: F- 35C FIRST LANDING
On November 3, F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighters were launched from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) off the coast of San Diego. The launches and recoveries were part of initial at-sea developmental testing phase I (DT-I) for the F-35C. The testing is expected to last two weeks. The F-35C is the carrier variant (CV) of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter designed for the US Navy as a first-day-of-war, survivable strike fighter complement to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The F-35C is designated to replace the US Navy’s F/A-18C/Ds, but not the E/F Super Hornet and E/A-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.
The F-35C flight test aircraft, CF-3, and CF-5 flew in from Yuma, Arizona. CF-3 hooked the wire perfectly, while the CF-5 performed a fly-by, then a touch-and-go and finally an arrested landing, thus marking a significant milestone for the programme which has been affected by delays and costs.
Vice Admiral Dave Buss, Commander of US Naval Air Forces, termed the event as a “great and historic day” that will be used “as a springboard into the future of naval aviation. The most remarkable thing was how steady and stable it was on approach. I didn’t see a lot of control surface movement. Both aircraft landed exactly where we wanted them to.”
The development testing phase I will happen over the next two weeks, during which time the envelope for flight operations will continually be opened. Night landings are scheduled for November 13-15. Developmental testing phase II is scheduled to begin in 10 months, aboard an undesignated carrier. The final testing is scheduled for 2016.
An F-35C Lightning II carrier variant joint strike fighter conducts its first arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).
Nimitz is underway conducting routine training exercises.