First flight for Norwegian Lightning II

The first Royal Norwegian Air Force F-35A Lightning II took the sky for the first time on Tuesday 6 October from Forth Worth, Texas. The successful flight lasted 1 hour and 32 minutes and saw tests of engine and other critical aircraft functions. On the same day, Norway confirmed that it is still looking to buy 55 aircraft, despite reports of lacking funds.

At the controls was Lockheed Martin test pilot Bill Gigliotti, the very same pilot who recently flew the first European made F-35 in Italy. The aircraft to perform the first ‘Norwegian’ flight was in fact the second to be produced for Norway. The first plane was the star of a roll out ceremony in September, broadcasted live on Norwegian television.

The first two Norwegian F-35s will later this year move to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, for pilot training.

© 2015 editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: The Norwegian F-35 at the start of its first flight. (Image © Lockheed Martin)