F-35 test fleet update

For those keeping score at home, here’s a quick update on the status of the 19-aircraft F-35 test fleet, as of this morning:

  1. AA-1 — Non-production test aircraft. Flying.
  2. BF-1 — 1st STOVL flight sciences asset. Grounded, in modification
  3. BG-1 — 1st STOVL static test airframe. Rolled-out.
  4. BF-2 — 2nd STOVL flight sciences asset. Rolled-out. In engine run-up tests.
  5. BF-3 — 3rd STOVL flight sciences asset. Roll-out scheduled on Saturday.
  6. AF-1 — 1st CTOL flight sciences asset. Roll-out scheduled Dec 19.
  7. AG-1 — 1st CTOL static test airframe. Roll-out date is “close”, later this month.

Lockheed Martin has to continue delivering flight test aircraft at a rate of almost one per month to meet their ramp-up schedule, and that appears to be roughly on track with three aircraft rolling out later this month.

The next important roll-out will be BF-4 — the first mission systems test asset.


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