Two F-35 Lightning II carrier variants completed an aerial refueling for the first time Jan. 18. Test pilots Navy Lt. Christopher Tabert and Dan Canin of Lockheed Martin flew CF-1 and CF-2 respectively, with a KC-130 from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
The F-35C carrier variant of the Lightning II is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear to withstand catapult launches and deck landing impacts associated with the demanding aircraft carrier environment. Initial carrier trials for the F-35C are scheduled for 2014. The F-35C is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet.
Source: Naval Air Systems Command
Date: Jan 28, 2013