Edwards Bound

The Air Force’s first two F-35A low-rate production aircraft will initially head to Edwards AFB, Calif., to support flight testing activities there instead of going directly to Eglin AFB, Fla., to help establish the F-35 schoolhouse. These two airplanes, AF-6 and AF-7, were slated to arrive at Eglin by year’s end. But with the decision to use them at Edwards, additional time is needed “to make aircraft modifications to support testing,” Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Jack Miller, told the Daily Report. Miller said the two aircraft are expected to arrive at Edwards next April where they “will accrue flight hours and supplement Block 1.0 mission avionics flight test.” USAF officials will then decide when to commence flight training at Eglin, he said. “We anticipate training to begin late summer 2011 after the completion of an independent operational assessment of the training syllabus and corresponding support system,” said Miller.