The US 388th Fighter Wing set a speed record for bringing online a newly-delivered aircraft last week, flying a sortie less than five hours after accepting delivery of its 68th F-35 aircraft.

According to the US Air Force, F-35A aircraft tail number 5261 left Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth production facility a little after 8 a.m. on August the 1st and landed at Hill Air Force Base at 10 a.m, and by 3 p.m. had taken off on its first combat training mission.

“The F-35A program’s production and delivery plan was designed to allow rapid aircraft induction and quick use by the customers,” said Col. Michael Miles, 388th Maintenance Group commander.

“We’ve shown the enterprise it’s possible.”

In theory, it means that F-35 jets could be deployed directly from the factory into combat if a large-scale conflict ever drives that need, Miles said.

When a new F-35A comes off the line at the production facility, it undergoes several contract and government check flights before the US Air Force accepts final delivery.

The 388th and 419th FWs are the Air Force’s first combat-capable F-35 units.

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Nothing that didn’t occur during the Battle of Britain, right? 😉


Or at Stalingrad with the T34…



That was on the telly last week, fantastic film


Today, when an aircraft is delivered from the manufacturer. It is supposed to undergo acceptance checks. This is to make sure that the manufacturer has delivered the aircraft in accordance with the design contract which is used to close the quality loop.
For such a complex aircraft to be sent flying 5 hours after delivery is at face value shockingly quick. But what has probably happened is that the USAF have personnel attached to the flight test teams at the manufacturer.


Flying turd making some pointless PR noise. How about recent news about 8% fully mission capable operational rates at Edwards air force base, or that many weapons are still not available, and all the other fixes on the to do list. Only JDAM, Paveway, Aim and AMRAM are certified on F35A. On a positive note, nice to see that Typhoon has recently finished Centurion ugrade with Meteor, Storm Shadow and Brimstone. Apparently testing is ongoing with Litening 5 targeting pod, and Pirate is to be upgraded with new infrared sensors. Engines will also be upgraded, however i would rather… Read more »

John Rollinson

Its all about trying to make the F35 a respectable aircraft with all its known deficiencies.


I see also UK is about accept its final Typhoon. Only 24 more Qatari Typhoons will be assemble in the UK as per current orders. If the 48 Saudi Typhoons ever appear they may be assembled in country so fast jet manufacture of complete jet could be over by 2023-24.

Lots of fuss made over ship building but the reality is UK fast jet production is in a far worse state.


Out of curiosity, if there was a funding boost and we decided we wanted new fighter jets ASAP, how many Typhoons (or fast jets) could we actually produce say a month or year? I often think the same about naval shipbuilding. Could probably build much more and cheaper if we bought in the right way, or so I would imagine.


“Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer records the RAF as having a current active fleet of 116 Typhoons”…the few certainly do seem to be getting fewer, to paraphrase Richard Burton… did we receive our full allocation in the end? it’s difficult to keep track with the various revisions to the order book over the years, but I seem to remember a batch destined for the RAF were instead sold to a Middle Eastern country during the 2000s under Gordon Brown (either as Chancellor or PM), on the basis that the MoD would order a replacement batch of a later tranche down the line.… Read more »

Paul T

To my recollection there was talk of a further batch – Tranche 3B maybe,but so far it has not materialised,if there are more to come than great,if not the path to Tempest might not be so clear.With the investment going into F35b into the future its probably the case that the funds are just not there.


The last RAF Typhoon will be delivered this year. This makes a total of 160 delivered. Of the 160 some were the T2 two seater, which have been mothballed and I believe 20 were sold to Saudi Arabia, hence the low in-service number of RAF Typhoons. There has not been any new aircraft back filling the aircraft sold to Saudi Arabia.

Paul T

The way I see it is this – the UK Government/MOD’s contractual obligation to the Typhoon programme was 232 Aircraft. With 72 sold to Saudi Arabia that leaves 160 – coincidence or irrelevant ?.


I find this website very informative….. Which government do we vote for to get a strong defence for our country ?