F-35 Takes Inaugural Production Flight

Tyler Durden's picture

And now, we have a working F-35. Defensetech reports: "A new chapter in the history of U.S. Air Force fighters began
yesterday when the service’s fist production model F-35 Joint Strike
Fighter took to the skies at Lockheed’s Fort Worth, TX., facility for
the very first time. Yes, the program’s had its troubles and the
Marines’ B-model is nowhere near ready for production but this marks the
beginning of the program becoming an operational reality. This flight
paves the way for Air Force instructor pilots to start flying the jets
at Eglin Air Force Base, in Florida starting this May. This means,
believe or not, we’re finally going to see operational F-35s. Still,
it’s gonna be a while. The IOC date for the Air Force remains 2016." Luckily, it can now be deployed tomorrow... if need be.

And the official Lockheed Press Release:

The first production model of the Lockheed Martin F-35
Lightning II made its inaugural flight today in preparation for delivery
to the U.S. Air Force this spring. The jet will head to Edwards Air
Force Base, Calif., to support developmental testing shortly after the
Air Force takes delivery.

“The aircraft was rock-solid from takeoff to landing, and
successfully completed all the tests we put it through during the
flight,” said Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Bill Gigliotti. “The Air Force
is getting a great jet that represents a huge leap in capability, and
we’re looking forward to getting it into the hands of the service pilots
in just a few more weeks.”

During the flight, the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A
variant, known as AF-6, underwent basic flight maneuvering and engine
tests. Test Pilot Gigliotti took off from Naval Air Station Fort Worth
Joint Reserve Base at 3:05 p.m. CST and landed at 4:05 p.m. The jet will
continue flight tests in Fort Worth for about a month before it is
accepted by the Air Force.

The F-35A CTOL variant – designed to meet U.S. Air Force requirements
– is also the primary export version of the Lightning II. The air
forces of Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark,
Norway and Israel will employ the F-35A.

Deliveries of the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant to the
U.S. Marine Corps also begin this year, while deliveries of the F-35C
carrier variant to the U.S. Navy start in 2012. Seventeen F-35s have
entered testing since December 2006, and have logged more than 650
flights and numerous ground tests.

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 132,000 people worldwide and is principally
engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration
and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.
The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
snowball777's picture

This is you. This is you in a ball of fire. Any questions?

Lightnin', bitchez!

Azannoth's picture

Will they be used against American Partisans(living in the hills) or Tea Party demonstrators?

Pure Evil's picture

I dunno, lets storm Washington D.C. with our torches and pitchforks; all the while demanding that the corrupt criminals at the Eccles building be thrown out on their arses.

It seems we're only capable of re-electing criminals to the House, Senate and Presidency, but who elected the asshole in charge of the FED.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

The plane is probably in full production in China.  Opium War III: The Payback.

Harmonious_Dissonance's picture

"Assembled" in the good ole' USSA

BigJim's picture

Bah. A cut-price, cut-feature F-22. So what?

Oh regional Indian's picture

Over-priced, over-engineered, over-hyped piece of engineering.

Was India's big Aero Show two weeks ago. Largest presence was USAUSA, f-18 doing loops for the audience. Eurofighter was there, Ruskis.... and all there wares looked the same and sad. 

No one can see that this paradigm of "war" machines is at it's limit... every incremental gain in "capability" is just plain EXPENSIVE.

Very interesting too, to look at salesmen selling killing machines, talking about kill zones and strike efficiency and spreads and  containment.

Oh, after the US, largest pavillion was the Israeli's. Know their largest display? Predator Drones. I saw at least 50 models. No surprise eh? Coward nation leads in making drones to kill.



Papi_Al-Mahdi's picture

spot on. The true purpose is exposed. 1984~ " The essential act of war is destruction, not neccessarily of human lives, but of human labor.... materials which might have otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence in the long run, too intelligent. Even when the weapons of war are not actually desroyed, their manufacture is still a convenient way of expending labor power without producing anything that can be consumed.... Ultimately it is scrapped as obsolete, never having brought any material benefit to anybody.. the consequence of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural unavoidable condition of survival. War it will be seen, not only accomplishes the neccessary destruction but accomplishes it in a psychologically acceptable way. In Principle it would be quite simple to waste the surplus labor of the world by building temples and pyramids, by digging holes and filling them up again, or even by producing vast quanities of goods and then setting fire to them. But this would provide only the economic and not the emotional basis for a hierarchical society."

Flakmeister's picture

Tell us what you really think.. Don't suger coat it.

snowball777's picture

We just wanted them to see their tax dollars at work, honest.

Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

Now that you saw it you must agree that they are a little dated. Let's manufacture 300 of them and send them to Israel so we can roll out the F-36. Makes sense.

All in favor say Ai.

Ai che wa-wa!

pacu44's picture

No, no... That is what drones are for...

A_MacLaren's picture

Depends if they are being flow by:

A.  Puppet Pilots, or

B.  Patriot Pilots.

Yen Cross's picture

COOL! In a smokin HOT way!

Zero Govt's picture

America is a 'safer' place for the F35 ...the rest of the World likely not!

Let's hear it for "democratic government" that bombs places abroad with murderous regularity just because it can and can get away with it.

I notice the United Nations and its Human Rights Dept has its nickers in a twist over Kadaffi bombing a few of his own citizens, how noble of these diplomatic useless wasters... strangely mute for these windbags about what's been going on in Iraq and Afghan for oh, about 10 years???  

And Obumma has said any elite killing its own citizens should "leave". Presumably bombing other peoples citizens is alright then. Have you met your foreign policy yet Mr Obumma? 

Bolweevil's picture

No junking without a coherent (or ad hominem) response. +1 ZeroGovt

BigJim's picture

You seem to get junked even when you talk sense. Strange.

gwar5's picture

So, is Charlie Sheen going to be an F-35 instead of an F-18 now? Can't hardly wait.

Yen Cross's picture

That extremely long fuselage would be helpful. He needs to install hi-bipass turbofans though.

Real Estate Geek's picture

From the article:

The cases are being prosecuted in a New York federal court because some of the cocaine was supposed to have been sent to the United States.



duo's picture

"Negative Ghostrider, the pattern is full."

snowball777's picture

I thought that's why we made the STVOL version.

New_Meat's picture


"Yes, the program’s had its troubles and the Marines’ B-model is nowhere near ready for production..."

IOC="Initial Operational Capability."  That is years away in practical sense (deployable units).

Marines no fools.  They'll let the zoomies crash and then make sure the bird is actually flyable before trying to do unnatural acts with the STOL version.

- Ned

snowball777's picture

These are the same Marines that are okay with 'copters that fall out of the sky weekly?

New_Meat's picture

OK, now ya gotta go into the corner and fuck yourself.  There is no OK, and yes, real recognition that flying crowd killers are just that.

but don't worry, while you're in the corner, no one in the world will be interested to watch.  eeewwww.

Where did you get weekly?

- Ned

snowball777's picture

If I could do that, would I be here? ;)

Weekly is hyperbole, but you can find pages upon pages of Google hits on the accidents...the only difference being the number killed in each crash.

DosZap's picture

Yep, same tough SOB's..........wanna ride?

Yen Cross's picture

V-STOL. Thanks 777. Always a respectful player.

snowball777's picture



Tomato...to-mah-toe...the OV transposition was a result of my stellar typing skillz.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

Bring back the F-22.

F35 is what you'd expect of an aircraft made by committee.

Pure Evil's picture

I agree, the F-22 Raptor would out fight the F-35 any day of the week.

Jasper M's picture

Agreed. It's a "Gary Hart" fighter. Stealthy, and (relatively) cheap, but badly outmatched if found. I have heard it referred to as a "bomb truck".

Oh, well, our forefathers managed with P-40s for awhile. 

Pure Evil's picture

And, we started the WWII with Shermans against German Panzers and Tigers.

Flakmeister's picture

umm... more like Grants and Lees against PzKw IVs

Cpl Hicks's picture

We started with Grants! We ended with Shermans. A Tiger or Panther was thought to be worth 10 Shermans; the Allies usually had 11 or so Shermans around when it counted.

Flakmeister's picture

Quibble: SOP was 5 Shermans to a Panther

Flakmeister's picture

Always had a weakness for the Jagdpanther

optimator's picture

And I'd have guessed it would be for the Virblewind (Whirlwind).  You know, the Panzer IV rebuilt with the quad 20mm rapid fire AA cannon?

Flakmeister's picture

Yeah...I could see how you might ;-)     Gimme an 88 though

66Sexy's picture

corpral.. your just a grunt... no offense

New_Meat's picture

"just a grunt"

+0311 and 11B

66, you might be messing around in zones where your posts, well, get you in Dutch.

- Ned

Terminus C's picture

Actually it was air superiority that made the Sherman "somewhat" useful as a tool of war.  My grandfather was a tank commander in Normandy and he said that the only advantage the Sherman had over the Tigers and Panthers was that you could shoot while moving and they had to stop to shoot.  When they stopped you got the fuck out of there.

Shermans were good infantry support, particularly against fortified positions but it was air power that broke the panzer's back

Antipodeus's picture

And 1/11 when it finished? Britain used your Lee/Grants, espedially in N. Africa, before Pearl Harbour.  Inadequate riveted armour, poor cross-counyrt performance (compared to something like the Panther, radio in the hull (along with extra crewman, limited-traverse sponson-mounted main gun, high silhouette.  A fairly poor bastard of a design, but a very welcome addition to the 8th Army's firepower.


New_Meat's picture


"It's a "Gary Hart" fighter."

Actually Boyd and gang.  Hart was aboard "Monkey Business" with Donna Rice and telling the press "catch me if you can."

They could and did.

P-40s?, SBDs?, Torpedo 8?, Bombing 8?, well, those forefathers sorta' didn't manage very well.

- Ned

Dave's picture

I wonder where Donna is now?