The US Air Force will collaborate with Norwegian students in the first allied F-35 basic training course.
US Air Force students will work with two students from the Norwegian air force for an eight-month training course getting to grips with the F-35A Lightning II in Arizona. The trainees are part of the 62nd Fighter Squadron, a collaboration between Italy, the US, and Norway.
The training represents the first basic course in the F-35. The first phase of the course is a month of classroom education on how F-35 systems work followed by ground simulator training.
Students on the course said: “It was a great experience. When you do the first takeoff after only flying aircraft in previous flights with smaller engines, you can really feel the kick of the aircraft accelerating on the runway. It was really fun to achieve the goal of flying a fighter jet for the first time.”
“In some ways, the T-38 is actually a little bit more challenging to maneuver just because the flight controls are very mechanical, whereas the F-35s are more electrical. The F-35 handles a little bit easier even though it has more power and thrust.”
“Red Flag is the long-term big goal that I’m looking forward to. I think we need to take in everything that happens along the way because that’s going to be the building blocks that’s going to lead us there. Everything we’re doing from this point on is things we’ve never seen before, at this scale at least. Everything is interesting and fun.”
While attending Undergraduate Pilot Training, student pilots fly the T-6 Texan II — a two-seat, single propeller trainer. The last phase includes hands-on training, and the students are paired into operational squadrons where instructor pilots teach academics and the students fly the F-35 for the first time.
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