Second F-35A Test Aircraft Complete

The second F-35A test aircraft rolled out of Lockheed Martin’s assembly facility in Fort Worth, Tex., last week. In a release Dec. 19, Lockheed said the aircraft, designated AG-1, is a full-scale non-flying, static test article that will be used in ground tests to reduce technical risk to the flight test program for the flight-capable F-35A conventional takeoff and landing test units being built. “AG-1 will be placed in a state-of-the-art test rig where twisting, bending, and pulling forces are applied to validate that the CTOL variant’s structure can sustain the tremendous forces and loads exerted during flight,” said Dan Crowley, Lockheed’s executive vice president and F-35 program general manager. The aircraft will now be fully instrumented before being shipped to Britain next spring for testing at BAE Systems’ structures lab in Brough, England. AA-1, the first F-35A test aircraft achieved supersonic flight for the first time in November. The Air Force’s current plans are to procure more than 1,700 F-35As.