All Aboard: First F-35C Lands Aboard US Navy Aircraft Carrier

By Juliet Van Wagenen | November 4, 2014
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F-35C Lightning II aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier
F-35C Lightning II aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier. Photo: US Navy

[Avionics Today 11-04-2014] The Navy’s F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter conducted its first arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego. Navy test pilot Cmdr. Tony Wilson landed F-35C test aircraft CF-03 aboard USS Nimitz’s (CVN 68) flight deck earlier this week.

“Today is a landmark event in the development of the F-35C,” said Wilson, a Navy test pilot with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23. “It is the culmination of many years of hard work by a talented team of thousands. I’m very excited to see America’s newest aircraft on the flight deck of her oldest aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz.”

The arrested landing is part of initial at-sea Developmental Testing I (DT-I) for the F-35C, which started on Nov. 3 and is expected to last two weeks. DT-I is the first of three at-sea test phases planned for the F-35C. During DT-I, the test team from the F-35 Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) has scheduled two F-35C test aircraft to perform a variety of operational maneuvers, including various catapult takeoffs and arrested landings. ITF flight test operations also encompass general maintenance and fit tests for the aircraft and support equipment, as well as simulated maintenance operations.

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