The Air Force accepted its first F-35A production aircraft from prime contractor Lockheed Martin, May 5, 2011. It's the first of the 1,763 state-of-the-art stealthy F-35As that the Air Force plans to acquire to form the core of its fifth generation fighter force of the future, replacing legacy F-16s and A-10s. This first production airframe, AF-7, is actually the second production-version F-35A to roll off of Lockheed's assembly line in Fort Worth, Tex., but the first one to complete acceptance testing and be delivered. AF-8, the first F-35A built under Lot 2 LRIP, made its maiden flight the following day. Here, AF-8 shown during its inaugural flight from NAS Fort Worth JRB, Tex.
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