F-35C To Conduct Sea Trials in August Aboard Carrier George Washington
The US Navy’s F-35C will head back to the seas next month for the third round of developmental tests aboard the aircraft carrier George Washington, the F-35 program executive officer (PEO) said.
During a July 9 interview at the Royal International Air Tattoo, F-35 PEO Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan told Defense News the sea trials would take place off the East Coast of the United States.
"They're going to open up the full envelope of the airplane to land and take off from the carrier, which means things like heavyweight, asymmetric stores, heavy cross winds, high seas,” he said. "Plus we'll do a lot of reliability, maintainability and maintenance administrations to make sure we get that right."
At the same time, student pilots will conduct carrier qualifications onboard the ship, he said.
The F-35C has operated aboard an aircraft carrier twice so far: in October 2015 on the Dwight D. Eisenhower and November 2014 on the Nimitz. In those tests, pilots conducted catapult takeoffs, arrested landings, and touch-and-go landings on the deck, gradually working in night operations and opening up the flight envelope of the aircraft.