Two US Navy F-35C Lightning II conducted their first arrested landings aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower as part of two weeks of at-sea Developmental Testing (DT-II). The test currently takes places off the coast of the eastern US. DT-II is the second of three at-sea test phases planned for the F-35 carrier variant.
US Navy test pilots Cmdr. Tony “Brick” Wilson and LT Chris “TJ” Karapostoles landed F-35C test aircraft CF-03 and CF-05, respectively, aboard USS Eisenhower’s flight deck. The tests are held to ensure the F-35C meets specifications and to identify mission critical issues in order to deliver fully capable aircraft in time for their scheduled initial operating capability (IOC) in 2018.
During DT-I in 2014, the F-35 Lightning II conducted its first ever arrested landings and catapult launches aboard an aircraft carrier. During the current DT-II, the F-35C will perform a variety of operational maneuvers – including catapult takeoffs and arrested landings – while simulating maintenance operations and conducting general maintenance and fit tests for the aircraft and support equipment.
“These sea trials will further expand the F-35C’s flight envelope,” said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-36 Program Executive Officer. “Over the next few weeks we’ll learn more about what it takes to integrate next generation fighters aboard aircraft carriers. The testing we’re doing today will prepare us for next year’s final at-sea developmental test.”
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: One of two F-35Cs taking part in DT-II aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Image © Lockheed Martin)