Video: F-35 Lightning II First Flight B-Roll December 18, 2006 Posted by Murdoc Variouis views of the first test flight last Friday. I don’t think I knew the F-35’s canopy was hinged in the front. Updated: December 18, 2006 at 11:51 am ◀ Advertising on the Armed Forces Network Linkzookery – 18 Dec 2006 ▶ Comments Yes, the whole flight with gear down. As far as I know that almost always the way of the first flight. ‘I don’t think I knew the F-35’s canopy was hinged in the front.’ Makes sense. Probably eases the strain on the canopy when the fast mover is cruising along at mach-2. Besides in case of ejection the canopy is (hopefully) blown clear a mili-second before the Baker-Martin blasts off. Yea I know it’s Martin-Baker. I got ‘total word’ dyslexia! As I understand the test plans, the gear was to be retracted after practicing landings at altitude. Problems with an air data sensor forced them to leave out parts of the test plan cutting the planed one hour test flight to about 35 min. The F-8 Crusader went supersonic on first flight. Of course that was in the old days when men were men. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-8_Crusader The whole flight with the gear down? Well if it’s only the first test flight I guess that’s not so odd. One thing at a time.