Maintenance experts at Hill Air Force Base are set to revamp an F-35A Lightning II by piecing together parts from two other battered aircraft, essentially creating a "Frankenplane."
From Military Times:
To do so, the F-35 program opted to reconstruct one aircraft, dubbed “AF-211,” that was damaged when its nose landing gear failed in June 2020. The aircraft’s nose section will be replaced with the undamaged nose from another jet, called “AF-27,″ that suffered a severe engine fire at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in 2014.
AF-27 currently serves as a model that lets airmen practice repairing battle damage.
Experts from the F-35 Joint Program Office, the 388th Fighter Wing, the Ogden Air Logistics Complex and Lockheed Martin are working on the project, the release said. (Frankenstein’s assistant Igor, however, will noticeably be absent.)
“It takes a team to make these types of endeavors successful,” Dan Santos, F-35 JPO heavy maintenance manager, said in the statement. “I am very impressed with the collaborative efforts from the various agencies across Hill AFB, working together to make this happen.”
In contrast to other repurposed F-35s, this particular aircraft signifies a notable progression in the Air Force's recycling efforts.