U.S. Navy Expands F-35C Testing

Continuing sea trials for its F-35C variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the U.S. Navy brought multiple F-35 aircraft to the U.S.S. Eisenhower earlier this month for a crucial round of carrier testing.

From Aviation Week coverage:

Test pilots put their F-35Cs through the paces for military- and maximum-level launches with simulated missiles, testing the aircraft with gross weights with internal weapons, proving out the JSF’s carrier speed needs during the lowest and highest “energy” catapult shots.

“This is a really big test for us,” says Rear Adm. John Haley, commander of the Naval Air Force Atlantic. You have to determine what the envelope is. How fast do you need to go? It’s one of the tests that creates the most pucker factor.”

Test pilots say the aircraft performed as predicted — and they like the way it handles.

Click here to read full coverage of the F-35’s recent sea trials, and visit F35.com for complete information on the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program.