First F-35A For Japan Takes Off

The first Japanese F-35A took its maiden flight on Aug. 24 in Texas. The aircraft, called AX-1, took off from the Lockheed Martin assembly plant in Fort Worth and flew for about an hour and a half, Lockheed announced. The Japan Air Self Defense Force will purchase 42 F-35As; the first four are in production and are expected to be delivered by the end of the year. The rest will be assembled at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries final assembly facility in Nagoya, Japan, according to Lockheed. Japanese pilots will start training in November at Luke AFB, Ariz.