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F-35C Completes First Arrested Landing aboard a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier.


| 2014
a
Naval Forces News - USA
 
 
 
F-35C Completes First Arrested Landing aboard a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier
 
The U.S Navy made aviation history Nov. 3 as an F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter conducted its first arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego. U.S. Navy test pilot Cmdr. Tony Wilson landed F-35C test aircraft CF-03 at 12:18 p.m. aboard USS Nimitz's (CVN 68) flight deck.
     
The U.S Navy made aviation history Nov. 3 as an F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter conducted its first arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego. U.S. Navy test pilot Cmdr. Tony Wilson landed F-35C test aircraft CF-03 at 12:18 p.m. aboard USS Nimitz's (CVN 68) flight deck.
PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 3, 2014) An F-35C Lightening II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter conducts it's first arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is underway conducting routine training exercises. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kelly M. Agee/Released)
     
The arrested landing is part of initial at-sea Developmental Testing I (DT-I) for the F-35C, which commenced Nov. 3 and is expected to last two weeks.

"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."

Commander, Naval Air Forces, Vice Adm. David H. Buss, was aboard Nimitz to witness the milestone event.

"What a historic day today is for Naval Aviation. With the first traps of the F-35C Lightning II aboard an aircraft carrier, we begin the integration of the next generation of warfighting capability into our carrier-based air wings," said Buss. "This important milestone is yet another indicator of Naval Aviation's ongoing evolution to meet future threats and remain central to our future Navy and National Defense Strategy.

"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 from Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Patuxent River, Maryland 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.

As with the initial testing of any new aircraft, the goal is to collect environmental data through added instrumentation to measure the F-35C's integration to flight deck operations and to further define the F-35C's operating parameters aboard the aircraft carrier.

The ITF test team will analyze data obtained during flight test operations, conduct a thorough assessment of how well the F-35C operated in the shipboard environment, and advise the Navy to make any adjustments necessary to ensure that the fifth-generation fighter is fully capable and ready to deploy to the fleet in 2018.
     
The U.S Navy made aviation history Nov. 3 as an F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter conducted its first arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego. U.S. Navy test pilot Cmdr. Tony Wilson landed F-35C test aircraft CF-03 at 12:18 p.m. aboard USS Nimitz's (CVN 68) flight deck.
PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 3, 2014) An F-35C Lightening II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter conducts it's first arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is currently underway conducting routine training exercises. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class William
     
The F-35C carrier variant (CV) is the U.S. Navy’s first stealth fighter and the world’s only 5th Generation, long-range stealth strike fighter designed and built explicitly for carrier operations.

The F-35C variant has larger wings and more robust landing gear than the other variants, making it suitable for catapult launches and fly-in arrestments aboard naval aircraft carriers. Its wingtips also fold to allow for more room on the carrier’s deck while deployed.

During testing in 2011, all eight landing tests of the F-35C failed to catch the arresting wire; a redesigned tail hook was developed and delivered two years later in response. In February 2014, Lockheed said the F-35C was on schedule for sea trials after the tailhook was redesigned. The new tailhook has a different shape to better catch arresting wires. Testing on land achieved 36 successful landings.
 
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