Eglin Receives Two More F-35s

Lockheed Martin delivered two more F-35A strike fighters to Eglin AFB, Fla., home of the first F-35 joint schoolhouse. With the arrival of AF-10 and AF-11, Eglin now has four of the fifth generation fighters, with more expected for delivery later this year. These production aircraft will be used to train and certify F-35 maintainers, according to a base release. So far, all four aircraft at Eglin are the conventional variants used by the Air Force, but Lockheed also is expected to deliver BF-6—a Marine Corps short takeoff variant—this year. The arrival of AF-10 and AF-11 came less than a week after the F-35 joint program office lifted the restriction on ferried flights from Lockheed’s Fort Worth, Tex., facility and authorized the return to some unmonitored flights. The entire fleet was grounded Aug. 3 after an integrated power package, which helps start and cool the aircraft, malfunctioned on an Air Force F-35A test aircraft. The Air Force last week officially unveiled the first F-35A variant at Eglin in a newly built hangar belonging to the 33rd Fighter Wing, which runs the schoolhouse. (Lockheed release)