble the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s F-35A aircraft in the future. The F-35A and F-35B will replace Italian Air Force and Italian Navy AV-8 Harriers, Panavia Tornados and AMX fighters...."

Source: https://www.f35.com/news/detail/italys- ... ean-flight


PHOTO: http://theaviationist.com/wp-content/up ... ly-top.jpg
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F-35AitalyFirstFlight.jpg
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post07 Sep 2015, 19:08

dino1974 wrote:First pictures - escorted by a Typhoon...

http://theaviationist.com/2015/09/07/fi ... st-flight/


...much more enjoyable than the "dog and pony" airshow, they had planned last year.. :)
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Unread post07 Sep 2015, 22:21

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indiafoxtecho

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Unread post08 Sep 2015, 09:01

I could not indentify the logo on the port side nearby the air intake (13 Gruppo maybe?)... it seems to be only on the port side... It is also not clear to me if the 32mo stormo roundel (provided I have identified it correctly!) on the tail is mirrored on the startboard side (so that the eagle points to the nose) or not...
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Unread post08 Sep 2015, 09:14

Multiple posts are fun - repeated here also: viewtopic.php?f=59&t=27920&p=301213&hilit=Freck#p301213
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RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post08 Sep 2015, 22:42

Italian tankers could support first F-35 transatlantic crossing
08 Sep 2015 James Drew

"The Italian Air Force is aligned to complete the first transatlantic crossing of the Lockheed Martin F-35 when its first two aircraft fly from Novara, Italy, to Arizona in early 2016, and those aircraft are likely be refuelled along the way by Italian Boeing KC-767A tankers....

...“For the [Italian Ministry of Defence], their intent is to deploy those aircraft to the United States in the first quarter of 2016, probably trailing behind an Italian 767,” Lockheed’s director of Italian F-35 business development, Robert Dooley, said during a conference call 8 September.

The first five Italian jets off the Cameri assembly line are destined for Luke AFB in Arizona where they’ll be incorporated into the international F-35A pilot training school. Aircraft number six, however, will remain in Italy – becoming the first operational F-35 to be based outside of the USA.

Dooley says AL-6 will be delivered in late 2016, and it’s delivery to the Italian government will cap an impressive run of firsts for the Italian F-35 programme....

...The [first] aircraft has been delivered with the Italian 3iR5 software block, which is equivalent to the Block 2B capability delivered with the Marine Corps’ first squadron of combat-coded F-35Bs.

The second aircraft, AL-2, is almost complete and will likely take to the sky in October....

...Italy is programmed to buy 90 F-35s (60 F-35As and 30 F35Bs) to replace 253 legacy combat jets – the Panavia Tornado, AMX fighter-bomber, and AV-8B Harrier.

The country’s first F-35B, which is being ordered as part of the ninth low-rate initial production lot, is expected to begin assembly in 2017.

Cameri will also assemble aircraft for Denmark and Norway, although Denmark has not made a final decision on whether to proceed with its 30-aircraft order or select another, less-costly fighter to replace its aging F-16s. The Royal Netherlands Air Force is to receive 37 F-35As."

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... nt-416519/
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post09 Sep 2015, 02:14

It does not matter to me one way or the other however I regard the assumption made in this paragraph to be 'not only but also'. It is possible that American supervisors took over to do the stealth testing - but whatever dood. More guessing less reporting as usual. Why not ask the frickin' question - retorters. :doh:
-35 Stealth Testing Done In Italy; First Foreign Flight: Video
08 Sep 2015 Colin Clark

"...The plane, one of those from LRIP 6, uses the 3I-R5 software. Gigliotti told us one interesting tidbit. The plane underwent the stealth testing needed to certify it met requirements at Cameri. That may be a first; it clearly shows how integrated allies are in the F-35 program. Stealth parameters are among the most closely guarded secrets in the American military. Testing to ensure they are met requires knowing what those standards are."

Source: http://breakingdefense.com/2015/09/f-35 ... ght-video/
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post09 Sep 2015, 09:59

indiafoxtecho wrote:I could not indentify the logo on the port side nearby the air intake (13 Gruppo maybe?)... it seems to be only on the port side... It is also not clear to me if the 32mo stormo roundel (provided I have identified it correctly!) on the tail is mirrored on the startboard side (so that the eagle points to the nose) or not...


Yes, 13 Gruppo. It will be the first italian squadron on the F-35. The 32 Stormo roundel is mirrored on both sides on the tails.


As for the Cameri stealth coating testing, i have no idea why they are so surprised. Cameri was always planned to include a stealth coating application and testing facility. Would be quite useless as a MRO plant for the airframe if that bit was missing.

However, at least the key phases of the stealth process are made behind closed doors by LM and US personnel. And, by the way, that is another one of the things Italy is pretty angry about, but i digress.
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Unread post09 Sep 2015, 12:44

Thanks Gabriele - I saw some pictures yesterday... and I have already completed the livery for my F-35A model and looks quite good :-)

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Unread post09 Sep 2015, 17:01

AL-1 made today the second flight together with Typhoon and MB339
Amos Dor was there and took good shots
https://www.facebook.com/amosdor1958/po ... nref=story
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