U.S. Navy Expands Test Envelope for F-35C

Aviation Week // October 16, 2015

While all aircraft carrier pilots have a need for speed when getting airborne from the ship, F-35C test fliers were out to prove how slow they could go during flights earlier this month off CVN 69 USS Dwight D. Eisenhower off the Virginia coast.

Test pilots put their F-35Cs through the paces for military- and maximum-level launches with simulated missiles, testing the aircraft with gross weights with internal weapons, proving out the JSF’s carrier speed needs during the lowest and highest “energy” catapult shots.

“This is a really big test for us,” says Rear Adm. John Haley, commander of the Naval Air Force Atlantic. You have to determine what the envelope is. How fast do you need to go? It’s one of the tests that creates the most pucker factor.”

Test pilots say the aircraft performed as predicted -- and they like the way it handles.

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