This year the F-35 program will wrap up the most comprehensive flight test program in aviation history. The three variants of the fighter being built for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps have undergone 8,000 flights to gauge their performance without identifying a single show-stopper.
The Marine Corps version of the F-35 has been operational for two years and the Air Force version for one year. F-35s have deployed to Japan and Europe (where they participated in exercises across the continent).
The Air Force version of F-35, the one being bought by most allies, is projected to cost $85 million in 2019.
Washington has not wavered from its plan to buy 2,457 F-35s since development began in 2001. Obviously, that would not be the case if the program had encountered major problems.
The most telling testimonials to F-35 excellence come from the pilots who have flown the plane.
– Epic Music Mix – Droplets of Blood: