In Its First Night Flight, the F-35 Soars at Sundown

The F-35's First Night Flight
Lockheed Martin

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter hasn't enjoyed a whole lot of good press lately, with a slew of budget overruns, technology concerns, and one very public grounding for the Marine Corps' F-35B variant casting long shadows over the effort to develop America's new fifth-generation fighter jet. But that hasn't stopped the press team at Lockheed Martin from casting the F-35 in a more favorable light in these newly released images of the jet's first night flight.

The F-35A pictured here (that's the conventional takeoff and landing Air Force variant) reportedly performed well during straight approaches at dusk, and we're told that the test pilot described the cockpit lighting as the best he'd ever seen. The green exterior night formation lights set against the atmospheric effects of a California sunset make for some pretty good lighting as well.

The F-35 at Dusk
Lockheed Martin