Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ski-jump next for F-35

The F-35 will start "ski-jump testing" at a Maryland air base this week. Two UK pilots will test the ability of the new warplane to take off from upward-sloping ski-jump ramps used on aircraft carriers like those operated by Britain and Italy. The ramps launch the jets forward and upward, reducing the thrust needed. Meanwhile, another F-35 is also finishing six months of tests at the McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. It's a key milestone before the Marine Corps declares the jet ready for initial combat use in July. At McKinley, the jet has been subjected to temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit to as high as 120 F. The F-35 climate testing has been closely watched by the U.S. military and nine other countries that have placed orders: Britain, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Norway, Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands and Israel. (Source: Reuters, 02/24/15) Previous