All Three F-35 Variants Achieved Flight Test Milestone on Same Day
29 May 2014
In three separate flight tests on May 27, Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft demonstrated air-to-air combat capability, completed the first flight test with the next level software load and accomplished a landing at the maximum test speed and drop rate.
In the Point Mugu Sea Test Range airspace, an F-35B demonstrated the jet’s air-to-air combat capability when it sequentially engaged two aerial targets with two AIM-120s. The very first "dual" AMRAAM shot from any F-35 variant, and first live AIM-120 fired by the F-35B.
Flying from Edwards AFB, the F-35A flew a 1.9 hour mission with the first-ever load of Block 3i hardware and software. Block 3i is the next level of capability and is planned for the U.S. Air Force F-35A IOC in 2016.
The F-35C completed a landing at NAS Patuxent River at its maximum sink speed to test the aircraft’s landing gear, airframe and arrestment system to demonstrate structural readiness for arrested carrier landings.
The F-35 fleet has to date amassed more than 17,000 flight hours.