Exclusive Photos: The First Ever F-35 assembled internationally makes maiden flight

Designated AL-1, the first F-35A assembled internationally flew today from Cameri airbase, Italy.

On Sept. 7, the first F-35A assembled outside the US, made its very first flight from Cameri airbase.

The aircraft, designated AL-1, is the first of eight aircraft currently being assembled at the Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility at Cameri, in northwestern Italy. As already explained in a previous post, the FACO will assemble the first Italian F-35As and the remaining F-35A and F-35B for the Italian Air Force and Navy, and build F-35A for the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

First F-35 Italy

The 5th generation multirole aircraft was given the low-visibility roundel and markings of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force), as well as the 32° Stormo (Wing) emblem and code “32-01.”

During the flight, that lasted about 1,5 hours, the F-35A was escorted by a Eurofighter Typhoon.

The Aviationist’s contributor Simone Bovi took the exclusive images that you can find in this post.

First F-35 Italy escorted

The first F-35A is expected to be delivered to the Italian Air Force by the end of the year.

 

About David Cenciotti 4417 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.

4 Comments

  1. The F-35 may not be perfect (yes, it probably will never turn like a Block 30 or 40 F-16C or be as good as the A-10 in CAS), but people fail to realize one main VERY IMPORTANT POINT: The teen series jets are VERY OLD. They are running out of air-frame hours, and some are operating with certain restrictions in their flight envelope. Why do you think the Navy retired the F-14? It was because of aging air-frames and ever increasing maintenance costs. The F-15 will be next, followed by the C/D versions or the Hornet and Viper. The teen series jets were great in their era, but that time basically has past-

    • Point taken. But the question remains… Which is the better military aircraft? The F22 or the F35… It would have been MUCH cheaper to keep churning and producing F22´s than the F35.

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