F-35 Flight Simulator Comes to MCAS Beaufort


by Matt McNab

The Island Packet

April 26, 2013

Marine Corps Cpl. Travis Williams put his experience in the flight simulator for the F-35 Lightning II plainly: “It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.”

Williams, part of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort’s public affairs office, was on hand for a demonstration Friday by Lockheed Martin for local reporters. The contractor unveiled a cockpit simulator of the military’s fifth-generation fighter jets.

“It was pretty awesome,” Williams said. “It made me want to be a pilot.”

Led by Stormy Boudreaux, an Air Force veteran and systems engineer for Lockheed Martin, the demonstration featured a simulator built with such accuracy that the ejection seat in it was once used in a rocket-sled ejection test. Pilots and base leaders were to use the simulator in a separate demonstration later Friday.

The F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, will eventually replace all of the F-18 Hornets now flown at MCAS Beaufort.

Preparations necessary for the new fighter jets’ delivery next summer are nearing completion. The pilot training center, five hangars and five landing pads are all expected to be finished by the end of this summer, air station program manager Troy Ward said.

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