Launching the F-35C Lightning II


10/16/2015: F-35C Lightning II carrier variant joint strike fighters assigned to the Salty Dogs of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 go through flight evolutions aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) conducting follow-on sea trials.

 Credit:U.S. Navy video/Released:10/2/15

According to Colin Clark of Breaking Defense:

One thing that separated this from the first flights aboard the USS Nimitz was that the three-wire, the one pilots like to hit the most and for which they garner the most praise, was out of commission through the voyage.

So we couldn’t report on how the F-35 pilots were besting their F-18 Super Hornet colleagues on catching the three-wire every time as happened aboard the Nimitz.

However, several pilots I spoke with said they had been targeting the same area and hit the target each time.

Also, Joe DellaVedova (PAO for the Joint Program Office) said in an email that the program stressed the airframe of the F-35A, the Air Force version, for the equivalent of two lifetimes.

The test, known as the F-35A Full Airframe Durability Test Article (AJ-1) finished the day before we flew to the Ike, completing 16,000 hours of maneuver and buffet loads cycling.