The first Lockheed Martin F-35C carrier variant (CV) made its first flight at Fort Worth on June 6, 10 months after it rolled off the production line last August.
The flight of CF-01, which features a larger wing and horizontal stabiliser area, folding outer wing panels, structural strengthening, an arrestor hook and beefed up undercarriage for carrier catapult launches and landings, lasted 57 minutes. The delay is believed to have been caused by ‘travelled work’ on contractor supplied components resulting in an extended post-production modification period.
Two more F-35Cs are scheduled to fly this year and will join four F-35Bs at the US Navy’s NAS Patuxent River test facility including BF-04, the first F-35B equipped with a mission system, which arrived at Pax River on June 7.
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