5K Flight Hours

Posted 21 November 2012
Photo by Andy Wolfe

The F-35 Lightning II program surpassed 5,000 flight hours the week of 20 November 2012. This milestone was reached in the combined F-35 System Development and Demonstration, or SDD, test aircraft being flown at Edwards AFB, California, and NAS Patuxent River, Maryland; training flights at Eglin AFB, Florida; and production delivery and early test flights at the Lockheed Martin facility in Fort Worth, Texas. The milestone total comes from flights in all three F-35 models, the conventional takeoff and landing F-35A, the short takeoff/vertical landing F-35B, and carrier-based F-35C. Since the program’s first flight in December 2006, F-35s have been flown 3,464 times—ninety-one flights in the original aerodynamic test aircraft; 2,510 SDD test flights; and 863 production flights.

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