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F-35 Lightning II Flight Test Update

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FORT WORTH, Texas, May 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin's [NYSE: LMT] F-35 Lightning II flight test program continues to make progress during the first four months of 2012. In March, the program completed 123 test flights totaling 223 flight hours, setting a record for the most System Development and Demonstration (SDD) flights and flight hours for a single month.

During the time period, the SDD fleet surpassed the 15,000 total test point threshold, completing approximately 25 percent of the SDD program's entire requirement of more than 59,000 test points. Overall the F-35 test program remains ahead of the 2012 flight test plan, which calls for the accumulation of 1,001 test flights and 7,873 baseline test points as well as additional points beyond the original plan.

Through April 30, the program completed 373 flights against a plan of 281 and achieved 2,810 test points – 2,307 of which were baseline points earned against a plan of 2,151. At Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., 30 local area orientation flights were completed totaling 39.5 flight hours as progress toward F-35 pilot training checkout continues.

Another aspect of flight testing is the progressive check out of the latest version of mission system software known as Block 2A.  To date, more than 90 percent of Block 2A airborne software code is complete with more than 85 percent of that code currently being flight or lab tested.  Block 2A flight test is being conducted at Edwards AFB and will continue through this year.  Block 2A is scheduled for "ready for training" in the summer of 2013.

"The 2012 F-35 flight test program execution continues to build momentum," said Orlando Carvalho, F-35 executive vice president and general manager. "From flight envelope expansion to night refueling to external weapons testing, our flight test program is off to a good start this year. We are working to build on this success and deliver unprecedented 5th generation fighter performance capabilities – including radar-evading stealth, supersonic speed, extreme agility and the most comprehensive integrated sensor package of any fighter aircraft in history – to our Armed Forces and allies."

The F-35 program has accomplished many flight test, production and training milestones since Jan. 1:

Cumulative flight test activity totals for 2012 through April 30 are provided below:

  • F-35A CTOL jets have flown 164 times.
  • F-35B STOVL aircraft have completed 122 flights, 114 of which began with a short takeoff. Additionally, F-35B STOVL aircraft have conducted 49 vertical landings.
  • F-35C carrier variant (CV) jets have flown 87 times.

Cumulative flight test activity totals for the duration of the program through April 30 are provided below:

  • F-35A CTOL jets have flown 811 times.
  • F-35B STOVL aircraft have completed 711 flights, 533 of which began with a short takeoff. F-35B STOVL aircraft have also conducted 328 vertical landings.
  • F-35C CV jets have flown 279 times.

Since December 2006, F-35s have flown 2,066 times and accrued more than 3,000 cumulative flight hours. This total includes 91 flights from the original test aircraft, AA-1; 1,801 SDD test flights; and 174 production-model flights. For video highlights of the F-35 program, click here.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 123,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.

Please visit our websites:
http://www.f35.com
http://www.lockheedmartin.com
http://www.codeonemagazine.com

SOURCE Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company



RELATED LINKS
http://www.lockheedmartin.com

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