A Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II stealth fighter came in for a landing at Edwards AFB, Calif., Saturday, Jan. 22, after a 3.2-hour ferry flight from Fort Worth, Texas. The jet, known as AF-4, is the fifth F-35A conventional takeoff and landing aircraft to ferry to Edwards for testing. Till date, the F-35 program has achieved 578 total test flights.
The F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant is designed to meet U.S. Air Force requirements and also the primary export version of the Lightning II. The air forces of Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway would employ the F-35A.
F-35 test aircraft are supported by the F-35 Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) and managed by the Lockheed Martin F-35 Sustainment Operations Center in Fort Worth. ALIS is the worldwide support system reporting and recording the prognostics and health of all F-35s around the globe to ensure mission readiness.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations, advanced sustainment, and lower operational and support costs. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 136,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.