Eglin to Begin Initial F-35 Training, Production to Ramp Up

With production set to ramp up and all system demonstration development aircraft either in production or on flightlines, Lockheed Martin and the Air Force are working toward the summer 2010 opening of the Integrated Training Center at Eglin AFB, Fla. Flight operations for the first F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variants are expected to begin next summer as well, said Eric Branyan, Lockheed vice president and F-35 deputy program manager, during a briefing with reporters at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Monday. By next summer to prepare for initial operations at the training center, Eglin, Air Education and Training Command, and Lockheed will complete several activities, including airworthiness certification, software testing on Lockheed’s “Catbird” testbed aircraft in California, updates to test point and fit restrictions, and finalization of a training syllabus. Continue