The first F-35A full wing-set produced by Italy’s Finmeccanica-Aeronautics at the Cameri, Italy, Final Assembly & Check-Out (FACO) facility, made its first flight on U.S. Air Force aircraft AF-88 in Fort Worth, Texas, Jan. 15.
AF-88 was flying its first Lockheed Martin company check-out flight and is the 156th F-35 produced to date. Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) pilots will conduct their U.S. government check-out flights next, prior to aircraft acceptance and delivery to Nellis AFB, Nevada, for operational test and evaluation there.
The work contracted to Finmeccanica-Aeronautics, a strategic co-supplier of F-35A full wing assemblies, is one of the largest manufacturing projects for the Italian F-35 program, with 835 full wing assemblies planned.
“From the beginning of the program, Italian industry has influenced the aircraft's design and capabilities. Italian-made parts and components are installed in every F-35 produced,” said Jack Crisler, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Business Development vice president. “Italian industry will support the F-35 for more than 30 years, from production of parts and final assembly of aircraft to replacement parts and regional sustainment work.”