Photo: F-35 completes first night air-to-air refueling

On Mar. 22, 2012, the F-35 completed the first night air-to-air refueling during a test mission from Edwards AFB, California.

Piloted by U.S. Air Force pilot Lt. Col. Peter Vitt, AF-4, an F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant, met with an Air Force KC-135 tanker and successfully received fuel through the Stratotanker flying boom.

Thanks to the gas received through the JSF’s receptacle, Vitt’s sortie lasted more than three hours.

After qualifying with the KC-135, the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards AFB will also conduct night refueling tests with the KC-10.

Image credit: Lockheed Martin photo by Matthew Short

About David Cenciotti 3821 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.