Tuesday, October 9, 2012

F-35B pilots execute 1st two aerial refulings

Another test point passed as the F-35 continues to progress through its testing very nicely:
Two U.S. Marine Corps F-35B pilots executed the first two aerial refuelings for the stealthy aircraft from the service’s KC-130J during an Oct. 2 mission.

During the flight, an instructor pilot, Maj. Ty Bachman, and student, Maj. Paul Holst, each connected with the KC-130J and took on fuel, a first for the 33rd Fighter Wing, which handles F-35 pilot training at Eglin AFB, Fla. The aircraft took on only about 2,000 lb. of fuel at a speed of about 230 kt. and altitude of 15,000 ft., Holst tells Aviation Week.
Eglin Air Base, of course, is where F-35 pilot and maintainer training takes place:

Twelve F-35B pilots are in training at Eglin now; the Marine Corps plans to stand up its first squadron in Yuma, Ariz., in November. Italy and the U.K. are also expected to buy the F-35B.

You can read about Yuma's preparations to receive the first F-35B squadron in the post below.

And the F-35 program marches onward.


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