As the Marine Corps F-35B short take-off and vertical landing version of the Joint Strike Fighter comes off ‘probation” today, we thought we’d give you these pics of the A-model of jet making the JSF’s first ever-night flight on Jan. 19.
The pics show an an F-35A with a Lockheed test pilot at the helm making its first night (more like dusk) flight out of Edwards Air Force Base in California on Wednesday night. The jet took off at 5:05 PM and landed a little after sunset at 6:20 pm, according to Lockheed.
As for the B, well, there have been a ton of reports good and bad about it. It’s catching up on its flight test goals and made its first landings aboard an amphibious assault ship (it still has to deal with weight issues, those pesky bulkhead cracks and an overheating clutch). However, the C-model just became the center of F-35 bad press when reports emerged saying that among other flaws, it’s tailhook is too short to reach the arrestor wires on a carrier’s flight deck; the best part, there’s no easy solution to the problem. We’ll see what the year ahead brings for the program
Click through the jump for more photos of the F-35’s evening flight.