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Video: The F-35C’s First Catapult Launch

by John Reed on July 28, 2011

Here you have it; video of the first ever catapult launch of an F-35C carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter. The JSF’s inaugural cat shot happened yesterday at the Navy’s air engineering center at Lakehurst ‚N.J.

From appearances, the shot went off without a hitch. This is one more small step toward getting the jet to the fleet.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt July 28, 2011 at 9:57 am

Awesome.

Why is there no Kenny Loggins playing in the background?

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Taggart July 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Thanks! Now I can’t get “(Highway to the) Danger Zone” out of my head…

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Mark O'Connell July 28, 2011 at 10:58 am

I was reading elsewhere that the nose bobble at the start of the pull is typical of empty/low weight of the aircraft. It should go away with a loaded aircraft.

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IknowIT July 29, 2011 at 3:18 am

That doesnt sound right

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Bob July 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Just me or did it look like there was a lot of elevator and aileron movement going on? I am assuming that the F-35, like the F-16, was designed to be inherently unstable, but…..

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PMI July 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Looks about the same as an F-22 during takeoff. *shrug*

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Guest A July 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Just you…

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Guest A July 29, 2011 at 6:55 am

There are ailerons on the F-35C I do believe, but not the A and B.

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tribulationtime July 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm

WOW!!! Any other plane did it so smooth never

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SJE July 28, 2011 at 3:13 pm

While I frequently rail against the AF and their toys, I gotta admit I am a sucker for some miltech porn.

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LCDR_KENT July 28, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Great Launch, next is a good trap.

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Hunter78 July 28, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Ain't it great to spend all those fat taxpayer dollars?

A bit timid about pulling in the landing gear. eh?

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IknowIT July 29, 2011 at 3:20 am

Hi troll, if you knew anything you would know that all test flights for every aircraft are done gear down.

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Matt M. July 29, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I don't think he's a "troll" just for making an observation/asking a question.
We aren't all as smart as YOU!!

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OMEGATALON July 28, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Enjoy it while you can as like it's twin engine older brother, the F-22 Raptor; the Obama Administration was soon label the F-35 Lightning II as being a relic of the Cold War and cap production of the F-35 fighter jet at 2.

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Cheesed July 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm

See, Hunter? SEE?

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Ray July 30, 2011 at 12:30 am

I actually work on this acft as a Qa. I was involved with the release of this cat. launch. I can tell you it had only 6 flts on it, performed exceptionally well. and had a 6k fuel load on it. (Max is 19K) We did 3 more succesful cat launches consecutively with a hot pit..it kicked Butt! and came back code 1 to boot!

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Guest A August 1, 2011 at 9:52 am

You guys are doing good things there Ray, getting flights in and out on a daily basis. I knid of miss turning wrenches over there and I'm glad to see the maintainers carry the load right now. Good stuff!

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Musa Usman July 30, 2011 at 11:48 am

WOOOO, THIS IS TECHNOLOGY AT ITS BEST. THE SIGHT OF THE CAT ALONE IS FRIGHTEN.BEST REGARDS.

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JOHN August 2, 2011 at 11:21 pm

oBAMA IS STUCK – TOO MUCH INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPATION IN THE BUILD OF THIS BIRD! mOST OF EUROPE, THE AUSIES, CANADIANS ALL BUILDING PART OF IT.

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Nick Dwyer July 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Where do you see that?

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M167a1 July 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I don't see any service specific markings, where did you see AF?

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McPosterdoor July 28, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I believe FG's referring to the circled star and bands under the c0ckpit.

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elportonative77 July 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm

The words navy are on the plane look at the rear below the wing.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lockheedmartin/59848

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B. Lyons July 29, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Well, Since it took place at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, NJ, the testing facility for ALL Carrier based Naval Aircraft, it has to be a Naval Aircraft but a lot of those "Sailors" may be civilian workers who are attached to the Naval Air Test Facility. I Viewed the video twice and saw no Service markings of any kind on the plane. Perhaps because the plane is a test vehicle belonging to Lockheed/Martin???

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Guest A July 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Less chance than with an F-18, they sit higher on an F-35.

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Kyle July 28, 2011 at 8:46 pm

that would SUCK

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ziv July 30, 2011 at 8:13 am

Here is a clearer version of the NAVY 'insignia' on the rear of CF-02, the first cat shot was CF-03 but you can see that the NAVY paint job is the same on both of them.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lockheedmartin/57443

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lciezgihxj February 7, 2012 at 4:21 am

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