F-35 Test Team Completes 1st External Stores Testing on F-35B
Over an Atlantic test range, Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Levin flies F-35B test aircraft BF-2 with external weapons pylons for the first time Feb. 22. The test measured flying qualities with external pylons, inert AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and centerline 25 mm gun pod. Significant weapons testing for the F-35B and F-35C variants is scheduled for 2012, including fit checks, captive carriage, pit drop and aerial drop tests.
The F-35B is the variant of the Joint Strike Fighter for the U.S. Marine Corps, capable of short take-offs and vertical landings for use on amphibious ships or expeditionary airfields to provide air power to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet.
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Source : Naval Air Systems Command