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F-35 JSF Flight Test Update

by John Reed on November 4, 2011

So, Lockheed Martin just released the latest numbers for F-35 Joint Strike Fighter flight testing.

Here’s the quick and dirty from Lockheed:

October was the busiest month for flying in the history of the F-35 flight test program, with F-35 aircraft executing 122 flights. The F-35B aircraft known as BF-2 accomplished 22 flights, the most ever for an F-35 in one month.

  • F-35Bs completed their 500th flight on Sept. 30. In October, F-35Bs executed the most vertical landings (73) for a single month in the history of the flight test program, including the 200th vertical landing for the program Oct. 4.
  • AF-12 and AF-13 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft were delivered to the 33d Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., on Oct. 19 and 26, respectively. This marked the fifth and sixth delivery of CTOL jets to Eglin and the 12th overall delivery of an F-35 to the Department of Defense in 2011.
  • As of Nov. 3, F-35C carrier variant (CV) jets had executed 59 successful catapult launches and three arrestments.
  • F-35C aircraft achieved 200 flight hours on Sept. 22.
  • The F-35A known as AF-1 achieved the F-35’s maximum design limit speed of Mach 1.6 for the first time on Oct. 25.

Cumulative flight test activity totals for 2011 are provided below:

  • F-35A CTOL jets have flown 407 times.
  • F-35B STOVL aircraft have completed 296 flights.
  • F-35C CV jets have flown 134 times.

From the start of flight testing in December 2006 through Nov. 3, F-35s flew 1,432 times, including the production-model flights and AA-1, the original flight test aircraft.

 

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