Boom time: night-time first for F-35

Lockheed Martin has released images showing the first night-time inflight refuelling sortie involving an F-35, with the milestone having been achieved on 22 March using conventional take-off and landing aircraft AF-4.

 

f-35 kc-135 560.jpgFlown from Edwards AFB in California by US Air Force test pilot Lt Col Peter Vitt, the Lightning II is shown alongside the Boeing KC-135 tanker and also as seen by its boom operator.

 

F-35 560.jpgIn all, AF-4 remained airborne for over 3h, Lockheed says. Subsequent work will also be conducted to check the F-35′s ability to receive fuel from the USAF’s McDonnell Douglas KC-10 tanker fleet.

UPDATE: Darker images from the same sortie can be viewed by visiting Lockheed’s flickr page

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