Saturday, February 6, 2016

F-35 marks first; crosses Atlantic

An Italian Air Force pilot flying the first Italian-made F-35A Lightning II made history Friday after completing the maiden transatlantic crossing of the Lockheed Martin fighter. Aircraft AL-1 was refueled en route by Italy's own Boeing KC-767 tanker. The aircraft took off from Lajes Field on Portugal's Azores island group and touched down at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., Friday after a seven-hour flight. It began its journey earlier in the week when it left Cameri Air Base, Italy, for the trip to Portugal. The plane was built at the Cameri final assembly line. In June 2014, a contingent of U.S. Marine Corps F-35Bs had been poised to make the first transatlantic crossing to London to attend the Farnborough Airshow until an F-35A caught fire at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., temporarily grounding the fleet. (Source: Flightglobal, Defense News, 02/05/16)