AF-1 recently became the second F-35A test aircraft to reach 500 flight hours, announced F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin. The airplane reached the milestone on a test sortie from Edwards AFB, Calif., according to the company’s Jan. 23 release. This was AF-1’s 272nd flight, states the release. AF-1 began flying in November 2009. Back in June, AF-2 became the first F-35A to reach 500 flight hours, said Lockheed Martin. The F-35A flight test program has completed more than 43 percent of the overall test plan, noted the company.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.