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
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 five books and contributed to many more ones.

14 Comments

      • 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!

    • 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!

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