Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II production aircraft flew its inaugural flight on Friday13 April.
Test pilot Bill Gigliotti took the short take off/vertical landing (STOVL) jet through a series of functional flight checks during a sortie that lasted 45 minutes.
The jet will complete a series of company and government checkout flights prior to its acceptance by the Ministry of Defence. The tests will begin later this year at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, USA.
The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.