The Lockheed Martin X-35C Joint Strike fighter demonstrator has flown to the US Navy's Patuxent River test centre, Maryland, marking the first transcontinental flight of an X-series aircraft. The flight from the US Air Force Edwards AFB, California, test site was completed over two legs, via Fort Worth, Texas. The 4,625km (2,500nm) flight included five in-flight refuellings from a Boeing KC-135 during each of the two legs. "We tried to keep the aircraft with a fairly high fuel level as a precautionary measure," says US Marine Corps pilot Maj Art Tomassetti. Lock-heed Martin wanted to conduct aircraft carrier suitability testing at sea level, rather than the high desert of Edwards where Boeing tested its X-32A.


Source: Flight International