Big Test Day

Photo by Dane Wiedmann

The F-35 test program marked significant milestones in separate flights on 27 May 2014. At the Sea Test Range near Naval Base Ventura County, California, Marine Lt. Col. Andrew Allen, flying an F-35B, sequentially engaged two targets with AIM-120 missiles. This shot marked the first dual AIM-120 launch from any F-35 variant and the first live F-35B AIM-120 shot. At Edwards AFB, California, an F-35A pilot flew the first Block 3i software mission. Block 3i will support US Air Force F-35A initial operational capability in 2016. At NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, an F-35C pilot completed a simulated carrier landing at the maximum sink rate of 21.4 feet per second to test the aircraft’s landing gear, airframe, and arrestment system.

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