December 17, 2015

Norwegian F-35 flies for first time under Norwegian command

Photos by Airman 1st Class Ridge Shan

Hanche suits up for the flight of one of two Norwegian F-35 Lightning IIs.

Maj. Gen. Per-Egil Rygg, Royal Norwegian air force chief of staff, conducts an interview for members of the press. Rygg discussed the significance of the first flight of a Norwegian F-35 by a Norwegian pilot. The F-35 Lightning II is the most advanced fighter aircraft ever fielded, and is being adopted internationally by the United States and eight partner nations including Norway, Italy and Australia.

Hanche makes a historic takeoff at Luke. This was the first time a Norwegian jet was launched under the helm of a Norwegian pilot.

The Norwegian F-35 piloted by Hanche taxis to rest on the flightline after the successful historic sortie. Hanche engaged in simulated close-air support in coordination with ground forces as an exercise during the sortie.

Norwegian Maj. Morten Hanche, 62nd Fighter Squadron F-35 student pilot, smiles Dec. 14 as he enters the cockpit to be the first Norwegian pilot to fly a Norwegian F-35 Lightning II.

Hanche performs a preflight inspection. Hanche reported that the flight went smoothly and without error.

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