Burbage speaks at aviation foundation gala

aviation foundation

Tom Burbage, executive vice president and general manager of the F-35 program at Lockheed-Martin, speaks at the Eastern Carolina Aviation Heritage Foundation gala on Friday at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center. Burbage provided a history of the development of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and where it is today.

Ken Buday/Havelock News
Published: Friday, January 25, 2013 at 21:40 PM.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter promises a military future for Cherry Point as it replaces older Marine Corps aircraft, but it already has a growing impact for North Carolina’s civilian economy.

Tom Burbage, executive vice president and general manager of the F-35 program at Lockheed-Martin, said in an interview that Fleet Readiness Center East has a “field team (that) is doing modifications on one of the operations of the aircraft at Yuma (Ariz.) as we speak.”

Burbage was the guest speaker Friday night at the Eastern Carolina Aviation Heritage Foundation gala at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center, and he provided a history of the development of the aircraft and where it stands today.

“It will potentially be the biggest economic impact in North Carolina,” he told the sold-out crowd.

He said eight companies in North Carolina are making parts for the new jet with another five smaller contractors in the supply line.

“So we already have a little supply base in North Carolina and as we get more and more volume, that goes into these companies too, depending on the interest in North Carolina to be part of the process,” Burbage said in the interview.

Burbage said FRC East is the Navy aircraft repair depot designated for F-35 early modifications, and then for the mid-life overhaul of the military’s fifth generation airplane projected to be in flight from 50 to 53 years.



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