Thursday, July 28, 2011
LAKEHURST, N.J. - In another first for the new Joint Strike Fighter, an F-35C test aircraft, designated CF-3, was launched by a land-based steam catapult during a test Wednesday in Lakehurst, N.J. The jet was flown by Navy test pilot Lt. Christopher Tabert. The F-35C carrier variant of the JSF has larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear that make it different from the Air Force A version or the Marine Corps B variant. The F-35C is undergoing test and evaluation at Naval Air Station Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet. Initial ship trials are scheduled for 2013. (Source: Naval Air Systems Command, 07/27/11) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the JSF training center.