HomeNewsArticle Display

F-35 pilot training begins at Luke

Travis Byrom, a Lockheed Martin instructor pilot, briefs students in the first F-35 Lightning II training class May 5, 2015, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Upon completion of training, the students will assume the role of instructor to teach future classes of F-35 students. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman James Hensley)

Travis Byrom, a Lockheed Martin instructor pilot, briefs students in the first F-35 Lightning II training class May 5, 2015, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Upon completion of training, the students will assume the role of instructor to teach future classes of F-35 students. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman James Hensley)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, ARIZ. (AFNS) -- The first ever F-35 Lightning II pilot training class was held at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, May 4.

Two F-16 Fighting Falcon instructor pilots and two A-10 Warthog instructor pilots were selected for the class, making them the first students to learn how to operate the fifth-generation fighter.

"Luke's Academic Training Center focuses on the academic and simulator training and the 61st Fighter Squadron will train on the flying piece," said Lt. Col. Matt Hayden, the 56th Training Squadron director of operations. "It's a buildup approach training, where we start with academics, move to hands-on training with the simulators, and finally to the aircraft. The F-35 is built in a way to introduce students to the basic overall aircraft handling of its systems and what makes up the F-35."

The students will learn various systems throughout the aircraft and how they work together. Hydraulics, electrical, engine and flight controls are systems every pilot must understand prior to taking their first flight.

"Initially the training will be focused on understanding the airplane: how to take off, land, fly formation and how to interact with all the sensors on the aircraft," Hayden said. "As the training progresses we look at a tactical approach, as far as how to employ the airplane air-to-air, air-to-ground, what the capabilities and limitations of the aircraft are, and how to communicate.

"The tools in the ATC are set up to help immerse the students in the aircraft environment in an academic way," Hayden said. "The student stations in each of the classrooms have large monitors and a stick and throttle. In addition to that, the instructor at the front of the classroom has a couple of projectors which enable him to bring up a console, or any of the students' consoles, to talk about what the student sees on the displays."

The displays are a panoramic touch screen and can be customized to every scenario.

"The displays can also be manipulated using the stick and throttle which gives students a way to familiarize themselves with the glass display and build comfort with the 'switch-ology' of the aircraft," Hayden said. "We want to get the students familiarized with all of these things long before they get into the aircraft or even the simulator. It helps them understand how that interface works between the pilot and the airplane."

The training in total, from academics to simulators to flightline, takes approximately three months. This first class is training to become flight ready with the F-35, but to also become instructors upon completion of the course.

"The pilots going through the training right now are going to be staying here at Luke to be instructors," Hayden said. "When they graduate they may very well turn around in a matter of days to instructing students in what they just learned, which is why we chose previous fighter pilot instructors to be in the first class to have that tactical experience."

The students have many challenges ahead of them to become F-35 pilots, as well as become knowledgeable enough to lead and instruct future classes.

"It's exciting to be the first class at Luke," said Maj. Eric Puels, a 944th Operations Group Detachment 2 student. "A couple of us have been part of this program since 2008 and we're looking forward to hitting the ground running. It was extremely competitive to apply to become an F-35 pilot, let alone to be accepted. My father was a fighter pilot, he flew F-4 Phantoms, so I always wanted to fly the best fighters and the F-35 is the best."

Engage

Twitter
“We want to make sure our culture is inclusive, enabling all Airmen & Guardians to serve their country & contribute… https://t.co/2XzBFWGhCX
Twitter
RT @NORADCommand: For more than 60 years, #NORAD has evolved to meet the threats to our nations. Moving forward, NORAD will focus on enhanc…
Twitter
RT @97AMW: One of our very own members traveled to New York to help administer COVID-19 vaccines! SrA Taylor Riner, 97th MDG family practic…
Twitter
RT @AFResearchLab: Our teams are always aiming to lead, discover, develop and deliver new game changing #quantumtech #AFResearchLab #Quant
Twitter
The new policy will go into effect beginning with the major, lieutenant colonel and colonel Space Force promotion b… https://t.co/76PQrG202I
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Giving our #Airmen the ability to opt out of promotion consideration allows for greater flexibility in career management,…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: - To complete a broadening assignment - To complete advanced education - To complete another assignment of significant va…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: #Airmen, today, officers holding the rank of captain, major or lieutenant colonel are eligible to apply for exclusion fro…
Twitter
RT @NORADCommand: #NORAD added maritime warning to its mission set in 2006 to facilitate a shared awareness of the activities in maritime a…
Twitter
When TSgt Goad’s wife sought treatment for PTSD, he assumed broader shoulders as a husband and a father, grew into… https://t.co/3ViThx6mp5
Twitter
Through iHub, users can submit and collaborate their innovation ideas with action officers, view the status and sta… https://t.co/lxJLqSCNBH
Twitter
“The team did an outstanding job effecting this event both in planning and execution,” said Lt. Col. Matt Guasco. “… https://t.co/ZfEJrSAnae
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Acting SecAF Roth visited @RobinsAFB_GA to see how the base supports warfighters around the world. From aircraft depot m…
Twitter
"We have to make sure we are task organized at home station and capable of projecting our forces forward if the fla… https://t.co/9Wrmrtdnj0
Twitter
On this day 72 years, ago Soviet forces lifted the blockade, which shut off food, coal and medicine to two million… https://t.co/sxLSAJ5q6e
Twitter
Ellison Onizuka, an Air Force test pilot who later became an astronaut, flew aboard 1985's Space Shuttle Discovery’… https://t.co/xE5xcPsSKF
Twitter
RT @grandslamwing: #ICYMI Members from the 816th EAS and 379th ELRS certified training on the ABFDS, which allows the mission to continue f…
Twitter
“The #AirForce is really trying to look beyond traditional technologies and vendors in how we are satisfying our ba… https://t.co/Lt2dIO1zoi
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,347,941
Follow Us