Take a look at these fantastic air-to-air photographs of the F-35 during its first transatlantic crossing

Feb 08 2016 - 27 Comments

Cool photographs of a historic achievement.

On Feb. 5, the an F-35A landed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, marking the successful ending of JSF’s first ever transatlantic flight.

It was pretty much an Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force) achievement: the aircraft was the ItAF’s first F-35, the first JSF built outside the U.S., 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, and supported by a formation made by 2x KC-767s, 2x C-130Js and 2x Typhoons, all belonging to the Italian Air Force.

F-35 crossing 2

11 flying hours, one stopover (in Lajes, Portugal) and 7 aerial refuelings made the crossing possible.

F-35 crossing 3

In this post you can find some cool photographs of the trip just released by the Italian Ministry of Defense. Noteworthy, the image below (the only one on the ground) shows the pilot performing the external checks on the F-35: you can clearly see the low-visibility 13th Gruppo (Squadron) emblem applied to the left air intake.

F-35 crossing checks

Image credit: Italy MoD

  • Tawse

    So the Eurofighters accompanying the F35 were twin-seater T1s and not single seater F2s?

    • AstroNautilus

      Are you blind? You do see the pictures with a pair of 2-seater typhoons? So why asking?

      • Tawse

        A previous article on this transatlantic hop referred to the Eurofighters as being the single seat version.

  • MrSatyre

    if crossing the ocean were a test milestone, then I’d have to say it passed with flying colors. But it’s not, and it still fails in far too many areas for anyone to be proud of it.

    • JS353535

      I’m very good friends with one of the F-35 program managers. You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. Keep believing the negative hype all you want, meanwhile all of the aircraft will continue to go into service and will very likely be successful. Or you can just hate on it till you’re blue in the face, brah.

      • franciwzm

        I am with you JS !

    • sferrin

      Name one fighter that didn’t have issues during development. Right then. BTW the Typhoons required more aerial refuelings than the F-35 despite them carrying 3 external tanks a piece. Food for thought. (Though I’d be surprised if it sunk in.)

      • AstroNautilus

        “More aerial refuelings”..HOW MANY? Do you have the exact numbers or not? Because if not you are simply talking random s

  • karsten

    Nice, but I am really looking forward to see how the F 35 will stand against the Eurofighter. Since the ItAF has both Planes in their Inventory, I hope they will let us know a little bit without releasing Secrets…….My Guess:WVR the F 35 will have no Chance, but BVR??

    • franciwzm

      In a real scenario, typhoon will never engage any target in wvr excepet may be f22: if you get in wvr,that means something has gone wrong; typhoon has sufficient speed and best in the world,f22 included, supersonic STR, to keep any encounter in bvr.

  • su34

    “That’s what the F35 will do to ya”

    Another F35 “success” story… simply too much to bear.

    • Dr. Douglas Fargo

      Time to debunk some of the Myths you are crying about.

    • Jan Schmidt

      general was suffering from flu. current H1N1 virus was not in flu vaccine. also new mutations target healthy middle aged people. sometimes its so drastic that you black out

  • AstroNautilus

    You really have to comment every single article with non sense talk based on nothing more than speculations over not released infos? Provide facts backed by official numbers and stop acting like a baboon.
    And LEARN HOW TO WRITE SUKHOI, TYPHOON and F-22, F-35, kid.

    • franciwzm

      You didn’t read anything about f22 vs typhoon encounter at langley in 2006 ? The most debated encounter beetween fighters of last 15 years ? Make a good search and start reading dude…

  • Jacopo Siliprandi

    Remember that the captor-E is now in the game as well

    • franciwzm

      Exactly: 75% more range, world second more powerful radar fitted on a fighter after f22’aesa.

  • Dogui

    The flight was about 7000 km, this means that every 1000 km you will need a refuel, this means that approximately 500 km of range?

  • sferrin

    “reported to be able to track constantly f22 at 40km range;”

    Reported by who?

    • franciwzm

      By eurofighter’s pilots at langley in 2006 : host centre did not deny any tracking but simply said that f22 used for exercises had “augmented ” rcs for safety issues, without beeing more precise…You are interested in fighter issues and you did not know the most debated real exercise between the 2 most powerful air dominance planes?

  • sferrin

    Yeah, and the Typhoon need even more. It must REALLY suck right? (Good god, somebody educate this troll on the concept of “divert fields”. )

  • Uniform223

    Do you have any sources for ANY of those claims?

  • Renato Dallarmi

    Typhoon can host meteor, f22 cannot and f35 ….. Cannot either they talked about it but the talk never progresses beyond chit chat level AFAIK

  • pp_muscimol

    Ok, so in stealth mode the F35 as what kind of effective combat time-of-flight without the tanks?

  • AstroNautilus

    Holy Jesus, you wanted to open a debate on this photo report when you already had the answer to your silly question before your own eyes? Really, are you kidding or what??
    And then I am the troll..
    My profile preferences are not your business btw