Tuesday, November 6, 2012

F-35 completes 500th sortie at Eglin AFB

The good news for the F-35 program continues to roll:
The Eglin Air Force, Florida based Integrated Test Force has completed 500 F-35 JSF sorties.

Operating both the CTOL F-35A and STOVL F-35B, the Integrated Test Force accomplished the 500 sortie milestone in 238 days, Lockheed Martin says, reducing the time between each 100th sortie from initially 123 days to currently 16 days. 
There are now 22 F-35s operating at Eglin.

As the increasing pace of sorties demonstrates, one of the criticisms of the aircraft, reliability, seems to be unfounded.

· 100th sortie – July 12 - accomplished in 123 days
· 200th sortie – Aug. 24 - accomplished in 44 days
· 300th sortie – Sept. 21 - accomplished in 28 days
· 400th sortie – Oct. 16 - accomplished in 25 days
· 500th sortie – Nov. 2 - accomplished in 16 days

As well as testing continues to go (ahead of schedule in every area), we're likely to find many more of the criticism of the aircraft and the program also fall away into the "unfounded" category.


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