TORONTO—A new F-35 Lightning II fighter jet sporting a Canadian-made tail assembly took to the skies for the first time last month, according to Magellan Aerospace Corp.
The Winnipeg-built tail assembly flew on an F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) variant from defence giant Lockheed Martin’s final assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas, on Feb. 26.
“Magellan delivered the horizontal tail for the aircraft that flew today in December 2012,” Scott McCrady, Magellan’s F-35 program director, said in a company release.
“Since then our annual production rates have been steadily increasing and are expected to continually increase over the next several years as the F-35 program matures.”
Mississauga, Ont.-based Magellan is under contract with BAE Systems to produce horizontal tail assemblies for the CTOL variant of the F-35 and is expected to produce more than 1,000 assemblies for the program over a 20-year period.
Magellan, under contract with engine maker Rolls-Royce, has also been producing the vane box assembly and transition duct for all of the F-35B Short Take Off and Landing (STOVL) variant of the fighter jet.
The company has also been producing “a number of composite assemblies and machined details” directly to Lockheed Martin.