Skip to comments.F-35 local area flights show progress at Eglin
Posted on 03/27/2012 8:50:27 PM PDT by U-238
F-35 test pilots at Eglin AFB have flown seven local area orientation flights around the Florida base since flight operations began on 6 March, a US Air Force official says.
"We've flown seven sorties so far and are planning to fly four more next week," the USAF official says. "We've only cancelled two sorties and they were both for weather."
Two qualified test pilots - USAF Lt Col Eric Smith and US Marine Corps Maj Joseph Bachmann - are flying a series of local area flights to gauge the readiness of the 33rd Fighter Wing's new Lockheed Martin F-35As and assess the unit's maintenance procedures.
Once the aircraft and maintenance procedures prove they are up to the task of running a full-scale training syllabus, the USAF's Air Education and Training Command will authorise the wing to start preparing new instructor pilots and students.
Smith and Bachmann will serve as instructors for the rest of the wing's aviators. The USAF, USMC and US Navy have assembled some of their best, most experienced pilots to form the initial training cadre at the 33rd Fighter Wing.
"Overall, I'd say we are tracking as planned," the air force official says.
USMC short take-off and vertical landing F-35Bs also stationed at the base will fly once the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) clears them to start training.
(Excerpt) Read more at flightglobal.com ...
The fact it flies and looks sorta cool and even has avionics doesn’t justify it.
The F-35 as deployed is the textbook definition of a camel: a mouse built to government specifications.
They (the bureaucratic) left F-35 price/performance so far back that both are wondering if they were assaulted or just groped...
The price is continuing to climb as the development costs are spread across fewer aircraft. The same thing made the F-22 really expensive.
Hmmm...my son just finished US Army Ranger School at Elgin...wonder if he spotted any of those as he was slogging through the swamps?
>>The price is continuing to climb as the development costs are spread across fewer aircraft. <<
It isn’t just that — mission creep has handcuffed the doggone thing to the point of near uselessness.
The F-22 mission was clear: air superiority to replace the F-15.
If the F-35 had just held at MRF to replace the F-16 and F(variant)-18 it would have been great. But then the Powers That Be wanted more and more from it and moved the price/performance point off the board. The only reason the F-35 hasn’t been scrubbed is that we promised our sisters in the EU we would all have a homogeneous airframe.
Which probably ALSO won’t happen.
The F-35 will go down as the greatest potential to disappointment factor since the “Van Helsing” movie.
Saw them flying around while at Seaside for Spring Break. Pretty neat!
I get a little lax on that.