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

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

About David Cenciotti 4450 Articles
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 four books.

15 Comments

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

  1. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.)

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

  2. 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??

    • 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.

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

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

    • 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

  4. 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.

    • 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…

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