The Italian Air Force has successfully accomplished the F-35’s first transatlantic crossing

Feb 06 2016 - 1 Comment

The Italian Air Force made the history by successfully accomplishing the F-35’s first transatlantic crossing.

On Feb. 5, the first Italian Air Force F-35, the first JSF built outside the U.S., landed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Mariland, at the end of a 7-hour transatlantic flight from Lajes Air Base, in Portugal.

The aircraft, dubbed AL-1 and serialled MM7332 departed from Cameri on Feb. 3 and was scheduled to land in the U.S. on the following day but the trip was delayed due to strong winds over the Atlantic Ocean.

The aircraft was piloted by one of the two ItAF pilots who successfully completed the training at Luke AFB last year.

F-35 ground

F-35 left side

The aircraft arrived at Pax River, where it will be involved in testing activities before moving to Luke Air Force Base, was accompanied by two KC-767 tankers, two C-130Js for logistical and SAR support, and one two-seater Eurofighter Typhoon acting as chase plane. One of F-2000B remained at Lajes as spare, and will wait until all return from the States within a couple of days (except for the JSF).

C-130J

Typhoon B

Typhoon B 2

The pictures in this post show the formation arriving a Lajes: noteworthy, the stopover marked the first landing of an F-35 in Portugal.

Image credit: APS – Associação Portugal Spotters

 

  • CatarroArmato

    No one jet it’s completely stealthy, full stealth doesn’t exist, this is the point that we have to understand. The stealth technologies it’s the capability to “make difficult” the radar interception of an aircraft. So doesn’t exist the “invisibility”, when we spoke about stealth tech. All the plane if they’re hit in the side by a radar, would show his presence at the enemy, no exception.
    I totally agree with you for the expensive speech, and the mess that Lockeed made in the first projectual phase.
    EFA and Gripen are yes swingrole fighters, but primary they are fighters, also adaptable as bombarders, F-35 nope, he it’s made to be a primarly a bombarder, so not really a “light attack” plane.
    The problem it’s only one, the cost of each plane, but for the characteristic of the plane, if he would be refined and finished, are actually impressive.