Luke Creates First F-35 Undergraduate Pilot Curriculum
The first class of undergraduate pilots began training through the newly written F-35 Lightning II curriculum Dec. 5 in the F-35 Academic Training Center at Luke Air Force Base.
The day was long awaited as Luke personnel worked to create the syllabus for several years.
“The start of the F-35 B-course class today is the culmination of years of work by thousands of U.S. and partner active-duty, civilian, industry and government personnel,” said Maj. Matthew Mayer, the 56th Fighter Wing F-35 Program integration chief. “Specifically over the past several years, the Luke F-35 team has taken delivery of the world's newest leading edge combat aircraft. They put it through the wringer to fully understand its capabilities then based on lessons learned, designed a training program to produce world-class F-35 pilots and support personnel for decades to come.
“This was no easy task. Many traditional ‘fourth-generation' support, maintenance and operations methods and procedures needed updating, modifying, or all together recreation. Many open minds have engaged that challenge and succeeded in laying a solid foundation to carry the U.S. and its allies into the future of combat aviation.”
The course is more than seven months long. The first few weeks will be focused on academics and simulators. The remainder of the course will be a combination of flying, academics and simulators.
Traditionally, only pilots with prior fighter jet experience were chosen to fly the F-35. Under the new F-35 curriculum, pilots with no prior experience flying fighter aircraft will be able to learn to fly the F-35 as their first fighter jet.