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Friday, May 9, 2014

F-35 Achieves New Milestones

Woodrow Bellamy III 

[Aviation Today May 9, 2014] Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II fighter jet fleet surpassed 16,000 flight hours and set a new monthly flying record in April, the aerospace and defense manufacturer said. 

In April the fleet achieved a new monthly record for System Development and Demonstration (SDD) flights, with 282 total flight hours and 153 flights. The fifth generation fighter aircraft also completed its 700th vertical takeoff and landing sortie in April, and began crosswind landings and expeditionary operations. 

"We're nearly complete with Block 2B software flight science testing on the F-35As, and we'll move forward with Block 3 software testing this summer. The SDD program is scheduled to complete Block 2B testing for the F-35B this year in support of the U.S. Marine Corps' Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in 2015 with its F-35B fleet," said J.D. McFarlan, Lockheed Martin's vice president for F-35 Test & Verification. 

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