The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter passed a big test when it flew in a combat simulation against F-16 Fighting Falcons. The F-35 practiced air-to-air combat maneuvers for the first time – and after passing with flying colors – has been cleared for more strenuous drills. “When we did the first dogfight in January, they said, ‘you have no limits,’” said Lockheed Martin F-35 test pilot David “Doc” Nelson. “It was loads monitoring, so they could tell if we ever broke something. It was a confidence builder for the rest of the fleet because there is no real difference structurally between AF-2 and the rest of the airplanes.” He added that most pilots like the maneuverability the Joint Strike Fighter provides, and the departure resistance was high during the angle of attack testing. The operational maneuvers were flown by Nelson in an AF-2, the primary Flight Sciences loads and flutter evaluation aircraft, and one of nine F-35s used by the Edwards AFB-based 412th Test Wing for developmental testing. Some general characteristics of the F-35 include possessing a Pratt & Whitney F135 after burning turbofan and a total weapons payload of 18,000 lbs.
Length: 50.5 ft
Wingspan: 35 ft
Height: 14.2 ft
Wing area: 460 ft²
Maximum speed: Mach 1.6+ (1,200 mph)
Lockheed Martin says their F-35 is unmatched when it comes to how many different things it can do. At the time it was conceived in the 1990’s, it was already projected to be the greatest fighter ever made. To this day, it is living up to the lofty expectations set years ago. Via our proprietary website ASAP Purchasing
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