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US Navy test pilot completes first F-35C flight


Lt. Cmdr. Buus is the first active-duty US Navy pilot to fly the F-35C carrier variant. Photo: US Navy

MARYLAND (BNS): Lockheed Martin F-35 (CF-1) Lightning II carrier variant flew for the first time by a US Navy pilot.

The Friday mission lasted for 2.1 hours and was the 32nd flight for F-35C F-1.

“The in-air handling qualities of the F-35C are excellent, and very similar to the B variant. I immediately felt right at home in the aircraft,” Lt. Cmdr. Eric “Magic” Buus the first active-duty US Navy pilot to fly the F-35C carrier variant said.

The F-35C is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for greater control in the demanding carrier take-off and landing environment.

The F-35C is scheduled to begin land-based catapult launches and arrested recoveries later this year, with ship-board test flights beginning in 2013.

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.

The aircraft will be operated from the US Navy’s large aircraft carriers through catapult launch and arrested landing. The F-35 C will be also undertaken by The United Kingdom’s Royal Navy and Royal Air Force soon.


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US  Navy  F-35C  

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