Racking up the Flight Hours

The F-35 strike fighter program surpassed 5,000 flight hours in late November, announced the F-35 program office. All three variants of the stealth fighter—the Air Force’s F-35A, Marine Corps’ F-35B, and Navy’s F-35C—contributed to those flight hours, according to the office’s Nov. 30 release. That includes F-35s, both developmental test aircraft and production airframes, flying from Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Fort Worth, Tex., as well as at Edwards AFB, Calif., Eglin AFB, Fla., and NAS Patuxent River, Md. The first flight of an F-35 occurred in December 2006. Since then, F-35s have flown more than 3,464 times, according to the program office.