Interesting video with pilot interview provides some interesting details about the F-35’s first transatlantic crossing.
On Feb. 5, the Italian Air Force’s first F-35, dubbed AL-1 and serialled MM7332 (with code “32-01” and markings of the 32° Stormo – Wing) landed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Mariland, at the end of the JSF’s first ever transatlantic flight.
The aircraft was piloted by one of the two ItAF test pilots, belonging to the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (Test Wing) from Pratica di Mare, who successfully completed the training at Luke AFB in November last year.
The following B-roll (H/T to @JamesDrewNews) shows the aircraft, landing at Pax River along with one of the supporting KC-767s (the F-35 was supported by 2x KC-767s, 2x C-130Js and 2x Typhoons).
After chasing the F-35 for most of its transatlantic flight, the two-seater Typhoon and its own supporting KC-767 landed at Pease ANGB, in New Hampshire, from where they will fly to Nellis AFB, in Nevada, in anticipation of the first participation of the Italian Typhoons to a Red Flag exercise.
Interestingly, the F-35 refueled 7 times from Italy to the U.S. and most of the refueling took place in bad weather: nevertheless, there were no problems nor disconnection as the F-35 is extremely stable (so as the KC-767).
7 refuels – that’s a lot of pedaling in between!
Probably for safety reasons.