F-35 Arrives at Eielson for Testing

Oct 13, 2017

The F-35A Lightning II taxis to a stop after its arrival Thursday at Eielson Air Force Base.
Credit Joshua Weaver/354th Fighter Wing public affairs

A version of the F-35 fighter that will be stationed at Eielson Air Force Base beginning in 2020 is undergoing testing at the base.

Eielson officials say the F-35A Lightning II that arrived Thursday will be used to test a type of drag chute system that’s deployed to slow the aircraft when it touches down for a landing.

Tests also will be conducted on the warplane’s ability land and maintain control on a runway that’s wet and slippery, or even icy. According to an Eielson news release, the F-35 is not yet certified to land on runways that are that slick.

On Tuesday, base officials will showcase the F-35  to local, state and Air Force leaders that’ve been invited to learn more about the aircraft and the mission it’ll undertake when two squadrons begin arriving three years from now.

Editor's note: Eielson's public affairs office has posted video of the jet's arrival at the base.