Defense

March 22, 2013

First international student pilot flies F-35

United Kingdom Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Frankie Buchler became the first international student-pilot to fly a sortie in the F-35B Lightning II March 19, 2013 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

The first international student aviator at the 33rd Fighter Wing training to be an F-35B Lightning II instructor pilot, completed his first sortie in the joint strike fighter at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., March 19.

United Kingdom Royal Air Force Sqdn. Ldr. Frankie Buchler flew with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron-501.

“There were no surprises, the jet was fun to fly and the flight went as expected,” Buchler said. “The ground school training package at the Academic Training Center with the flight simulators prepared me for smooth flying.”

The ATC is part of the F-35 Integrated Training Center hosted by the 33rd FW. It is the hub for U.S. and international partner operators and maintainers of the joint strike fighter.

“We couldn’t have picked a better spring day on the beautiful Emerald Coast to set another milestone for the F-35 program,” said Col. Andrew Toth, the 33rd FW commander. “Frankie and the entire team at Eglin (AFB) continue to make great strides in establishing the foundation of formal maintenance and pilot training for our services and partner nations.”

Marine Capt. Daniel Flately was Buchler’s instructor pilot who flew wingman in another F-35B during the late afternoon sortie.

Watching Buchler’s technique in the traffic pattern over the base was key along with him getting familiarized with the jet, he said.

“It was a clean flight … he’s a very experienced aviator who took to the F-35 naturally,” Flatley said.

United Kingdom Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Frankie Buchler became the first international student-pilot to fly a sortie in the F-35B Lightning II March 19, 2013 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

It takes 10 flight hours, or about six to seven sorties, for a student pilot transitioning from other aircraft to become a qualified F-35 pilot. Buchler’s last time flying was a year ago, coming from a background with the SEPECAT Jaguar and Eurofighter Typhoon.

Wing Commander Jon Millington, the senior U.K. officer at the 33rd FW, and a handful of British maintainers training within the Marine squadron were on the flightline to witness the historic event for both countries.

The U.K. team is fully integrated in the Marine unit and flying each other’s jets interchangeably according to the vision of VMFAT-501 commander, Lt. Col. David Berke. In the near future, Marine pilots can be trained by U.K. pilots.

Buchler is scheduled to complete his training sorties by early April and is excited about the way ahead for the joint strike fighter.

“The potential I see in this aircraft is all the sensors for information sharing. The F-35 has enormous potential and will be a great compliment to our Typhoons,” the U.K. pilot said.

His team is hopeful for the future when a team of 12 Royal Air Force and Navy maintainers and U.K. two pilots transition from Eglin AFB to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to perform operational testing on the jets in 2014.

United Kingdom Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Frankie Buchler became the first international student-pilot to fly a sortie in the F-35B Lightning II March 19, 2013 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. He received his F-35 Stovl patch after completing the flight.

“In 2018, the plan is for U.K.’s F-35 team to achieve initial operating capability in a land-based role and aboard the future HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier in 2020.”

Until then, the British element will continue to grow their skills in learning to maintain and fly the Lightning II.

Their next milestones in the program include a third U.K. F-35B to be delivered to Eglin AFB this spring and the second British pilot’s first flight in two weeks.

 




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


 
 

 

Headlines March 2, 2015

News: Israel lobbies for more missile defense funds than Obama sought - For the second consecutive year, Israeli officials have asked the U.S. Congress to add more than $300 million to President Barack Obama’s budget request for their nation’s missile-defense programs.   Business: Inside one of the most intense, and unusual, Pentagon contracting wars - The much-anticipated...
 
 

News Briefs March 2, 2015

Italy resumes Navy exercise amid new tensions over Libya The Italian Navy is resuming exercises in the Mediterranean Sea, including near the coast of Libya, amid concerns about rapidly deteriorating security in the North African nation. The exercise began March 2 and includes anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and anti-ship training operations. The exercise was suspended for a...
 
 
LM-AEHF

Ingenuity drives Lockheed’s AEHF program to production milestone early

Lockheed Martin has successfully integrated the propulsion core and payload module for the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite nearly five months ahead of schedule. Reaching this critical milestone early a...
 

 

First all-electric propulsion satellites send first on-orbit signals

Two Boeing 702SP (small platform) satellites, the first all-electric propulsion satellites to launch, have sent initial signals from space, marking the first step toward ABS, based in Bermuda, and Eutelsat, based in Paris, being able to provide enhanced communication services to their customers. Whatís more, the satellites were launched as a conjoined stack on a...
 
 

GA-ASI, Sener team to offer Predator B to Spain

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. and SENER, a leading Spanish engineering company, announced March 2 that they have signed a teaming agreement that promotes the use of the multi-mission Predator B® RPA to support Spain’s airborne surveillance and reconnaissance requirements.  GAASI is a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft systems, radars, and electro-optic and relate...
 
 
raytheon-satellite

Raytheon’s ‘Blue Marble’ imaging sensor delivered on schedule

Raytheon has delivered a second Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite instrument to support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Joint Polar Satellite System mission. The second VIIRS unit will fly ab...
 




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>