Nov 18, 2014

F-35C Completes Initial Sea Trials aboard Aircraft Carrier

The F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter completed its first phase of developmental test (DT) aboard an aircraft carrier Nov. 14, three days ahead of schedule aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68).
During the DT-I event, F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) the F-35 Lightning II Integrated Test Force (ITF) from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) located at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in Patuxent River, Maryland, tested the carrier suitability of the aircraft and its integration with carrier air and deck operations in the at-sea environment, achieving 100 percent of the threshold test points.
The aircraft demonstrated exceptional performance throughout its initial sea trails, accelerating the team's progress through the DT-I schedule and enabling them to conduct night operations - a milestone typically achieved during the second at-sea phase of developmental tests, as evidenced by the test schedules of the F/A-18 Hornet and F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet.
The cadre of DT-I test pilots logged a total of 39.2 flight hours as they conducted 33 flights featuring 124 catapults, 222 touch-and-go landings, and 124 arrestments. There were zero unintentional hook-down bolters, or missed attempts to catch an arresting wire on the flight deck. (Two hook-down, intentional bolters were conducted as part of the DT-I test plan.)

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