AF-1 and AF-2, two F-35A test aircraft, flew nonstop Monday from Lockheed Martin’s aircraft plant in Fort Worth, Tex., to Edwards AFB, Calif., completing the historic first multi-ship, long-range flight in the F-35’s history, according to the company. The arrival of AF-1 and AF-2 signals the expansion of F-35 flight test operations at Edwards, which is building up a test fleet of at least eight F-35s, the company said in a release. While at Edwards, AF-1 and AF-2 will undergo ground and flight testing involving propulsion, aerial refueling, logistical support, weapons integration, and flight-envelope expansion. The F-35 program has surpassed more than 200 test flights with activities to date in Fort Worth, Edwards, and at NAS Patuxent River, Md., the primary test site for the F-35B and F-35C variants. There are currently three F-35s flying at Pax River. (See also Edwards release)
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.