Lockheed Martin said April 20, 2010, that the seventh F-35 flight test aircraft, an F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant dubbed AF-2, had that day flown for the first time and would be used to validate the CTOL weapons suite. Company test pilot Jeff Knowles took off in AF-2 around 6 p.m. CDT from NAS Fort Worth JRB, Tex., for a one-hour flight. AF-2, the first F-35 to have the internal GAU-22/A 25-mm gun system, made by General Dynamics, will demonstrate internal and external weapons capability throughout the required flight envelope. Here, AF-2 leaves the runway on its first flight.
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