F-35A 'AA-1' Arrives at Edwards AFB

F-35A 'AA-1' Lands at Edwards for the first time after being flown from Lockheed in Fort Worth, TX. 10/1/08
Photo: Lockheed Martin / Andy Wolfe

10/1/2008 - After a longer than expected wait, F-35A 'AA-1' landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Oct. 1 at 1:30 p.m. The aircraft was flown from the Lockheed plant based at Naval Air Station Fort Worth, Texas. This first F-35A will be used to perform a series of tests, including air-starts and noise level data collection.

The delivery of AA-1 was delayed by a few problems that needed to be worked out, one of which was the continuing failure of the nacelle vent fans. However, some of the problems are unique to AA-1, as this airframe is not the production standard for the JSF. F-35B 'BF-1' is the first production standard model that will be delivered, which will have fairly significant design changes, as compared to AA-1. Many of those changes involve weight saving issues.

Most of the first tests involving AA-1 at Edwards will be ground based, including analyzing the noise levels produced by the jet. Export countries such as Australia and Norway have voiced concerns about the noise levels of the JSF, which will be considerably higher than the average F-16.

Source: USAF Edwards AFB Press Release

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