Looking the Part

An airman, marine, and naval officer—three of the first pilots slated to train in the F-35 strike fighter—got fitted for their new flight suits Feb. 25 at Eglin AFB, Fla., home of the Defense Department’s initial F-35 joint training schoolhouse. The new pilot equipment, being supplied by RFD Beaufort, a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin, includes everything from underwear to cold-weather outer gear to anti-G garments. Including weapons, it weighs about 30 pounds. RFD Beaufort representatives took detailed measurements down to the millimeter to ensure the pilots’ comfort, safety, and ability to complete the mission. Navy Capt. Mike Saunders, deputy commander of Eglin’s 33rd Fighter Wing operations group, called the new equipment, especially the camera-equipped helmet, “a great leap” in technology. (Eglin report by Ashley M. Wright)