Edwards Pit Testing

Photo by Paul Weatherman

Three weeks of stores static ejection testing on the F-35A Lightning II was completed on 5 July 2012 at the F-22 Combined Test Force facility at Edwards AFB, California. During this testing, an F-35A test aircraft was carefully positioned over a pit filled with foam, and instrumented inert weapons were released. This type of testing, also known as pit testing, allows the engineers to evaluate how the aircraft is physically affected by the release of the weapon, as well as the how the onboard stores management computers work. Pit testing is a prerequisite to inflight weapons release testing. Both a GBU-31(v)3/B 2,000 pound Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and an AIM-120 AMRAAM were tested.

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