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

Sep 07 2015 - 18 Comments

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.


  • Fabio Morniroli

    Who was the pilot? Italian or american?

    • Shooter

      And who do you think Gigliotti is?

      • Madona

        Again, a spaghetti payed by a gringo, like Al Capone …isn’t he?. Sounds like a fighter mafia. Italians, Holland and Europe partnerts have payed enough to make flyiable the B-3 that shows today Aviation Week. Welcome to US fighter mafia!

        • sferrin

          Wow. Clearly this person is a genius.

    • Renato Dallarmi

      Why would we have an American, piloting one of our f35? Expecially in its miden flight.

  • Olavi Halttunen

    Who was the pilot? An Italian?

    • cencio4

      Bill Gigliotti, LM test pilot.

  • Gyoz

    Cessna C150 would be cheaper it does not mean it can do the same things

  • RedStatePatriot

    Good thing that no one of importance cares what you think.

  • Pooter Bilbo

    Well it’s a good thing you aren’t running any US aircraft acquisitions programs.

    • What!? Mortgaging the US Defense budget to acquire what is basically a flawed F-105 Thud minus the reliability, cargo capacity, agility and economy? Do you really believe all the BS that the contractor pushes in their PR? BVR capability? Supercruise, Stealth? SDB and munitions, Net-centric and data concretion situational awareness? That´s a lot of BS my friend… It would have been cheaper to keep the F22 line open that all that sunken money wasted in this POS. They could have re-written the classified computer code that the DOD did not wanted to share with the allies and build an international version of the F22 both for the allies and reinforced for naval (aircraft carrier) use. The marines? Tough luck, NO VTOL ac for you!

      • Uniform223

        temper tantrum danger close.

      • sferrin

        Damn, I’m reminded of the Mark Twain quote, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

  • sferrin

    Want some cheese with that?

  • FrankW

    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.

  • Ninjacat

    This plane will make you ignorant fools eat crow just like F22 did !!!