F-35As Arrive At Edwards

Photo by David Drais

Two F-35As flew nonstop from their final assembly site in Fort Worth, Texas, to Edwards Air Force Base, California, signaling a further expansion of F-35 flight test operations. The arrival is the first in a series that will increase the Edwards F-35 test fleet to at least eight aircraft.

US Air Force test pilot Lt. Col. Hank Griffiths and Lockheed Martin chief test pilot Jon Beesley flew the jets, known as AF-1 and AF-2, nonstop in the first multiship, long-range F-35 flight.

"The ferry flight went very smoothly, and reflects how the Air Force and Lockheed Martin will work cooperatively as we enter long-term F-35 testing at Edwards," Beesley said. During the jets’ deployment to Edwards, the F-35s will undergo ground and flight test activities for propulsion, aerial refueling, logistical support, weapons integration, and envelope expansion.

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