02/28/2008. Remarks by Jack McKillop: "This was the first X-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) built. The X-35A Conventional TakeOff and Landing (CTOL) demonstrator successfully completed its first flight on October 24, 2000 at Palmdale, California.
The initial flight profile included check-outs of the on-board systems, handling characteristics and down-link connections for the constant stream of critical data-transfer to the flight-test technicians at Palmdale and Edwards AFB, California. The X-35A climbed quickly to an altitude of 10,000 ft (3 048 m) maintained an airspeed of 250 knots (288 mph or 463 km/h) while accomplishing a series of figure-eight maneuvers to demonstrate key handling qualities and to validate design predictions.
The X-35A CTOL program was completed November 22, 2000 with all objectives achieved or exceeded and it made its last flight to Palmdale, where it immediately began conversion to the X-35B Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) version.
After testing as an X-35B, this aircraft was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum and is currently on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia."