Sunday, May 22, 2011

Joint Strike Fighter Makes First Air Show Appearance

An aircraft carrier variant of the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter flies over Andrews Air Force Base, Md., during the Joint Service Open House. This is the first public appearance of a joint strike fighter aircraft at an air show. Lt. Cmdr. Eric "Magic" Buus piloted the aircraft. The F-35C is a fifth generation strike fighter with stealth capability and has larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for the demanding carrier environment. The aircraft is undergoing test and evaluation at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. (U.S. Navy photo by Andy Wolfe courtesy of Lockheed Martin/Released)

ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. (NNS) -- The F-35C Joint Strike Fighter made its first public appearance at an air show May 21.

Piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Eric "Magic" Buus, the F-35C made a single pass down the show line at the Joint Service Open House at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

The flight commemorated 100 years of naval aviation by highlighting the future of tactical air power for the U.S. Navy. The F-35C variant of the joint strike fighter is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B versions with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for greater control in the demanding carrier take-off and landing environment.

The flyover originated from the F-35C's primary test site at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. and was executed in the same manner as any controlled test sortie. The aircraft, CF-2, flew within its approved flight envelope and was accompanied by an F-18 Hornet flying chase.

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program is in the system development and demonstration phase, focusing on delivering three different and new aircraft variants to the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. All three variants integrate advanced low observable stealth into a supersonic, multi-role fighter.