Here's a quick statistical dump on the 5,000 hour milestone:
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II program surpassed 5,000 flight hours last month. This milestone was reached by the combined F-35 System Development and Demonstration aircraft flying at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and the training aircraft flying at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. All three variants, the F-35A Conventional Takeoff and Landing, the Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing and Carrier Variant, participated in achievement of this goal.In fact the program is concluding a very successful test year, not that you will hear that touted in certain circles. But the multiple milestones accomplished this year attest to that fact. The program has remained ahead of its testing schedule throughout 2012.
Since the program's first flight in December 2006, F-35s have flown 3,464 times. This total includes:
- 91 flights from the original test aircraft, AA-1;
- 2,510 SDD test flights; and
- 863 production-model flights.