This is the Plane’s 19th flight since being transferred to experimental pilots
Wing 33: The U.S Air Force’s Practice Base
“This plane is unlike anything else we have”
Aerial Crew by the F-35
A Close-Up Look at the IAF’s Future Combat Plane A close-up look at the manufacturing line of the future combat plane, a conversation with American pilots who’ve already flown the stealth machine, a flight on the V-22, and one Legion of Merit. A week with Commander of the IAF in the U.S.A
The relationship between the IAF and the U.S Air Force has been going strong for years. Joint platforms and weaponry, mutual training, and most of all–similar challenges, have promised close cooperation between the two forces.
Commander of the IAF, Major General Ido Nehoshtan, travelled with two other executives for a week of work appointments and intimate meetings with the future of the IAF.
During the visit, the commander of the force flew the V-22tilt-rotor. “It was an extraordinary experience”, says Major General Nehoshtan. “It’s a very different plane that demands high flying capabilities of both a plane and a helicopter. That said, it is comfortable and user-friendly thanks to advanced human engineering. The IAF is definitely interested in it and the operational capabilities it brings along. It doesn’t replace any existing platforms, I see it as an additional piece to complete the CH-53 and Hercules family”.
The Fifth Generation
As a part of the visit, the IAF people traveled to Wing 33: The U.S Air Force’s practice base where they met the experiment pilots who have already flown the F-35. They also chatted with the maintenance people of the new plane and toured the special infrastructures built for the stealth aircraft.
Until recently, experimental flights were conducted exclusively by ‘Lockheed Martin’ pilots. These days, a number of planes have already been transferred to the U.S Air Force and are flown by their experimental pilots.
The day of the visit coincided with the plane’s 19th flight and an aerial refueling was also performed. “This plane is not like anything else we have”, said Major General Nehoshtan. “And I have no doubt that it will provide the IAF with a giant stepping stone”. He himself flew an F-35 simulator and said that the advanced plane seems simple to fly. On the manufacturing line of the future combat aircraft, there are many planes in the assembling stage, and the output is enormous: one plane every few days.
The entire visit exuded enormous appreciation toward the Israeli Air Force. After all, it belongs to a small and young country in comparison to other countries, and yet has managed to fill the history pages with operational and combat achievements. The IAF was even the first to mark knock-downs with American F-15s and F-16s.
During the visit, Commander of the U.S Air Force surprised Major General Nehoshtan and awarded him the prestigious Legion of Merit. “It was very respectable and exciting. General Schwartz whispered in my ear: “You’re the executive, on top” as an expression of friendship and appreciation”, said Commander of the IAF as he returned home.