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'A momentous day' - first F-35 Lightning planes leave for service

PUBLISHED: 14:43 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:09 10 October 2019

Three F-35s flew out of RAF Marham yesterday for operational testing. Photo: SAC Kitty Barratt

Three F-35s flew out of RAF Marham yesterday for operational testing. Photo: SAC Kitty Barratt

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The first F-35 Lightning planes have flown from RAF Marham to begin service.

Three F-35s flew out of RAF Marham yesterday for operational testing. Photo: SAC Kitty BarrattThree F-35s flew out of RAF Marham yesterday for operational testing. Photo: SAC Kitty Barratt

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Three Lightnings departed the west Norfolk base on Wednesday October 9 in preparation for operational testing, they will briefly return to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in the USA before flying out to HMS Queen Elizabeth which is stationed just off the east coast of America.

The flight will take the planes nine hours and they will be accompanied by Voyager planes from RAF Brize Norton which will refuel the aircraft during their journey.

Station commander group captain James Beck said: "A momentous day today to see the three jets take off from RAF Marham to return back to the USA. Once in America they will prepare to fly out to the Queen Elizabeth carrier to conduct operational testing. This will be the first time that UK Lightning Force jets will land on the carrier at sea."

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