F-35 Lightning II Takes Maiden Flight

December 16th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: F-35 Lightning II Takes Maiden Flight

Dallas Morning News
December 16, 2006
Joint Strike Fighter test was a success, Lockheed says
By Victor Godinez, The Dallas Morning News
The F-35 Lightning II the Joint Strike Fighter successfully completed its first test flight in Fort Worth on Friday afternoon, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. said.
The jet flew for about 40 minutes with its landing gear down the entire time, reaching a speed of 225 knots (about 260 miles per hour) and an altitude of 15,000 feet.
Lockheed had hoped to briefly raise and lower the gear during the flight, but a minor problem with one sensor led test pilot Jon Beesley to land the plane before he could test the gear.
"The primary objective of a first flight is to take off, make sure the systems work, and then come back safely," Mr. Beesley said after the flight. "We did those, and that's really the majority of the mission right there."
The F-35 program executive officer, Brig. Gen. C.R. Davis, said that Lockheed will soon have about one test flight per week.
"There were very few surprises on this flight, and that's good," he said.
The roughly $275 billion contract to build more than 2,400 planes for the Air Force, Marines and Navy is the largest defense project in U.S. history.
More than 700 additional F-35s are expected to be ordered by other countries.
Lockheed has estimated that it could eventually sell as many as 4,500 of the jets.
The Lightning II is designed to replace several older, specialized aircraft, including the F-16, F/A-18 and A-10.
Shares of parent company Lockheed Martin Corp. lost 21 cents to close at $90.04.
December 16th, 2006  
FO Seaman
Good luck replacing the A-10.
December 16th, 2006  
Same goes for it replacing the Viper F-16
December 16th, 2006  
The A-10 will be a tough plane to replace. It remains to be seen how well the F-35 will do in fulfilling the role of the A-10 Warthog.
December 16th, 2006  
The Other Guy
I like the jump-jet style. The USSR tooled around with something similar to that system in the late 1980s with the Yak-141.
December 18th, 2006  
FO Seaman
Hmm, them Rusky's always trying to beat US to the punch.
December 18th, 2006  
good to hear the bird flies, but replacing the A-10 is going to be hard to do.
December 20th, 2006  
So waitaminute...all those vids we've been seeing on TV with the F-35 flying around were just digital creations?
December 21st, 2006  
I think you have been seeing F-22 videos, Lt. It's been in the air and getting a lot of coverage.
December 21st, 2006  
Hmmm...I could have sworn I saw videos of the JSF in flight on the Military Channel and the History Channel...

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