Jun 16, 2014
US Navy Prepares F-35C for Carrier Landing
The shore landings, taking place at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., are designed to replicate the range of conditions which the F-35C is likely to encounter at sea.
Test pilots are working on what they call a structural survey, an effort to assess the F-35C’s ability to land in a wide range of scenarios such as nose down, tail down or max engaging speed.
Max engaging speed involves landing the aircraft heavy and fast to determine if it is the aircraft or the arresting gear that gets damaged.
The F-35C is engineered to be larger than the Air Force’s F-35 A or Marine Corps short-take-off-and-landing F-35B because the structure of the aircraft needs to be able to withstand the impact of landing on a carrier. Also, the F-35C has larger, foldable wings to facilitate slower approach speeds compatible with moving ships.
In total, the Navy plans to acquire 340 F-35C aircraft. Five of them have been delivered so far.