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    F-35 Fleet Surpasses 15,000 Flying Hours

    (Photo: Lockheed Martin) “Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is even more impressive is the fact that operational F-35s accounted for more than half of those flight hours,” said J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for F-35 Test & Verification. “While the fleet continues to train, we are actively flight testing the software and mission systems that | Read More »

    Bloomberg: F-35s to sell for as low as $80 million in 2019

    According to the Pentagon’s top F-35 official, F-35s could sell for as low as $80 million per plane within five years, including adjusting for inflation and other factors. From Bloomberg: “The cost of an F-35A in 2019 will be somewhere between $80 and $85 million, with an engine, with profit, with inflation,” U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan, the Pentagon’s manager of the program, | Read More »

    Hill AFB Marks Important F-35 Milestone

    While most of the media focus on the Joint Strike Fighter’s progress has been on testing, pilot education, training sorties, and weapons tests, another vital aspect of the overall program has reached a milestone at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. An Air Force maintenance crew at Hill has completed mainteanance work on their first F-35A aircraft. From coverage in Ogden, Utah’s Standard-Examiner: Maintainers from | Read More »

    F-35B Aircraft Fly in Formation in Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing Mode

    (Image: Lockheed Martin) Two F-35B aircraft fly in close formation while in short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) mode for the first time on Feb. 11, 2014. Pilots Peter Wilson and Dan Levin flew the test jets in STOVL mode, also known as Mode 4, with the F-35B LiftFan engaged and engine rotated downward. The mission measured the effects the aircraft had on each other while in | Read More »

    Video: F-35C High Angle of Attack Testing

    New video from Lockheed Martin: Hear from the pilots and engineers testing the F-35C carrier variant’s high angle of attack capabilities at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. After you check out the video, be sure to visit F35.com for all the latest information on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

    F-35 Pilots to Begin Flying Improved ‘Gen 3′ Helmet

    According to an interview with an F-35 test pilot and AIN.com, F-35 pilots will begin flying with a third generation helmet that is an improvement from earlier versions. The helmets feature improvements on the second generation models, particularly in the area of night vision acuity. The improvement on the previous generation of helmets marks a major step in the testing phase of the aircraft, according | Read More »

    Businessweek: F-35 Comes Out Ahead in Spending Bill

    The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program will continue to receive full funding under provisions in the U.S. omnibus spending bill, according to Bloomberg Businessweek’s report. While the defense appropriations under the spending bill will include approximately $25 billion in cuts to military spending, the Pentagon will receive all of the F-35 planes it has requested in 2014. From the article: The $1.01 trillion | Read More »

    Forbes.com: 2013 Was a Big Year for F-35 Fighter

    As 2013 comes to an end, there are plenty of positive developments to look back on regarding the F-35 Lightning II program, according to Loren Thompson on Forbes.com. In a recent article, Thompson praised the many achievements of the fifth-generation fighter program over the course of 2013, including increased testing and cost reductions. As the program continues to make strides in the new year, Thompson | Read More »

    Reuters: Lockheed Aims to Deliver All 36 F-35 Jets in 2013, Sees Progress on Program

    According to statements from the F-35 program manager Lorraine Martin last week, Lockheed intends to deliver the final seven of 36 F-35 Lightning II jets to the U.S. government by the end of 2013. Martin delivered the news during a ceremony at Lockheed’s Fort Worth, Texas facility to mark the 100th F-35 to come out of production, an aircraft bound for Luke Air Force Base. | Read More »

    South Korea Order Would Drive F-35 Per-Plane Cost Lower

    South Korea’s plan to purchase 40 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters could have a positive impact on the cost of the overall program for the U.S., according to a recent Reuters article. Along with driving down the per-plane cost of the program, which could save the U.S. military $2 billion, South Korea’s order could also impact jobs, creating 10,000 positions in the U.S. needed to carry | Read More »