Building the 100th F-35

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20,000 individual components. 280,000 parts. More than 8 million lines of code. Eight international partners. Tens of thousands of team members.

By combining teamwork, technology and innovative manufacturing principles, the F-35 Lightning II team has produced 100 of the world’s most advanced 5th generation fighter aircraft. And that’s just the beginning.

Building the first 100 next-generation F-35 Lightning IIs was no small feat. It required the hard work, dedication and craftsmanship of our highly-skilled employees and suppliers, and collaborative relationships with our customers and industry partners. On Friday, Dec. 13, we unveiled the 100th F-35, known as AF-41, at a ceremony for employees, elected officials and customers.

AF-41 is a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft, and it will be the first of 144 F-35s delivered to “Fighter Country” at Luke Air Force Base (AFB) in Glendale, Ariz., where it will be used for pilot and maintainer training. By 2015, F-35 instructors at Luke AFB will be training both domestic and international F-35 pilots destined for deployment to combat units around the world.

Take a peek inside our F-35 factory to see how AF-41 progressed through production:

100th F-35

Assembly of AF-41 began in late 2011 in Marietta, Ga., with the assembly of the wings. After the wings were assembled, they were shipped to Fort Worth where the F-35 technicians completed the final phase of building the wings before installation.

100th F-35 in Final Assembly

In July 2013, AF-41 entered the last stage of final assembly. This is where the AF-41's aircraft structure was completed, and its electrical and hydraulic systems were added.

100th F-35 Rolls Out of the Factory

In September 2013, AF-41 rolled out of the Fort Worth, Texas, factory.

100th F-35 Fuels Up

After leaving the factory, AF-41 got its final finish and made a stop in the fuel barn to prepare for its first flight.

To learn more about our F-35 factory and how the F-35s are built, watch this video:

 

 

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highlights
  • By combining teamwork, technology and innovative manufacturing principles, the F-35 Lightning II team has produced 100 of the world’s most advanced 5th generation fighter aircraft.
  • On Friday, Dec. 13, we unveiled the 100th F-35, known as AF-41, at a ceremony for employees, elected officials and customers.
  • AF-41 is a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft, and it will be the first of 144 F-35s delivered to “Fighter Country” at Luke Air Force Base (AFB) in Glendale, Ariz.