Eglin Air Force Base, Florida – Some of the students of the first official class of U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II pilots are scheduled to make their first flights here today.
The students recently completed the academic portion of the F-35 pilot training course, which includes the kinetically-based Full Mission Simulator at the Defense Department’s worldclass F-35 Academic Training Center. The ATC features advanced courseware and technology.
The combined in-class and air-time is approximately three months to grow up an F-35 pilot. While at Eglin, pilot and aircraft maintainer students are immersed in a joint and coalition environment.
This year the F-35 ATC plans to train about 72 pilots and 711 maintainers, preparing them for the challenges of working on the 21st century battlefield.
Media can expect flightline access and planeside interviews for morning or afternoon flying. Telephone interviews are also possible. Interested media are encouraged to contact the 33d Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office.