Lightning delivery

The Royal Australian Air Force delivered its first F-35s down under in December setting a new flight record with a very new capability. Nigel Pittaway reports

Right echelon formation with F-35A A35-010 closest to the camera.
Cpl David Gibbs/Royal Australian Air Force

AUSTRALIA BECAME the seventh member of the international Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II community to have aircraft located on home soil on December 10, 2018, with the arrival of the first two examples at RAAF Base Williamtown, north of Sydney.

The two F-35As (A35-009 and A35-010) were lown on the last leg of their journey from the United States by the Commanding Oicer of 3 Squadron, Wing Commander Darren Clare, and A Flight Commander Squadron Leader Red Borrman. The unit is the irst operational Australian ighter squadron to convert to the F-35A, after previously operating the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A and F/A-18B ‘Classic’ Hornet.

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