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The aircraft conducted a 50-minute conventional flight from Palmdale to Edwards Air Force Base.During the flight the X-32B was subjected to a series of initial airworthiness tests, including flying qualities and subsystems checkout.Sweeney cycled the landing gear and performed aircraft flying-qualities evaluations, including rolls, sideslips, and overall systems checks.Primary differences from the X-35A include a larger wing and control surfaces, the addition of ailerons and a special structure to absorb high-impact landings.
Mc Donnell Douglas was eliminated and their team was dissolved.During the flight, Knox put the X-32A through some initial airworthiness tests, including flying qualities and sub-systems checkout. The tests were successfully concluded on 2 December.The first flight represented the X-32A's entry into a five-month flight-test program at Edwards Air Force Base that consisted of approximately 50 test flights totaling about 100 hours to validate the X-32’s flying qualities and performance for conventional and aircraft carrier operations. Boeing CV accomplishments included 97 approaches and 74 actual touchdowns, as well as numerous "wave-offs," throttle transients and integrated test blocks including roll response and speed stability during the FCLP tests.Following these modifications, the aircraft was towed to the hover pit and British Aerospace test pilot, Simon Hargreaves began operating the flight-ready system in the aircraft on May 24.On 23 June 2001 at the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works in Palmdale, the X-35B conducted its first press-up, marking the first time in aviation history that a shaft-driven lift fan propulsion system had lifted an aircraft into the sky.