Sunday, July 31, 2011
Navy test pilot Cmdr. Eric “Magic” Buus brings F-35C test aircraft CF-3 into launch position on a test catapult.
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – Navy test pilot Cmdr. Eric “Magic” Buus brings F-35C test aircraft CF-3 into launch position on a test catapult July 19. The test demonstrated proper catapult hook up in preparation for the first launches at Lakehurst, N.J., scheduled for later this month. CF-3 is the designated carrier suitability test aircraft. The F-35C carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for greater control in the demanding carrier take-off and landing environment. The F-35C is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to eventual delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)