First Weapon Separation

Posted 8 August 2012
Photo by Andy Wolfe

The first-ever F-35 weapons release test flight was successfully carried out over the Atlantic Test Range near NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, on 8 August 2012. During Flight 224, Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Levin released an inert 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition separation test article while flying at 400 knots at an altitude of 4,200 feet in BF-3, the third F-35B test aircraft. Aerial weapons separation tests check for proper release of the weapon and trajectory away from the aircraft. It is the culmination of a number of prerequisite tests. This test marks the start of validation of the F-35’s capability to employ precision weapons and allow pilots to engage the enemy on the ground.

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