Friday, January 20, 2012

Night flights commence for F-35

Pilots at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., have started to test fly the F-35 Lightning II fighter at night, Lockheed Martin announced Thursday.

Flown by company test pilot Mark Ward, aircraft AF-6, which is an F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant, took off at 17:05 on Wednesday afternoon and landed a little after sunset. The jet flew for a little more than an hour.

The sortie consisted of basic straight-in approaches, Lockheed’s press release said.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country at Eglin AFB, Fla., Marine Maj. Joseph “O.D.” Bachmann flew the 33rd Fighter Wing’s third F-35B to the seaside base on Jan. 19. The addition of the short takeoff vertical landing fighter brings the total number of F-35s at the Florida base to nine. Two B-models and six F-35As were delivered earlier.

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