Air International 2021-01
M.Ellis - Fresh Lightnings at Fort Worth
The Texas 'Lone Star' state flag was painted on F-16C 86-0246 of the 301st FW, 457th FS to celebrate the unit's 75th anniversary. Painted at TSCS Waco by L3 Technologies, it was delivered to the unit during October 2020 and seen here on November 12
The Texas ANG’s resident 301st FW/457th FS is operating a single Have Glass V F-16C, serial no 86-0222. It was seen landing at Fort Worth’s Carswell Field on November 10, 2020 after an air-to-air sortie. The Have Glass V special radar-absorbing paint helps to reduce the aircraft's radar cross section
US Marine Corps AH-1Z, 168516 was seen at Fort Worth s Meacham Airport on November 6, 2020. Wearing no unit markings, the Zulu had been assigned to HX-21 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, but it’s unclear if the helicopter is still assigned to the unit
Pictured during its first flight on November 12, 2020 is Royal Australian Air Force F-35A A35-032 (MSN AU-32), bound for the 2nd Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) at RAAF Base Williamtown in New South Wales, Australia. The unit lost its F/A-18A/B Hornets in December 2019 and has been re-equipping with F-35As since early in 2020. Although not visible in this photo, the fighter (callsign ‘Strike 61’) carries the FMS serial no 18-5403 on the nose-wheel door.
This F-35A 18-5420/’LF’ is destined for the 56th Fighter Wing/62nd Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB, Arizona, and was temporarily loaned to Lockheed Martin on November 10, 2020 for chase duties, using the callsign ‘Lightning 12’. For maiden flights, two F-35s will launch with the second aircraft acting as chase. This has been caused by withdrawal of the two Lockheed Martin F-16s that had been used for chase duties
The F-35A 18-5373 prepares to depart NAS Fort Worth JRB for a test flight, as ‘Strike 91’ on November 10, 2020. Wearing the markings of the 354th FW/356th FS, it was due to be delivered to Eielson AFB in Alaska by the end of December
Three more Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightnings destined for the UK left Fort Worth on November 27, 2020. The first of these, ZM154 (MSN BK-20), is seen here during a pre-delivery flight (callsign 'Strike 61') on November 12. The 'Strike' callsign denotes a predelivery customer test flight, while 'Lightning' is reserved for Lockheed Martin Test flights
An unmarked F-35B, landing at NAS Fort Worth JRB on November 10, 2020 using callsign 'Strike 21' and thought to be destined for the UK. Seeing an unmarked F-35 is rare, so identification is difficult