Sunday, January 25, 2015

First Aussie to begin F-35 training

The first Royal Australian Air Force pilot will start training this week at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., to fly the F-35A. Squadron leader Andrew Jackson's first flight will be months from now, and may not be in either of Australia's two F-35A jets. Australia's second F-35A pilot, David Bell, will start training in mid-2015. Jackson will eventually serve as an instructor pilot for Australian F-35 pilots and other partner-nations. Australia plans to buy 72 of the planes, with the first arriving in Australia in late 2018. The first jet rolled off the production line in 2014. (Source: Australian Associated Press via The Guardian, 01/24/15) Eglin is home of the F-35 integrated training center, and trains pilots and maintainers from all U.S. branches and foreign partner nations.