An F-35A Lightning II took to the skies on July 17 marking the first flight by an aircraft with two vertical tails manufactured by Australian company Marand.
Lockheed Martin stated that chief test pilot Alan Norman flew the sortie, which lasted 84 minutes, in the aircraft known as AF-73.
The flight is an important milestone for Marand and BAE Systems, demonstrating the significant industrial benefits of the program for Australian industry, the company stated.
“The first flight of this particular F-35A marks a monumental achievement for Marand and our dedicated employees,” said Marand chief executive officer Rohan Stocker. “It has been an incredible journey from the point where we initially bid for this work with BAE Systems to witnessing the reality of our vertical tails being an integral part of the F-35.”
The aircraft is set to join the US Air Force fleet later this year.