The Navy said a fighter squadron took the first F-35C on a 1.5 hour maiden flight from the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The Lockheed Martin variant has larger wings than other F-35 stealth fighters. It employs folding wingtips and other designs the company says make it suitable for naval aircraft carriers.
Buss said the interim safe-for-flight designation means the F-35C has entered into real service with the U.S. Navy. It will serve to complement the Navy's existing premier strike fighter, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
The naval squadron received its first F-35C from Lockheed in June. The Navy said Lockheed technicians would teach service personnel how to maintain the aircraft to ensure and sustain flight integrity.
Topless Snapchat photo of mother and 14-year-old daughter leads to charges
Salvation Army bell ringer assaulted for saying 'Happy Holidays'