Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) Major Laurens Jan Vijge yesterday became the first Dutch pilot to fly the F-35 solo.
Dutch Ministry of Defense photo
He flew F-001, one of two Dutch test aircraft based at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where he and three other RNLAF F-16 pilots and ground crews are learning the ropes on the F-35.
After two months on a simulator, the Dutch pilots have to fly solo since F-35s are all single-seat aircraft.
Vijge described his first flight as "fantastic," comparing it to a test drive of a new car.