Defense

February 6, 2013

First F-35A four-ship flies over Eglin

A four-ship of F-35A Lightning IIs returns to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., after a sortie Feb. 1. Pilots with the 33rd Fighter Wing began flying the formation for the first time at Eglin last week.

Increasing capability is becoming routine for the F-35 Lightning II team.

The 58th Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., produced a four-turn-four for the 58th Fighter Squadron flying Jan 31.

“The pilots flew four F-35As in the morning and the maintainers performed routine maintenance for airworthiness after landing. Then the crew chiefs ‘turned’ them around so the four jets could be flown in the afternoon,” said Col. Andrew Toth, the commander of the 33d Fighter Wing and one of the aviators in the formation.

That was the first F-35 four-turn-four at the wing. Following up the successful flights, the team did the same Feb. 1 with a four-turn-two. During the Jan. 31 training flights, the pilots were using their advanced radar systems to track F-16 “adversaries” over the Gulf of Mexico.

Additionally, the maintainers had spare F-35As ready to go in the event of any issues in flight proving their ability to prepare the Air Force’s newest fighter jet for basic pilot training.

While turning jets and flying multiple aircraft in formation is standard operations at an established flying training unit, for the 33rd Fighter Wing, it was another step forward to self-sufficiency. Subsequently, it boosted morale.

“It was good to pull that off last week knowing recent weather can cancel flights,” said SMSgt. Eric Wheeler, the production superintendent with 58th AMU. “I can’t control the weather…everything else I control. The jets took off without any issues, the pilots flew their scheduled times. They all landed safely and the aircraft downloaded correctly.”

A four-ship of F-35A Lightning IIs flies over the Gulf of Mexico Feb. 1 before returning to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Pilots with the 33rd Fighter Wing began flying the formation the first time here last week.

Unique to the JSF, the downloaded data is inputted into the autonomic logistics information system that tracks the health of the jet in a computer based diagnostics and logistics system.

Contracted logistic support by Lockheed Martin is steadily giving way to 58th AMU crew chiefs as the Airmen become more proficient in maintaining the F-35A. Lockheed Martin will continue to support other variants and international partners.

 




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


 
 

 

Headlines May 27, 2015

News: U.S. Air Force certifies SpaceX for military launches - SpaceX has been certified for military space launch, the U.S. Air Force announced May 26. The long-awaited announcement is a game changer, with SpaceX becoming only the second provider cleared by the service to launch national security payloads into orbit.   Business: Northrop Grumman CEO issues...
 
 

New’s Briefs May 27, 2015

U.S. military begins search flights for stranded Rohingya The United States has begun military surveillance flights to help locate stranded Rohingya and Bangladeshi boat people in Southeast Asian seas. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said May 26 that U.S. Navy P8 aircraft flew over the weekend with Malaysian support. Rathke said the U.S. has offered...
 
 
nasa-commercial-crew

Commercial Crew milestones met; partners on track for 2017 missions

NASA has taken another step toward returning America’s ability to launch crew missions to the International Space Station from the United States in 2017. The Commercial Crew Program ordered its first crew rotation mission fro...
 

 
af-spacex

Air Force certifies SpaceX for national security space missions

Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force program executive officer for space, has announced the certification of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation’s Falco...
 
 

Northrop Grumman passes key design review for B-2 weapons management upgrade

Northrop Grumman has successfully demonstrated to the U.S. Air Force that its plans to upgrade key weapons management software for the B-2 stealth bomber are on track and ready to proceed to the next level of development. The company successfully completed the critical design review of the service’s Flexible Strike Phase 1 program on Feb...
 
 
boeing-space

Boeing awarded first-ever commercial human spaceflight mission

NASA issued a task order as part of Boeing’s $4.2 billion Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract recently to include the company’s first-ever service flight to the International Space Station. The award ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>