Lockheed Martin F-35 Flight Test Progress Report
FORT WORTH, Texas, November 4, 2011 --
Lockheed Martin's [NYSE: LMT] F-35 flight test program continues to make progress. Since the last flight test update issued on Sept. 20, the F-35 Lightning II 5th Generation multirole fighter conducted 185 test flights, bringing the total number of test flights for the year to 837.
A major highlight for October was the completion of F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) ship suitability testing aboard the USS WASP (LHD-1) off the coast of Virginia. The test began when BF-2 executed the first shipboard vertical landing on Oct. 3. The next day, BF-2 executed the first short takeoff from the WASP. During the third week of sea trials, BF-2 and BF-4 operated simultaneously on the ship. Combined, they accomplished 72 short takeoffs and 72 vertical landings during the three-week testing period.
Several flight test and production key milestones were accomplished since the last report:
- October was the busiest month for flying in the history of the F-35 flight test program, with F-35 aircraft executing 122 flights. The F-35B aircraft known as BF-2 accomplished 22 flights, the most ever for an F-35 in one month.
- F-35Bs completed their 500th flight on Sept. 30. In October, F-35Bs executed the most vertical landings (73) for a single month in the history of the flight test program, including the 200th vertical landing for the program Oct. 4.
- AF-12 and AF-13 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) aircraft were delivered to the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., on Oct. 19 and 26, respectively. This marked the fifth and sixth delivery of CTOL jets to Eglin and the 12th overall delivery of an F-35 to the Department of Defense in 2011.
- As of Nov. 3, F-35C carrier variant (CV) jets had executed 59 successful catapult launches and three arrestments.
- F-35C aircraft achieved 200 flight hours on Sept. 22.
- The F-35A known as AF-1 achieved the F-35's maximum design limit speed of Mach 1.6 for the first time on Oct. 25.
Cumulative flight test activity totals for 2011 are provided below:
- F-35A CTOL jets have flown 407 times.
- F-35B STOVL aircraft have completed 296 flights.
- F-35C CV jets have flown 134 times.
From the start of flight testing in December 2006 through Nov. 3, F-35s flew 1,432 times, including the production-model flights and AA-1, the original flight test aircraft. For video highlights of the F-35 program, click here.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.