F-35 program updates

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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neptune

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Unread post23 Feb 2012, 19:50

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/p ... g-rep.html

Lockheed Martin F-35 Flight Test And Production Progress Report

Report time again, a bit more detail of CodeOne report. :)
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Unread post23 Feb 2012, 20:35

Woth posting report here as a record for this forum. Websites/URLs have a habit of disappearing/changing....

Lockheed Martin F-35 Flight Test And Production Progress Report 23 Feb 2012

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/p ... g-rep.html

"FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 23, 2012 -- Lockheed Martin’s [NYSE: LMT] F-35 program continues to build on its 2011 flight test success. For 2012, the baseline F-35 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) flight test plan calls for the accumulation of 1,001 test flights and 7,873 test points. However, growth in test point requirements throughout the year is anticipated, and the plan will be adjusted as needed.

As of Feb. 20, the F-35 Lightning II 5th Generation multirole fighter had conducted 114 flight tests and achieved 773 test points. A portion of the earned test points came from work added to the flight test baseline plan. Lockheed Martin has delivered three F-35s to the Department of Defense (DOD) year to date.

Since Jan. 1, the F-35 program accomplished several flight test and production milestones:

On Jan. 9, AF-4, an F-35A Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOL) test aircraft, reached the highest altitude to date in an F-35; 43,000 feet Mean Sea Level (MSL).

Lockheed Martin ferried the first two production model F-35B Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft to the U.S. Marine Corps on Jan. 11. The aircraft, known as BF-6 and BF-8, are now assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing's Marine Fighter/Attack Training Squadron 501 residing with the host 33d Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Fla.

Demonstrating the ongoing maturation of the F-35 integrated sensor suite, AF-3, an F-35A CTOL test jet, completed the first low Distributed Aperture System (DAS) approach on Jan. 17. [Anyone know what this is / means exactly? Thanks.]

On Jan. 18, the first night flight in the history of the Lockheed Martin F-35 program was completed at Edwards AFB, Calif. Piloted by Lockheed Martin test pilot Mark Ward, AF-6, an F-35A CTOL test jet, took off at 5:05 p.m. PST and landed after sunset at 6:22 p.m.

With the ferry flight of BF-7, an F-35B STOVL, Eglin AFB, Fla., became home of the largest F-35 fleet in the DOD on Jan. 19. BF-7 was the 23rd F-35 Lightning II delivered to the DOD.

On Jan. 20, citing the tremendous progress the F-35B STOVL variant made in 2011, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta rescinded probation for the F-35B, almost a full year ahead of schedule.

The F-35 SDD fleet including AA-1, the original test aircraft, crossed the 2,500 flight hour threshold on Jan. 25.

On Feb. 16 at Edwards AFB, Calif., AF-1, an F-35A CTOL test jet, flew the first external weapons test mission in program history.

Cumulative flight test activity totals for 2012 through Feb. 20 are provided below:

F-35A CTOL jets have flown 46 times.

F-35B STOVL aircraft have completed 45 flights.

F-35C Carrier Variant (CV) jets have flown 23 times.

From the start of flight testing in December 2006, F-35s have flown 1,704 times, including the production-model flights and AA-1, the original flight test aircraft....”
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Unread post23 Feb 2012, 23:41

This article repeats what we see directly above however it adds this bit about more DAS fix stuff: [I guess this bit should be added to the HMDS thread for archive purposes]

Lockheed Martin Releases F-35 Testing Records 23 Feb 2012 by Tamir Eshel

http://defense-update.com/20120223_f35_ ... +Update%29

"...Performance issues associated with DAS have limited the use of the F-35 unique helmet display and sight, developed for the program by VSI. The sight was designed to use DAS live image feeds to display the outside view for the pilot, alleviating the need for night vision goggles for night flight. BAE Systems and VSI were asked to work on temporary solutions using NVG, to provide a near-term solution. However, using NVG on top of the standard helmet will limit the use of the sophisticated display and information fusion capabilities that make the F-35 unique. Therefore, it is anticipated that the objective helmet will be reinstated once DAS will deliver imaging within the required spec. Among the fix being considered are fixed camera mounted in the cockpit, and another, coupled to the helmet, both reducing the latency of night imagery imported from the DAS...."
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Unread post20 Oct 2012, 11:37

Lockheed Martin Provides F-35 Flight-test Update AIN Defense Perspective
October 19, 2012 by Chris Pocock

http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/ ... est-update

"Flight-testing of the Lockheed Martin F-35 is ahead of the 2012 plan, and software development is making up lost ground, now standing at two months behind schedule. Steve O’Bryan, Lockheed Martin’s v-p for F-35 program integration and business development, told a meeting in London sponsored by The Air League that the F-35B STOVL version that the UK will buy is 40 percent ahead on flights and test points. Of the nine million lines of software code in the aircraft, 87 percent is now in flight test, with another 6 percent in laboratory tests. In response to earlier concerns, Lockheed Martin established a second software laboratory at its Fort Worth facility, at a cost of $150 million and employing 200 more people.

O’Bryan also described the status of efforts to resolve development problems with the F-35’s unique helmet-mounted sight. In the latest simulations, the device demonstrated a latency of only 130 milliseconds, against a 150-millisecond requirement. A new near-infrared camera to improve night-vision acuity is being tested at MIT Lincoln Laboratories and will be flight-tested next year. The “micro-IMUs” (inertial measurement units) that are designed to solve the “jitter” problem are already in flight-test.

The F-35 flight envelope has now been extended to 700 knots, 7g and 20 degrees angle of attack, with higher AOAs to be flown later this year, O’Bryan continued. An F-35A dropped a 2,000-pound GBU-31 BLU-109 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) for the first time this week, from the left internal weapons bay. This follows the first F-35 weapons release, of a 1,000-pound GBU-32, which took place in August. AIM-9X AAMs are flying on outboard wing stations. Forty five F-35s are flying today; another 15 have been rolled out, and the 112th aircraft is now on the final assembly line. Twenty aircraft are now at Eglin AFB, the initial training base; deliveries for the first operational units will be made to Yuma MCAS and Nellis AFB before year-end...."

All good stuff above. The HMDS info will be repeated on that thread.
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Unread post06 Nov 2012, 03:06

Eglin Completes 500TH F-35 Sortie 05 Nov 2012

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/p ... ortie.html

"EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., Nov. 5, 2012 – The Integrated Training Center (ITC) here completed its 500th combined sortie for both the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) and F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft Friday. Flight operations for the F-35 began on the Emerald Coast March 6. There are currently 22 F-35s at Eglin as the fleet continues to grow supporting the team as it trains instructor pilots and maintainers. The team accomplished the 500 sorties in 238 days cutting the time between each milestone sortie:

100th sortie – July 12 - accomplished in 123 days
200th sortie – Aug. 24 - accomplished in 44 days
300th sortie – Sept. 21 - accomplished in 28 days
400th sortie – Oct. 16 - accomplished in 25 days
500th sortie – Nov. 2 - accomplished in 16 days"
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Unread post12 Jan 2013, 05:54

Lockheed Martin Highlights F-35 Program Achievements for 2012 FORT WORTH, Texas, Jan. 11, 2013

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/p ... -2012.html

"The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Program completed 30 aircraft deliveries and achieved significant advances in flight test highlighting a year of continued progress for 2012.

The 30 F-35 deliveries in 2012 included 11 Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOLs), 18 Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) variants, and one Carrier Variant (CV). Two of the STOVLs were the program’s first two international jets, which were delivered to the United Kingdom. All but the carrier variant, known as CF-5, were production aircraft delivered to various bases for operational purposes. CF-5 was built for flight testing and delivered to the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) program. The 30 aircraft delivered in 2012 is more than double the 13 aircraft delivered in 2011.

The 2012 flight test plan called for 988 flights and 8,458 test points by Dec. 31. For the year, the SDD program flew 1,167 flights and tallied 9,319 test points. The F-35A Flight Science test aircraft flew 291 flights and accomplished 2,573 test points. The F-35B Flight Science test aircraft accomplished 396 flights and 2,443 test points. The F-35C flew 239 flights and tallied 2,247 test points. The Mission Systems test aircraft accomplished 241 flights and 2,056 test points. The F-35B also executed 102 vertical landings.

The cumulative 2012 milestones were achieved through a combination of planned test flights and test points, along with test flights and test points added throughout the year. The flight test program is now more than one third complete in aggregate with the Air Force’s F-35A variant leading the way with 43 percent complete.

“We are completing our third year of on-plan system development performance since the F-35 Program Executive Office completed its Technical Baseline Review in 2010,” said Orlando Carvalho, Lockheed Martin F-35 program executive vice president and general manager. “We fully expect this to continue in 2013 as we begin flight test of the Block 2B mission system software which will ultimately provide the initial war-fighting capability the Marines need for their initial operational capability. This successful system development progress, a maturing production line and further operational base stand up are all strong indicators of the F-35 program’s positive trajectory.”

Other 2012 major milestones:

· U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced the end of probation for the F-35B STOVL, nearly one year ahead of schedule.

· The first two international F-35s were delivered to the United Kingdom.

· The first three operational F-35B STOVL fighters delivered in November marked the beginning of tactical operational training at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.

· 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., completed its Operational Utility Evaluation (OUE) and Air Education and Training Command (AETC) officials announced that the wing is ready for pilot training in 2013. The wing flew more than 700 sorties in 2012.

· Norway procured its first F-35 commencing the largest public procurement project in its history. The event was marked by Minister of Defence Espen Barth Eide authorizing the order for the first F-35A for the Norwegian Armed Forces.

· Luke AFB was selected for F-35A U.S. and international pilot training. The base will receive 72 aircraft for three fighter squadrons.

· Major flight test accomplishments included the first aerial weapons release for the CTOL and STOVL; the F-35A reached maximum high-angle-of-attack milestone in four flights; the first night flight and night refueling missions were accomplished and both the CTOL and STOVL completed air-start testing.

· F-35 program surpassed 5,000 flight hours."

Nothing else worthwhile.
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Unread post12 Jan 2013, 15:37

The Green Knights to get full sqn of F-35B by end 2013.

http://www.yumasun.com/news/aircraft-84 ... n-new.html
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Unread post31 Jan 2013, 01:14

100th F-35 On Lockheed Martin’s Production Line

http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/p ... ction.html

"FORT WORTH, Texas, Jan. 30, 2013 – Assembly of the 100th Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35 Lightning II is well underway at the F-35 production facility here. F-35 technicians are in the final phase of building the wings that will be installed on the 100th aircraft known as AF-41. AF-41, a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, is one of 88 F-35s in various stages of completion on Lockheed Martin production lines Fort Worth and Marietta, Ga., and supplier locations across the world. The jet will be delivered to the U.S. Air Force and is slated for pilot training at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz...."
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Unread post01 Feb 2013, 21:47

Lockheed F-35 program head to retire

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013 ... s-versions

Tom Burbage, a former Navy fighter pilot who ran Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program for 13 years, plans to retire at the end of March, Lockheed said on Thursday.

"After 32 years of working with Lockheed Martin and legacy divisions, Tom Burbage has decided to retire. His impact to the F-35 Program and other areas of aeronautics is immeasurable," said Lockheed spokeswoman Laura Siebert.
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Unread post01 Feb 2013, 22:20

Perhaps worthy to have joined this earlier posted article here already? Not that it matters - no one noticed. Must be the 'Butler Effect'. :D

Farewell Tour: Burbage and the F-35s by Amy Butler 31 Jan 2013 http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx? ... b8b655b86f

AT: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-22086.html

Interesting quote from the ChicTrib article:

"...Burbage gave a wide-ranging speech about the history of the F-35 program to the Royal Aeronautical Society at the British embassy in Washington in November, noting that it was 21 percent ahead of schedule with test flights at that point. [Anybody have text/quotes from this speech?]

After the speech, he told Reuters that he felt positive about the F-35 program after the ups and downs of recent years.

"I'm pretty sanguine about most everything on this program," he said at the time. "It's all going to be fine. The progress that we're making right now is pretty dramatic, and that's in all areas."
______________________

Plenty of BurbageBIO stuff here with links to other bits (stroll down): http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... age#242421
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Unread post14 Feb 2013, 02:08

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.asp ... 548301.xml

"Lockheed also plans to deliver 36 low-rate, initial-production aircraft in fiscal 2013"

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Weasel's comments: This will bring up numbers to (79?) LRIP (30 in 2012, 13 in 2011, some of which are for UK). Most of these will be training a/c (Eglin 59, Luke 72 etc). 79 will also coincide with roughly middle of lot 5 reducing the delivery gap with plan to under a year.
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Unread post22 Feb 2013, 13:41

Just wanted to post this awesome picture ;).

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Unread post15 Mar 2013, 23:22

f-22lm wrote:Just wanted to post this awesome picture ;).

Image


It doesn't get much better than that, thank's. :notworthy:


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Unread post16 Mar 2013, 00:53

Nice pic. Burbage did a very good job for the program. Got a lot of help from Norway in the early phase, early commitment, probably paid off both ways. I have a feeling that had something to do with his personality. Wish him well in his retirement.
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Unread post12 May 2013, 03:31

http://www.codeonemagazine.com/article.html?item_id=116

F-35 Flight Test Update 10

By Eric Hehs Posted 11 May 2013

20 October 2012: F-35A AF-4 completed the first F-35 spin recovery chute taxi deployment test. Lockheed Martin test pilot David Nelson deployed the twenty-eight foot diameter parachute at a speed of sixty-five knots. Nelson flew the system on the aircraft for the first time four days later to evaluate the effects of the mounting fixture of the spin recovery chute on flying qualities.

25 October 2012: Navy Lt. Chris Tabert flew F-35C CF-3 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, for the 1,000th SDD flight for 2012.

26 October 2012: Air Force Maj. Matt Phillips piloted F-35A AF-3 for the first AIM-120 weapon integration flight. The test involved tracking a moving target and simulating launches.

29 October 2012: US government test pilot Vince Caterina flew F-35A AF-4 on its first high angle of attack mission. The aircraft demonstrated acceptable maneuverability at twenty-six and then at thirty degrees angle of attack during this flight. AF-4 was then flown on high-AOA missions five more times on the next five days. The aircraft achieved a maximum angle of attack of fifty degrees. Flights also included angle of attack conditions of -10, 23, 26, 30, 35, 40, and 45 degrees.

29 October 2012: An AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon was fit checked for the first time in the weapon bay of an F-35C. While previous fit checks have been performed on mock-up weapon bays, this test marked the first time a JSOW was installed in an actual F-35. The check was on CF-1 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

7 November 2012: Lockheed Martin test pilot Mark Ward was at the controls of F-35A AF-3 when the aircraft achieved 300 flight hours in a two-hour test mission from Edwards AFB, California.

8 November 2012: Navy test pilot Lt. Chris Tabert ferried F-35B BF-18 from Marietta, Georgia, to the F-35 ITF at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, after being ferried by Tabert from Fort Worth, Texas, to Marietta on 5 November.

12 November 2012: Lockheed Martin test pilot David Nelson flew F-35A AF-4 to the 50,000-foot altitude design limit during a setup for a test run at 45,000 feet. This flight was the first time an F-35 was flown to its maximum altitude.

15 November 2012: The first weapon pit drop for an F-35C was completed on CF-2 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. The weapon was a 2,000-pound GBU-31.

28 November 2012: Pit testing required for Block 2B software was completed for F-35C at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

30 November 2012: Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti made the first flight of F-35C CF-5. The aircraft is the final System Design and Development, or SDD, test aircraft.

30 November 2012: BAE test pilot Peter Wilson was at the controls of F-35B BF-1 as it hovered for ten minutes—the longest hover duration of an F-35B to date. The flight occurred at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

3 December 2012: Marine Corps Maj. C.R. Clift was at the controls of F-35B BF-1 for its 200th vertical landing. The flight occurred at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

3 December 2012: Navy test pilot Lt. Cdr. Michael Burks completed the first airborne release of an inert GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb from an F-35B. Burks, flying BF-3, released the weapon over the Atlantic Test Ranges while traveling at Mach 0.8 at approximately 5,000-feet altitude. The flight originated from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

4 December 2012: Lockheed Martin test pilot David Nelson flew F-35A AF-4 for the first intentional departure from controlled flight as part of the high angle of attack testing being performed at the Air Force Test Center at Edwards AFB, California. The highest angle of attack observed during this test was seventy-three degrees.

5 December 2012: Marine Corps test pilot Maj. Richard Rusnok completed a series of night STOVL missions in F-35B BF-4 from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. The missions included the first night hover.

7 December 2012: Lockheed Martin test pilot David Nelson flew F-35A AF-4 for the first high AOA flight with external stores. The flight was also the 150th mission for AF-4. The stores included pylons on Stations 2, 3, 9, and 10 and AIM-9X missiles on Stations 1 and 11. The aircraft was also carrying a GBU-31 and two AIM-120s in its internal weapon bays.

7 December 2012: Marine Corps Maj. C. R. Clift piloted BF-1 for the 1,000th STOVL flight for the F-35 SDD program. The flight occurred at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

8 December 2012: Lockheed Martin pilot Ed Delehant flew the Cooperative Avionics Test Bed, or CATBird CATB, for the 300th flight of the aircraft. CATBird is used to test mission systems for the F-35.

11 December 2012: Marine Corps Maj. C. R. Clift flew BF-4 for the first time carrying live countermeasures. (First time for an F-35B.) The aircraft surpassed 200 total flight hours on the same flight.

11 December 2012: F-35C CF-5, the last F-35 produced under the SDD contract and the seventeenth aircraft delivered for the SDD fleet, is ferried from Fort Worth, Texas, to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, by Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks.

18 December 2012: US government test pilot Vince Catarina flew AF-1 at Mach 1.2 in a flying qualities mission that included 360-degree rolls with open weapon bay doors.

31 December 2012: The F-35 test fleet ended 2012 completing 1,167 flights and more than 9,300 test points—the highest annual total of flights and hours for the program.

18 January 2013: F-35C CF-1 and CF-2 take on fuel from a KC-130 tanker during a test flight on 18 January 2013 from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. The flight marked the first time two F-35Cs aerial refueled at the same time. Navy Lt. Chris Tabert flew CF-1 for the mission. Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Canin flew CF-2.

22 January 2013: Air Force Lt. Col. Brent Reinhardt flew AF-1 to complete full envelope clean wing flutter testing with weapon bay doors opened and closed for the F-35A variant. The final test runs were at 700 knots at low altitude with weapon bay doors opened and closed.

28 January 2013: BAE test pilot Peter Wilson flew F-35C CF-2 beyond 300 flight hours during a test mission that originated from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

5 March 2013: Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti delivered F-35B BF-17 to the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards AFB, California, on 5 March 2013. The aircraft is to be used at the ITF for mission systems testing.

23 March 2013: BAE test pilot Peter Wilson performed the first slow landing in an F-35B with external stores. The flight—BF-1 loaded with a centerline gun pod and six wing pylons, including two pylons loaded with AIM-9X missiles—occurred at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

26 March 2013: Navy Lt. Cdr. Michael Burks piloted BF-3 for the first AIM-120 AMRAAM separation test from an F-35B. The flight originated from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. Two days later, Burks completed the second weapon separation—this time with a 1,000-pound GBU-32. This test was followed the next day with a GBU-12 separation test.

26 March 2013: Navy Lt. Cdr. Michael Burks piloted BF-3 for the first AIM-120 AMRAAM separation test from an F-35B. The flight originated from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. Two days later, Burks completed the second weapon separation—this time with a 1,000-pound GBU-32. This test was followed the next day with a GBU-12 separation test.

20 October 2012: F-35A AF-4 completed the first F-35 spin recovery chute taxi deployment test. Lockheed Martin test pilot David Nelson deployed the twenty-eight foot diameter parachute at a speed of sixty-five knots. Nelson flew the system on the aircraft for the first time four days later to evaluate the effects of the mounting fixture of the spin recovery chute on flying qualities.

20 October 2012: Spin Recovery Chute Tests
F-35A AF-4 completed the first F-35 spin recovery chute taxi deployment test. Lockheed Martin test pilot David Nelson deployed the twenty-eight foot diameter parachute at a speed of sixty-five knots. Nelson flew the system on the aircraft for the first time four days later to evaluate the effects of the mounting fixture of the spin recovery chute on flying qualities.

26 October 2012: AIM-120 Integration
Air Force Maj. Matt Phillips piloted F-35A AF-3 for the first AIM-120 weapon integration flight. The test involved tracking a moving target and simulating launches.

25 October 2012: 1,000th SDD Flight For 2012
Navy Lt. Chris Tabert flew F-35C CF-3 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, for the 1,000th SDD flight for 2012.

29 October 2012: First High AOA Flight
US government test pilot Vince Caterina flew F-35A AF-4 on its first high angle of attack mission. The aircraft demonstrated acceptable maneuverability at twenty-six and then at thirty degrees angle of attack during this flight. AF-4 was then flown on high-AOA missions five more times on the next five days. The aircraft achieved a maximum angle of attack of fifty degrees. Flights also included angle of attack conditions of -10, 23, 26, 30, 35, 40, and 45 degrees.

29 October 2012: First JSOW Loading
An AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon was fit checked for the first time in the weapon bay of an F-35C. While previous fit checks have been performed on mock-up weapon bays, this test marked the first time a JSOW was installed in an actual F-35. The check was on CF-1 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

7 November 2012: 300 Flight Hours For AF-3
Lockheed Martin test pilot Mark Ward was at the controls of F-35A AF-3 when the aircraft achieved 300 flight hours in a two-hour test mission from Edwards AFB, California.

8 November 2012: BF-18 Joins Test Fleet
Navy test pilot Lt. Chris Tabert ferried F-35B BF-18 from Marietta, Georgia, to the F-35 ITF at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, after being ferried by Tabert from Fort Worth, Texas, to Marietta on 5 November.

14 November 2012: Max Altitude
Lockheed Martin test pilot David Nelson flew F-35A AF-4 to the 50,000-foot altitude design limit during a setup for a test run at 45,000 feet. This flight was the first time an F-35 was flown to its maximum altitude.

15 November 2012: First F-35C Weapon Drop
The first weapon pit drop for an F-35C was completed on CF-2 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. The weapon was a 2,000-pound GBU-31.
Photo by Arnel Parker

28 November 2012: F-35C Completes Weapon Pit Testing
Pit testing required for Block 2B software was completed for F-35C at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

30 November 2012: CF-5 First Flight
Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti made the first flight of F-35C CF-5. The aircraft is the final System Design and Development, or SDD, test aircraft.

30 November 2012: Longest Hover
BAE test pilot Peter Wilson was at the controls of F-35B BF-1 as it hovered for ten minutes—the longest hover duration of an F-35B to date. The flight occurred at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

3 December 2012: 200th Vertical Landing
Marine Corps Maj. C.R. Clift was at the controls of F-35B BF-1 for its 200th vertical landing. The flight occurred at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

3 December 2012: First GBU-12 Release
Navy test pilot Lt. Cdr. Michael Burks completed the first airborne release of an inert GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bomb from an F-35B. Burks, flying BF-3, released the weapon over the Atlantic Test Ranges while traveling at Mach 0.8 at approximately 5,000-feet altitude. The flight originated from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

4 December 2012: First Intentional Departure
Lockheed Martin test pilot David Nelson flew F-35A AF-4 for the first intentional departure from controlled flight as part of the high angle of attack testing being performed at the Air Force Test Center at Edwards AFB, California. The highest angle of attack observed during this test was seventy-three degrees.

5 December 2012: First F-35B Night STOVL
Marine Corps test pilot Maj. Richard Rusnok completed a series of night STOVL missions in F-35B BF-4 from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. The missions included the first night hover.

7 December 2012: First High AOA Flight With External Stores
Lockheed Martin test pilot David Nelson flew F-35A AF-4 for the first high AOA flight with external stores. The flight was also the 150th mission for AF-4. The stores included pylons on Stations 2, 3, 9, and 10 and AIM-9X missiles on Stations 1 and 11. The aircraft was also carrying a GBU-31 and two AIM-120s in its internal weapon bays.

7 December 2012: 1,000th STOVL Flight
Marine Corps Maj. C. R. Clift piloted BF-1 for the 1,000th STOVL flight for the F-35 SDD program. The flight occurred at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

8 December 2012: 300th CATBird Flight
Lockheed Martin pilot Ed Delehant flew the Cooperative Avionics Test Bed, or CATBird CATB, for the 300th flight of the aircraft. CATBird is used to test mission systems for the F-35.

11 December 2012: BF-4 Flies With Live Countermeasures
Marine Corps Maj. C. R. Clift flew BF-4 for the first time carrying live countermeasures. The aircraft surpassed 200 total flight hours on the same flight.

11 December 2012: CF-5 Goes To Pax
F-35C CF-5, the last F-35 produced under the SDD contract and the seventeenth aircraft delivered for the SDD fleet, is ferried from Fort Worth, Texas, to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, by Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks.

18 December 2012: Supersonic Rolls With Doors Open
US government test pilot Vince Catarina flew AF-1 at Mach 1.2 in a flying qualities mission that included 360-degree rolls with open weapon bay doors.

31 December 2012: Test Fleet Totals
The F-35 test fleet ended 2012 completing 1,167 flights and more than 9,300 test points—the highest annual total of flights and hours for the program.

18 January 2013: Two-Ship F-35C Tanking
F-35C CF-1 and CF-2 take on fuel from a KC-130 tanker during a test flight on 18 January 2013 from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. The flight marked the first time two F-35Cs aerial refueled at the same time. Navy Lt. Chris Tabert flew CF-1 for the mission. Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Canin flew CF-2.

22 January 2013: F-35A Flutter Envelope Cleared
Air Force Lt. Col. Brent Reinhardt flew AF-1 to complete full envelope clean wing flutter testing with weapon bay doors opened and closed for the F-35A variant. The final test runs were at 700 knots at low altitude with weapon bay doors opened and closed.

28 January 2013: CF-2 Surpasses 300 Flight Hours
BAE test pilot Peter Wilson flew F-35C CF-2 beyond 300 flight hours during a test mission that originated from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

5 March 2013: BF-17 To Edwards
Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti delivered F-35B BF-17 to the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards AFB, California, on 5 March 2013. The aircraft is to be used at the ITF for mission systems testing.

23 March 2013: F-35B Slow Landing With External Stores
BAE test pilot Peter Wilson performed the first slow landing in an F-35B with external stores. The flight—BF-1 loaded with a centerline gun pod and six wing pylons, including two pylons loaded with AIM-9X missiles—occurred at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

26 March 2013: F-35B Weapon Separations
Navy Lt. Cdr. Michael Burks piloted BF-3 for the first AIM-120 AMRAAM separation test from an F-35B. The flight originated from NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. Two days later, Burks completed the second weapon separation—this time with a 1,000-pound GBU-32. This test was followed the next day with a GBU-12 separation test.

:)
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