US Marine Corps pilots will start flight training for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. This progress with the development of F-35 emphasize the service’ confidence with the JSF program.
Lockheed Martin had delivered 10 units of the F-35B model at the air base. The model can take off from shorter runways and has the capability to land like helicopters. Preliminary orientation flights had been conducted by test pilots in May, but the flights had been limited in scope and speed. For instance, vertical landings had not been tested. Most pilot training are confined in classrooms and simulators. The military needs to extensively train the pilots and maintainers to fly and repair the aircraft before it can enter service operations. The leaders of the Marine Corps are anxious to get the F-35 into service as it needs to replace the aging Harrier jump jets and the F/A18 fighters. The F-35 program had been restructured three times and had suffered delays in production and training.
The progress in the F-35 training will allow pilots to finally take the aircraft to the skies and be a step closer for the $396 billion program to be useful for the military.
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News source: www.courant.com