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#2999 2008-08-10 13:12 GMT-5 hours    

The Navy and Marine Corps are searching for a single pilot to join the ranks of test pilots preparing the Corps’ variant of the Joint Strike Fighter.

The F-35B is modified for short takeoff/vertical landing and will be flown by the Corps and the British Royal Air Force.

The STOVL variant made its initial successful conventional test flight earlier this summer and is expected to fly in the STOVL mode early next year.

The solicitation for a test pilot is part of an ongoing process to create a pool of pilots who will test the F-35B at Lockheed Martin’s Texas-based Joint Strike Fighter facility and serve in one of the aircraft’s first operational squadrons, said Lt. Col. Charles Gray, integrated test force director at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

“We really strive to pick folks that have a reputation of demonstrated and good judgment,” Gray said.

Gray said STOVL experience is beneficial, but not essential.

“There are certainly STOVL envelope expansions where we will require a certain amount of STOVL experience,” he said.

Following the stint at the Lockheed Martin complex in Fort Worth, Texas, the pilot selected is expected to serve at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., and then Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in fiscal year 2012.

A board will select a pilot to attend a Navy test pilot school in January 2009, according to Marine administrative message 416/08.

Applicants must be an active-duty captain or major with an academic degree in engineering, physical science, computer science or a related mathematics field. Applicants should have at least 1,500 flight hours, although those with at least 1,000 hours will be considered if the experience is in a variety of aircraft.

Applicants who have applied for the F-35B selection boards should read the MarAdmin to see if they must submit a new selection package or if they can simply forward a letter to the board asking for the previous package to be considered.

The deadline to apply is Aug. 21, 2008.

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31 Bravo

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#3000 2008-08-10 15:17 GMT-5 hours    
Someone is about to get one of the best jobs in the world.

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#3004 2008-08-11 17:29 GMT-5 hours    
No doubt... I'm game, though I am not a Marine, or current pilot...

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