First Dutch F-35 Pilot Takes Off

Posted 18 December 2013
Photo by Samuel King, Jr.

Maj. Laurens Vijge became the first pilot from the Royal Netherlands Air Force to fly the F-35. The 18 December 2013 flight at Eglin AFB, Florida, came after Vijge completed 210 hours of classroom training and thirteen flights in the simulators. Currently, the Netherlands has two F-35As at the base near Fort Walton Beach, where pilots will continue their training for operational testing and evaluation scheduled for 2015. Vijgens is the F-35 Integrated Training Center training lead for the RNLAF.

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