July 1, 2015

Test flight completed after F-35B modifications

Micah Garbarino
75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force photo/Alex R. Lloyd
A Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II takes off at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, June 18, 2015. The aircraft underwent a functional check flight following modifications at the Ogden Air Logistics Complex.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AFNS) — The Ogden Air Logistics Complex completed an F-35B Lightning II functional check flight here June 18, after the first depot-level short take off and vertical landing modifications were completed on two F-35Bs for the Marine Corps.

Lt. Col. Kevin Hall, a member of the 514th Flight Test Squadron and the first depot test pilot in the Air Force qualified in the F-35B, took off from Hill Air Force Base and zoomed to altitude before heading to the Utah Test and Training Range for a functional check.

As he returned to base, Hall converted the versatile aircraft for short takeoff vertical landing operations and performed a “short” landing and a “rolling” takeoff.

Witnessing the successful flight was “eye-watering,” said Lt. Gen. Lee Levy II, the commander of the Air Force Sustainment Center.

The Marine Corps sent two F-35Bs to the Ogden Air Logistics Complex on Feb. 2, 2015, for depot-level modifications. The jets came to Hill AFB from the Marine Corps with less than a week’s notice.

In just over four months, workers completed the modifications necessary for the F-35B’s initial operational capability, putting in 24,000 hours to get the job done.

“The work accomplished by the men and women of the 570th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron has been nothing short of amazing,” said Brig. Gen. Carl Buhler, the Ogden Air Logistics Complex commander.

Completing the modifications on time required the maintainers to overcome numerous challenges, Buhler said. They removed sections of the aircraft that many thought would never be removed, and they strengthened wing ribs and worked in areas that required rare “micro tolerances.”

“In the process, the maintainers developed techniques that will be used as benchmarks in a variety of depot operations in the future,” Buhler said. “The accomplishments of the members of the squadron — in concert with our Lockheed Martin teammates, with the support of the 75th Air Base Wing — have been remarkable.”

The second F-35B is scheduled to be completed in the coming days.

“I couldn’t be prouder of you and the support we’re providing to our joint partners,” Levy said in a message to the workforce. “The Marines were counting on us, and you delivered.”

All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.



High Desert Hangar Stories with Bob Alvis – November 19, 2015

This time of the year we are all being reminded to get that flu shot. If you are in the ranks of Uncle Sam, it’s just a part of your yearly duties. However, back in World War II the way they handled illness looked a lot diffe...
California National Guard photograph

California National Guard Soldier saves 42 people from burning bus

California Army National Guard Pfc. Jesse Hernandez, whose civilian job is a custody assistant for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, saved 42 people from a burning bus on a Los Angeles freeway, Oct. 18, 2015. H...
U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Christopher Boitz

Global Hawk maintainers deliver ISR capability to warfighters

SOUTHWEST ASIA — If you walked inside this massive hangar, your eyes would be drawn to the giant U.S. Flag displayed in the background. But beneath Old Glory, there is much else to focus on. A team of crew chiefs, avionic...