Australia’s First F-35A Takes to the Skies
September 30, 2014
Photo credit: Lockheed Martin
Australia’s first Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, made its inaugural flight on Sept. 29, marking another significant milestone for the Royal Australian Air Force’s F-35 program. Lockheed Martin F-35 Chief Test Pilot Alan Norman, piloted the aircraft through a series of functional checks for the sortie that lasted two hours.
The aircraft, known as AU-1, is scheduled for delivery to the Royal Australian Air Force later this year and will be assigned to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. Australia and partner countries will use the jet for F-35A pilot training.
The F-35 Lightning II aircraft provides the Royal Australian Air Force with a transformational 5th generation fighter capability and significant benefits for the Australian aerospace industry. Australian industry already has more than $412 million (USD) contracted.
View Video: http://vimeo.com/aeronauticsmm/review/107533185/1aff29bca0
First DOD General Officer Completes F-35 Qualification Training
Eglin Air Force Base
September 30, 2014
When the wheels of his F-35A Lightning II touched down here around 1 p.m., Sept. 26, Maj. Gen. Jay Silveria became the first Department of Defense general officer to complete qualification training in the joint strike fighter.
Silveria, the commander of the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis AFB, Nevada, wrapped up his seven-week training filling approximately five hours of F-35 seat time with back-to-back sorties and a hot pit refuel.
"His qualification training was seamless. He met all his requirements on the ground and in the air to be a newly qualified F-35 pilot," said Lt. Col. Matt Renbarger, the 58th Fighter Squadron commander and Silveria's trainer.
The general was chosen to become qualified based on his leadership position at the USAFWC and pilot experience. The center he leads is responsible for current and future F-35A operational testing, tactics development and eventual advanced training exercises and weapons school.
Eglin Welcomes Final F-35A
33rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
June 2, 2014
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 58th Fighter Squadron became the Air Force's first complete F-35A Lightning II squadron after they welcomed their 26th and final F-35A May 28 at the 33rd Fighter Wing, here.
Maj. Scott Charlton, 58th FS pilot, ferried the aircraft, AF-45, from Lockheed Martin's F-35 production center in Fort Worth, Texas.
"We've been in a growth mindset for the last few years," said Lt. Col. Matt Renbarger, the 58th FS commander. "We've been focused on adapting our training levels to the availability of aircraft as a growing squadron. It's been exciting to see this mission develop, but we're more excited to dial-in all of our attention to training our team."
The arrival of the last Air Force joint strike fighter variant scheduled to be stationed at the wing marked a shift in priorities for the 58th FS and 58th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. Both units experienced a series of transitions and accomplishments since the arrival of the first F-35A here July 14, 2011.
Production Engines Delivered: 145
Total Flight Hours: 7278
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