The F-35C carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter completed functional checks and a test catapult hookup on March 22, ahead of ship compatibility testing planned later this year.
Test aircraft CF-1 conducted the trials at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, with test teams investigating an issue discovered during a preliminary fit check on the launch bar, where it did not lower far enough to engage flight deck hardware for the catapult hook up. Completion of the test resulted in an improvement made to the launch bar, giving it a greater range of motion for when CF-1 enters the planned ship compatibility test phase.
Actual shipboard testing of the F-35C is due to start aboard a Nimitz class aircraft carrier in 2013.
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