Lockheed Martin’s F-35 flight test program moves closer to achieving year-end milestones since the last update issued June 13. The F-35 Lightning II 5TH Generation multirole fighter conducted 107 test flights, bringing the total number of flights for the year to 518.
Overall, the F-35 program remains ahead of goals for test flights. Through July 25, the program accomplished 518 flights versus a plan of 476.
Several flight test and production key milestones were accomplished since the last report:
The fifth Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II short take off/vertical landing (STOVL) flight test aircraft was delivered to the Marine Corps arriving at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Md., on July 16.
AF-9, the first production F-35 delivered to Eglin Air Force Base (AFB), Fla., arrived July 14 and AF-8, the second Eglin jet, was delivered July 20. AF-8 is the eighth F-35 delivered in 2011. The jets will be used for activities in concert with training F-35 pilots and maintainers at the new F-35 Integrated Training Center.
Jet Blast Deflector (JBD) testing was performed by F-35C Lightning II carrier variant (CV) aircraft CF-2 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. from June 25-July 8. CF-2 successfully completed this portion of tests required to ensure the F-35C is compatible aboard an aircraft carrier.
- AF-6 and AF-7 commenced Maturity Flight testing of the training syllabus software at Edwards AFB. This software will be used for training at Eglin AFB this fall.
- Four F-35s completed their first flights since the last update: AF-10 on June 26, AF-11 on July 1, AF-12 on July 8, and AF-13 on July 14.
- AF-2 completed the 1,000th test flight (including AA-1) for the F-35 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) test program on July 6.
- AF-3, at Edwards AFB, completed the 500th SDD flight for 2011 on July 21.
- 122 vertical landings have been performed to date.
Cumulative flight test activity totals for 2011 are provided below:
- F-35A conventional take off and landing (CTOL) jets have flown 250 times.
- F-35B short take off/ vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft have completed 187 flights.
- F-35C carrier variant (CV) jets have flown 81 times.
- From the start of flight testing in December 2006 through July 25, 2011, F-35s flew 1,065 times, including the production-model flights and AA-1, the original flight test aircraft.
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 Systems.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.