Lockheed displays F-35 Lightning model downtown

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Erin Wilde and 92.1 Hank FM was on hand Monday morning for a special promotion with Mark Johnson, F-35 Media Relations at Lockheed Martin. The fighter jet was part of promotions for the Armed Forces Bowl.

On a cold Monday morning in downtown Fort Worth, office workers were doing a double-take as they hurried into their office buildings. A look twice saw an F-35 Lightning II parked in the middle of the city. Continue reading

10th anniversary of inaugural flight of F-35

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The F-35 takes off into a clear blue sky after being delayed for nearly six hours for morning fog. Two f-16 fighter jets escorted test pilot Jon Beesley on his 35 minute test flight. Thousands of people lined up along Spur 341 and North Loop 820 to witness the inaugural test flight ten years ago. Photo by Keith Robinson

Amid the tweets from both President Elect Donald Trump and Lockheed Martin, a group of people including test pilots, engineers, assembly workers and others who worked on developing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Jet will be celebrating as the 10th anniversary of the inaugural flight takes place. Continue reading

Recommendations for Enhancing Quality of Life Near NAS JRB

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People living and working in communities near Naval Air Station Fort Worth, Joint Reserve Base can get a sneak peek Aug. 21 at recommendations resulting from an 18-month quality-of-life study conducted with the input of community stakeholders. Continue reading

Tanker fuels F-35’s in flight, more tests scheduled

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Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin Photo by Andy Wolfe

For the first time, two F-35C Lightning II carrier variant test aircraft refueled together with a KC-130J Hercules in the sky above the Patuxent River, Md. last week. The CV aircraft, known as CF-1 and CF-2, completed the milestone as part of an F-35 flight test program that will accomplish more than 1,000 flights in 2013.

Marines welcome first F-35B

Third Marine Aircraft Wing’s first F-35B taxis in Fri., Nov. 16, 2012 at approximately 1 p.m. on the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma flightline in Arizona. Piloted by F-35 pilot instructor Maj. A. C. Liberman, the arrival highlights next week’s official re-designation of Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 121, an F/A-18 Hornet Squadron, as the world’s first operational F-35 squadron at MCAS Yuma. Continue reading

Union workers could be at work Monday

After more than two months on strike, Lockheed Martin machinists are expected to vote this week on a new labor contract after a tentative deal was reached with the company.

Lockheed workers picket outside a west gate on Tuesday in hopes of returning to work soon.

Lockheed officials announced late Saturday that after four days of negotiations, the aerospace company reached a tentative agreement with the union that represents 3,600 striking employees. No terms were disclosed.

On Strike, union members voice contract concerns

Members of Lockheed Martin’s Machinists Local 776 union voted to reject Lockheed’s final contract proposal and to strike this week. Workers who we talked to on the picket lines stated over and over their opposition to company proposals that would eliminate a defined benefit pension plan for new hires and a health care plan that features higher employee deductibles and co-payments.

Union workers picket in front of Lockheed

“My parents worked here and retired from here because of a good pension plan,” said one striker who remained anonymous. “I work here now and someday one of my children may work here. I want them to have the same benefits.”

This is the fifth time the union has gone on strike. Previous events were in 1946, 1984, 2000, and 2004. The longest strike lasted three weeks and the union is expecting a longer one this time.

The union represents about 3,600 workers at the west Fort Worth Lockheed plant that do most of the aircraft assembly and manufacturing work on the F-35 and F-16 fighter jets or service the machines and facilities. Continue reading

First two Marine Corps F-35s put in training

The first two Lockheed Martin production model F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft were delivered to the U.S. Marine Corps this week. The two jets are now assigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing’s Marine Fighter/Attack Training Squadron 501 residing with the host 33rdFighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla.

photo by Keith Robinson

The two aircraft, piloted by U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Joseph Bachmann and U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Matt Taylor, took a 90-minute ferry flight from Fort Worth to Florida. Both 5th Generation fighters will be used for pilot and maintainer training at the new F-35 Integrated Training Center. Continue reading

Japan to buy F-35s for military

In an announcement this week, Japan’s government has selected the F-35 Lightning II fighter as their warplane. Japan is the first nation to purchase the fighter jet outside of the original eight partners that helped pay some of the development costs. None of those nations have yet to actually order more than a couple of planes. Japan chose Lockheed’s F-35 over the Boeing F/A-18 and Eurofighter Typhoon.

“We are honored by the confidence the Japanese government has placed in the F-35 and our industry team to deliver this 5th Generation fighter to the Japan Air Self Defense Force,” said Bob Stevens, Lockheed Martin chairman and chief executive officer. “This announcement begins a new chapter in our long-standing partnership with Japanese industry and builds on the strong security cooperation between the U.S. and Japan.”

The good news was embraced by workers at Lockheed that build the aircraft.

“With all the delays and problems that have been associated with the jet, we were all starting to get a little worried about our jobs,” said one worker who wanted to remain anonymous.

Japan is expected to buy 40 to 50 jets for as much as $8 billion.