F-35 FLEET SURPASSES 15,000 FLYING HOURS
April 15, 2014
The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.
"Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is even more impressive is the fact that operational F-35s accounted for more than half of those flight hours," said J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed Martin's vice president for F-35 Test & Verification. "While the fleet continues to train, we are actively flight testing the software and mission systems that will enable the Marine Corps to declare Initial Operational Capability (IOC) next year as planned."
As of April 7, operational F-35s had flown 8,050 hours while System Development and Demonstration aircraft had accumulated 7,123 flight hours. In 2014, F-35A test aircraft have flown 328 hours; F-35B test aircraft have accumulated 191 hours; and F-35C test aircraft have flown 91 hours. In comparison, operational F-35As have flown 963 hours, while their F-35B and F-35C counterparts have accumulated 1,012 and 98 hours respectively for the year. "Following successful AIM-120 AMRAAM Weapons Delivery Accuracy (WDA) tests in February and March, we're looking forward to executing additional WDAs in the 2nd quarter, added McFarlan. “In another clear sign of program maturation, reliability metrics are trending upward as the operations tempo picks up and recently, 60 F-35 sorties were flown in one day."
Additional images are posted on our F-35 flickr page.
MARAND DELIVERS FIRST AUSTRALIAN MADE F-35 LiGHTNING II VERTICAL TAILS
March 31, 2014
A ceremony was held today at Australian company, Marand, commemorating the delivery of the first ship of Australian made F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter vertical tails.
The Honourable Dr. Denis Napthine, Premier of Victoria and The Honourable Michael Ronaldson, Senator for Victoria representing the Defence Minister were among the distinguished guests in attendance.
F-35B AIRCRAFT FLY IN FORMATION IN SHORT TAKEOFF/VERTICAL LANDING MODE
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md.
February 19, 2014
Two F-35B aircraft fly in close formation while in short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) mode for the first time last week. Pilots Peter Wilson and Dan Levin flew the test jets in STOVL mode, also known as Mode 4, with the F-35B LiftFan engaged and engine rotated downward. The mission measured the effects the aircraft had on each other while in Mode 4 to ensure they can operate in formation safely in an operational environment. The U.S. Marine Corps plans to declare Initial Operating Capability with the F-35B next year.
Production Engines Delivered: 136
Total Flight Hours: 6797
Read about the ATEC Engine Competition for the Black Hawk and Apache Helicopters.