The Air Force has selected Maj. Jay Spohn with the Arkansas Air National Guard’s 188th Fighter Wing to be among the initial cadre of 10 active and two reserve pilots to fly the new F-35 strike fighter. (The Air Force has not yet released a comprehensive list. We reported on Lt. Col. Stephen Pieper and Maj. Chad Lewis, at Luke AFB, Ariz.; a report from Eglin AFB, Fla., has Maj. Lee Kloos among the 10; Maj. Ben Bishop, at Nellis AFB, Nev., is on the list, reported the Las Vegas Sun.) All the applicants have previous instructor time in the A-10, F-15, or F-16. Spohn begins his transition in December, training to fly the F-15C first at Tyndall AFB, Fla. Eglin is slated to receive its first F-35s in August 2010. (188th FW report by Capt. Heath Allen)
Reports of production troubles on the SpaceX rocket that could contend for military cargo deliveries happened to coincide with a different company’s concept receiving an early nod—one that might not require a rocket at all.