Lockheed Martin had its first test pilot reach 100 flight hours in the T-50A, the company’s entry for the U.S. Air Force Advanced Pilot Training competition. Mark Ward passed the 100-hour milestone after take-off from Greenville, South Carolina, headed off to the Joint Base San Antonio Air Show and Open House at JBSA-Lackland Kelly Field Annex in Texas early this month.

Lockheed Martin announced its plans to offer the T-50A in the APT competition build the aircraft at a final assembly and checkout (FACO) facility in Greenville in February 2016. The FACO and operations center formally opened in August 2016 and flight operations began there in November 2016.

If selected, the aircraft will train USAF pilots to fly the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II, alongside 4th Generation aircraft."This has been a great opportunity to be involved in a project that is so important to the U.S. Air Force and the foundation for pilot training," Ward said. "It's a great plane to fly and will make an excellent trainer for generations of pilots to come."

Lockheed Martin's accompanying T-50A Ground-Based Training System features technologies that deliver an immersive, synchronized, ground-based training platform. GBTS is integrated with the aircraft that provides Live, Virtual, Constructive (LVC) training capability.