Both Boeing and Lockheed Martin proved yesterday just how well their respective Joint Strike Fighter concept demonstrators are coming together in locations mere minutes apart at Palmdale, California.

Boeing JSF programme manager Frank Statkus produced a picture of a very complete-looking X-32A and said the demonstrator, the first of two, would soon enter static testing. Most systems have either been installed or fit-checked in the aircraft already, he says.

Over at Lockheed Martin's stand, meanwhile, Aeronautics sector president Micky Blackwell presided over a live-by-satellite video walk-round of the two X-35 demonstrators, the first of which is in the last stages of final assembly at the company's Skunk Works.

Both companies say it is taking fewer manhours than expected - and far less time than on previous programmes - to build the computer-designed demonstrators. The X-32s and X-35s will fly in the first part of next year.

Source: Flight Daily News