February 24, 2011 (by John R. Kent) - Alan "Al" Norman, a veteran Lockheed Martin experimental test pilot, was recently named Chief Test Pilot for the F-35 Lightning II program.
Al Norman, a veteran Lockheed Martin experimental test pilot, was named chief test pilot for the F-35 program on February 21st, 2011. Norman replaces former F-35 chief test pilot Jon Beesley, who retired January 31st, 2011. [Lockheed Martin photo by Angel DelCueto]
Norman replaces former F-35 Chief Test Pilot Jon Beesley, who retired January 31, 2011. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin in 1999, Norman served in the U.S. Air Force for 23 years as a fighter pilot and test pilot.
In 1999, he left active duty and became an experimental test pilot for Lockheed Martin on the F-22 program at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Norman tested all aspects of the 5th generation fighter's flight regime while in the Combined Test Force at Edwards. In addition to flight test and production work on the F-22, he performs production and test work on all models of the F-16. He is also Lockheed Martin's Chief Pilot for the T-50 program. Norman has over 6,000 hours of flying time in more than 70 different aircraft.
"I feel very honored and privileged to be named the F-35 Chief Test Pilot," said Norman. "This is a very fast-paced and challenging time for the F-35 program. I am thrilled and humbled to be working with such a tremendously talented team that spans industry and government across the world. I look forward to contributing to our effort of fielding the F-35, the world’s most capable multi-role fighter."
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE