Eglin’s F-35Bs Take to the Skies

Here you have it, the Marine Corps’ first training variant (well, kinda) F-35B Joint Strike Fighter taking off on its maiden flight from the F-35 schoolhouse at Eglin Air Force Base, Fl., yesterday.

Keep in mind that the Marines were supposed to be flying their short take-off and vertical landing F-35Bs operationally by this year. However, production delays, redesigns and cost overruns mean that the Marines, along with everyone else who is buying F-35s, aren’t likely to be flying their jets operationally until the latter half of this decade.

Click here for the F-35 programs most recent flight test update.

25 Comments on "Eglin’s F-35Bs Take to the Skies"

  1. Where is Elgin AFB? Is that near EGLIN?

    On topic, I'm glad the F-35B is finally making some real progress!

  2. DEFENSETECH: Where people come to read shit that's never proofread.

  3. This is actually kina awesome. Yeah, this thing is really expensive, but we're going to need it. We're making headway, and we still are ahead in the 5th gen fighter aircraft race!

  4. I would like to know what the bomb load and range is of the F-35 compared with our current Harrier jump jets with a full fuel load.

  5. zillionlinesocode | May 23, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply

    probably blue-screened out the tow rope

  6. The later the better…

  7. Lockheed Martin acquired the contract in 2001. The fighter enters service in 2019. It should never take 18 years to develop a fighter jet and get it to IOC. It should also never take $400 billion dollars to make any fighter jet. That's enough money to fight a high intensity war for 2 years. If it did then that fighter should be the best fighter in the world, which the F-35 is obviously not. This fighter design is weak and flawed, despite having consumed obscene amounts of resources. It doesn't deliver nearly the amount of worth in firepower or capability that it cost us to create. $400 billion could have paid off almost HALF of our debt to China. This is the most unwise use of defense dollars in the 21st century to date.

  8. Black Owl, please take an extra moment out of your day to qualify your 400 billion dollar claim without writing the words lifecycle, lifetime, service life, or anything else that attaches tangential costs to this plane that aren't attached to cost discussions about other planes, like your precious F-18. And if you're just tired of waxing crap about the F-35, please provide validated service life costs for the F-18. And when you don't, I will.

  9. HAve y'all stepped back here and evaluated these threads as a stranger would?

    This is a defense tech blog, filled with defence-tech-oriented readers; we are, as a general rule, more comfortable with high-tech defence spending than the average man or woman sitting with us on the crosstown bus. And, even here, people are rolling their eyes at the cost, delays and problematic capabilities of the F35. Can you imagine what jus' folks think?

  10. So, what is this? Have the Marines’ Lightnings been released for flight training? It would be a little earlier than expected if they had.

  11. So Jacksonville, FL Air National Guard is supposed to get an F-35 base in the near future.

  12. People are complaining about development time and costs. But remember, not only is it the first semi-stealth fighter, but we're also developing three separate variants. The actual contract was awarded to LMT in 2001 after defeating Boeing, and is expected to be introduced to the service sometime around 2016. This is 15 years, compared to the 9 to 12 years for the F-16, F-18, and F-15. 15 years (estimated) from contract to battlefield. Not bad for three planes with a new way of looking at things.

  13. Michael McGaw | May 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply

    I always love how everyone complains about costs. Lets look at the costs of some social programs. the Great Society has costs trillions over the 40 plus years of budgeting; but the returns never seem to matter. How much money are we going to spend on Obama Care? and what will be the return? Has the rebuild after Katrina ever gotten finished; and how many billions have been spent there? Or the BP spill. Have we gotten the return on our investment there. This is not apples and oranges; Money spent is money gone. The deafest is 14trillion. At least with the F 35 we get something to fly and scare the hell out of our adversaries. And I think the OX system seems to be working?

  14. Sorry I call BS on the 3 Separate planes rubbish. Its the Same Airframe with minor modifications, it should not cost more than the F18, F16 and F15 programs combined! it should be cheaper. The Ddifference between the A dn C versions is what strengned landing gear and replacment of those metals vulnreable to salt water corrosion.

    The Sea Harrier and Land Harrier is an exmaple of this, Making a carrier version of an Aircraft is in no way a new Aircraft . The vstole version requires more work, but internal reconfig for liftign engine and the doors to cover them. and the software to control that the swiverling the tail pipe exhaust.

    Its not like they howvere have to redo the airfow studes or control software or armanment control etc?

    Lockheed are the US version of BAE , piss takers! America is being ripped off big time!

    I mean seriously 220 Million a pop and no one thinks that a joke? they were supposed to by 40-50 Million range total utter rip off!

  15. We heard the same stuff about the F-22 (too expensive, blah blah bla). I think the avionics alone are a game changer. Adding F-22's already makes us untouchable, F-22 + F-35 puts us that much farther out. Being #1 has a price, but I think its worth it.

  16. If Obama gets re-elected you can count on big defense cuts his main Think Tank wants to cut the JSF buy in half, get rid of the LCS, just to name a few read it for your self.

  17. Out of interest… who is the idiot that writes the contracts you chaps use for getting military items?

    I was under the impression that the successful bidder says how much it will cost to make, they then make it TO THAT COST!!! If they do not make it to that cost, tough luck, you meet your promised costs and deadlines, or you do not apply to do the work in the first place. Why is it so hard? Why do we always hear about defence contracts going 200+% over budget and time??

    Either the people in charge are idiots, (Gullible) or corrupt.

  18. I thought this was supposed to be cheaper Ha Ha

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