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Check Six – 2006: First Flight: Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II

December 15, 2021
F-35 Lightning II first flight takeoff. Lockheed Martin Photo by Tom Harvey.

15 December 2006: Lockheed Martin Chief Test Pilot Jon S. Beesely takes the first prototype F-35A Lightning II stealth strike fighter for its first test flight at Forth Worth, Texas. Taking off at 12:44 p.m., Central Standard Time (18:44 UTC), Beesley took the prototype, designated AA-1, to 15,000 feet (4,572 meters) at 225 knots (259 miles per hour/417 kilometers per hour) to test the aircraft in landing configuration prior to continuing with other tests.

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