F-35 Catapult Test

Test flights continue despite budget struggles.

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter test flight ()
airspacemag.com

While the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter continues its struggle with budget politics, the test program marches along. On Wednesday the F-35C—the version designed for aircraft carriers—made its first catapult launch during a ground test at Naval Air Systems Command in Lakehurst, New Jersey, with Navy test pilot Lt. Chris Tabert at the controls. Ship trials are expected to start in 2013.

In this Defense Department video, test engineers talk about the progress they made in 2012 testing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Patuxent River, Maryland and other locations. Although the talk gets a little jargon-y at times (BF-01 is the first airplane produced of the "B" - vertical takeoff - variety), and the narrator occasionally sounds as though he's boasting for an airshow crowd, it's a good overview of the test program. Video: JSF Program Office
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