First flight for second RAAF F-35

Takeoff for AU-2.
Takeoff for AU-2. © Carl Richards

The second F-35A Lightning II for the RAAF made its first flight on October 1.

Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti was at the controls of aircraft AU-2 (RAAF serial A35-002) for the approximately 90 minute flight, from Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, adjacent to Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth production facilities.

AU-2’s first flight came just two days after the first flight of the first RAAF F-35A, AU-1, on September 29.

AU-1 and AU-2 are due to be formally handed over to the RAAF before the end of the year. They are then expected to be delivered to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona where from early 2015 where they will operate as part of a F-35 training pool.

Beyond the initial two aircraft, subsequent RAAF F-35s are due to be delivered from 2017 through until 2022.

AU-2 has flown for the first time. © Carl Richards