GAR’s Chris Wood was at Nellis AFB recently and caught F-35A Bolt 01 in the circuit – the shape of things to come.
The aircraft, F-35A production number AF-22 (USAF serial No: 10-5010) made its inaugural flight on October 14 2012 at Fort Worth, with Lockheed Martin test pilot Paul Hattendorf at the controls.
When Bolt 01 returned to Nellis, the aircraft worked the pattern, mostly for simulated engine off approaches which were very high. It did however also fly a few ‘normal’ circuits…
Wearing its OT tailcode, the aircraft is from the 422 TES (Test and Evaluation Squadron), based at Nellis, and is one of four delivered to the Squadron in March.
Expect shots like these to become more and more frequent in the months and years to come!