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Title: Gallery
Photos > SDD > F-35A Manufacturing
The first part for the first F-35 JSF aircraft was cut on 10 November 2003. Since then, thousands of parts have been coming together as the team works to complete the first (A-1) F-35.

Click on any of the thumbnail images below and find a high resolution version of the same image in the pop-up window.

F-35 Forward fuselage build-up. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. F-35 forward fuselage bulkhead with team members signatures. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin forward fuselage as it moves via crane from "Station 1" to "Station 2". Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
Lockheed Martin forward fuselage in rotate and access transport dolly. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Views looking into nose landing gear bay. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin employee with F-35 upper wing skin. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
Northrop Grumman employees work on the production of the F-35 center fuselage. Image courtesy of Northrop Grumman. Northrop Grumman employee inspects center fuselage. Image courtesy of Northrop Grumman. F-35 center fuselage in assembly rig at Northrop Grumman facilities in Palmdale, California. Image courtesy of Northrop Grumman.
BAE employee working on F-35 CTOL A1 aft parts. Image courtesy of BAE. BAE manufactured aft fuselage part. Image courtesy of BAE. Front view of the aft port boom with skin. Image courtesy of BAE.
BAE produced aft boom. Image courtesy of BAE. Interior image of new military construction (MILCON) for the JSF Program at NAS Patuxent River Maryland. Image courtesy of Department of Defense. Exterior image of new military construction (MILCON) for the JSF Program at NAS Patuxent River Maryland. Image courtesy of Department of Defense.
F-35A-1 Forward Landing Gear. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. F-35A-1 Wing Structure. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. F-35A-1 Aft Fuselage under construction at BAE Systems in Samlesbury, UK. Image courtesy of BAE.
F-35A-1 Center Fuselage under construction at Northrop Grumman, Palmdale, CA. Image courtesy of Northrop Grumman. F-35A-1 Forward Fuselage under construction at Lockheed Martin, Fort Worth, TX. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. The first completed F-35A-1 center fuselage at Northrop-Grumman facilities in Palmdale, CA prior to being shipped to Lockheed-Martin in Ft. Worth, TX for mating with the forward and aft sections of the fuselage. Image courtesy of Northrop-Grumman.
Northrop-Grumman supplier team members with the F-35A-1 center Fuselage at the Completion Ceremony on 23 APR 2005. Image courtesy of Northrop-Grumman. The Port side of the F-35A-1 aft fuselage nears completion at BAE SYSTEMS. Image courtesy of BAE SYSTEMS. The forward and center fuselage for the first Joint Strike Fighter, known as F-35A-1, after being mated together at Lockheed Martin, Ft. Worth, TX. The F-35A-1 will be assembled during the summer of 2005 and is expected to power-on for the first time during the Fall of 2005. First flight is expected to occur in late 2006. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
The aft and center fuselage of the first Joint Strike Fighter, known as F-35A-1, after being mated together at Lockheed Martin, Ft. Worth, TX. The F-35A-1 will be assembled during the summer of 2005 and is expected to power-on for the first time during the Fall of 2005. First flight is expected to occur in late 2006. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Back of instrument control panel as installed in F-35A-1. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Landing gear is installed for the first time in the F-35A-1.  Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
The aft fuselage of the F-35A-1, is shown without its engine. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Overhead view of F-35A-1 as it nears full assembly. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Aft view of F-35A-1 as it nears full assembly. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
The BAE tail sections are lowered into place on at a time from the crane above. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Final alignment of the BAE's vertical tail is performed with absolute precision. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Moments later, the left vertical tail is fully attached and ready to be released from the crane. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
The BAE vertical tails just installed are now free of their bond with the crane above. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Installation of the F-35A-1 weapons bay doors. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. The horizontal tails are lowered into place by crane. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
The horizontal tails are guided into place. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. The horzontal tails and weapons bay doors installed, the F-35A-1 is looking more and more complete everyday. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. An overhead view of F-35A-1 shows the canopy and rear of the plane just installed. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
Almost fully assembled, the F-35A-1 was weighed and then moved by crane high above the factory floor. At its newest location the engine will be inserted and final preparations made prior to power-on. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. January 20th 2006, the first Lockheed Martin F-35 CTOL aircraft known as AA-1 and the first Pratt & Whitney F135 Flight Test Engine on the assembly floor at Lockheed Martin in Ft. Worth TX shortly before the first engine fit-check. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. January 20th 2006, F-35 AA-1 and F135 fit-check. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
January 20th 2006, F-35 AA-1 and F135 fit-check complete. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. F-35 AA-1 as it is exposed to the light of day, pulled across the flight line, and pushed into the fuel hanger for the first time. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Close up of F-35 AA-1 underbody while it sits in the fuel hangar. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
F-35 AA-1 front view as it sits in the fuel hanger for the first time. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. F-35 AA-1 in transit  back to the hangar. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. F-35 AA-1 back in the hangar. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
Photo of AA-1 Crew Station. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Side view of AA-1 Crew Station. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Wide view of ground vibration test setup. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
Rear view of ground vibration test setup. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Off-angle view of ground vibration test setup. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. Computer driven machines cut the first chips of the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Aircraft. Image Courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
A faux ordinance sits in wait for testing in the loading of the weapons pylon. Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin. AF-1 Completion Ceremony. Image courtesy of Northrop Grumman.  

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