[Photo] Air-to-Air images of Australia’s first F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter

Australia’s first Lockheed Martin F-35A Lighning II made its maiden flight. And here are a couple of interesting photographs.

On Sept. 29, F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, AU-1, made its first flight from Lockheed Martin’s Forth Worth facility, in Texas.

Piloted by Lockheed Martin F-35 Chief Test Pilot Alan Norman, the aircraft performed a series of functional checks during the sortie that lasted two hours.

The aircraft, one of the 72 multi-role planes destined to the RAAF will be delivered to the “customer” later this year and will be assigned to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona where Australia and other partner countries will train their F-35 pilots.

The RAAF is expected to base the Joint Strike Fighter at two airfields: Williamtown, in New South Wales, and Tindal, in the Northern Territory, where 1.5 billion USD facilities and infrastructures to support the new fifth generation radar-evading plane will be built.

The futuristic (and quite expensive) F-35, along with RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornet (some of those are deployed in the UAE to support U.S. led campaign against ISIS) and EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft, will make Australia a regional air power.

RAAF F-35 first flight turn

Image credit: Lockheed Martin


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a 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 five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. I’d be interested to see if a Russian editor put that 120 degrees on wiki and if it was from a 0 Axis, or less to make the 120? a pugachev cobra that moves through the 120 degrees when nose down

    MiG bureau States a total arc of 105 degrees with a sustained AoA of ‘approx 45 degrees’

    PAKFA – so much potential & promise, within a technology curve that’s ahead of where Russia is..

  2. Can’t recall source, may have been AWST, on an article about 6-8 weeks where Elbit/Rockwell had implemented significant capabilities that eliminate video lag to -.01 of a second (sub 10 milliseconds) since their 2012 ‘on warning’ report

    No offence to yourself but many of the issues that protagonists of the programme have issues or problems that are years old (the engine issue notwithstanding, and is probably an indicator of poor policy than the planes overall abilities) and are being dealt with, ahead of the media/commenter awareness curve

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