Posted by John McHaleFORT WORTH, Texas, 2 Feb. 2011. The last Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35B Lightning II assigned to developmental flight testing departed Naval Air Station (NAS) Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base for its first flight. Known as BF-5, the short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) jet will ferry to NAS Patuxent River, Md., later this year, where it will join four F-35Bs and one F-35C carrier variant aircraft currently undergoing testing.The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35 Lightning II program team reached its 2010 goal of 394 test flights jointly established by the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program Office and Lockheed Martin.The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, state-of-the-art avionics, network-enabled operations, and advanced sustainment. Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.
The aircraft will be manufactured in three variants -- a conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) for the U.S. Air Force, a carrier variant (CV) for the U.S. Navy, and a STOVL for the U.S. Marine Corps and England's Royal air force and navy.