March 7, 2011 (by Bjørnar Bolsøy) - The JSF program flew its second production F-35 on Friday March 4th.
The second production model of the F-35A Lightning II, AF-07, completed its inaugural flight on March 4th, 2011 from NAS Fort Worth with Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti at the controls. [Lockheed Martin photo by Randy Crites]
The F-35A CTOL
aircraft, called AF-07, completed a 1.3 hour sortie from Naval Air Station Fort Worth JRB
, just opposite to Lockheed Martin's assembly plant. Piloted by Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti, the flight accomplished basic flight maneuvering and engine tests.
is the last of two jets from the first Low Rate Initial Production lot, or LRIP
1. The first jet, AF-6 #07-0744
, made its inagural flight a week earlier on February 25.
The two jets will transfer to Edwards AFB
in a few weeks where they will support block 1
mission avionics testing. The first air force F-35s are expected at the Eglin AFB training wing in just over two months, according to Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates in a speech given at the U.S. Air Force Academy on March 4th.
At the moment there are two production jets and eleven preproduction test aircraft flying in the program. The fleet has completed a total of 683 flights since testing began in December 2006.