In case you missed it, the F-35C, AKA the Joint Strike Fighter, AKA the Lightning II, made its first Carrier landing the other day.
|It's not the size of the tailhook that matters.|
I went into war on that boat so I'm happy to see that Chez Chet got to be the first.
Here's a similar video, with some different footage:
Good view from a chase plane in part of this video (:20 and :47). Several more iterations of this test over the next couple of weeks are planned, including launching.
You want some more? I'm here to oblige. F-35B Video- the B stands for Badass Marine variant:
Ooh, jet video and sunset!
This is all well and good. I like to see the future arriving, even if it's just a glimpse. The jets don't actually hit the boat for real until 2018. The F-35 won't be replacing the current jets, as it'll be operating alongside F/A-18 Hornets, Rhinos and Growlers for the foreseeable future.
The landing really is is some good news, historic actually. I remember when the Super Hornet made it's first landing as well, back in 2001. LCDR Frank Morley, an NROTC Classmate of mine had that honor.
While the eventual fielding of that aircraft (the bill) led to the demise of my own beloved Viking (the bill-payer), the E, F, and G variants have proven their worth to the Strike Group, and I expect the Lightning will do the same. However, similar to the developmental problems and resulting fiscal constraints forced on Naval Aviation by the Super Hornet, the F-35 is also very late and terribly expensive. My first girlfriend was the same way on our dates!
"The F-36 was developed at a cost of nearly $400 billion so far and beset for years by cost overruns and delays. The plane's primary contractor, Lockheed Martin, puts the cost of each F-35C -- the most expensive of the three versions -- at $116 million, not including the engine."
Pratt & Whitney makes that part of the jet, at the low low price of $1 Billion, that's Billion with a great big capital B, for 48 of 'em. We couldn't have gotten some sort of bulk discount? Hey! Veteran's Day is coming up- can we get a 10% discount like at Home Depot, or some other deal, like the free Bloomin' Onion at Outback?
"The Pentagon ultimately wants more than 2,400 of the fighter jets, while hundreds more are expected over time to go to allies such as South Korea, Japan and Australia."
Lockheed claims that the price has fallen over 50% since initial contracts were let. So we've got that going for us! But 50% of way too damn expensive is still way to damn expensive.
But I'm being quite the buzz-killer today aren't I? It's a great week, even without the GOP taking back the Senate. The JSF has just made history, not doing anything spectacular now mind you, just doing what it's supposed to do- land on the boat. The bar will get higher, with the testing of actual mission systems. Every carrier-based jet has to have its first landing and on Monday it did. No catapult launches yet. There was some sort of problem, so that part of the test is delayed. I guess they'll have to crane it off at North Island. Maybe I'll go down to the base and see it up close. However unfortunate that delay is, the jet got to spend a nice night on the boat, which allowed this picture to be taken, and if you've followed some of my "Something Completely Different" posts, you know how much I love the sunset jet pics.
How about some more?
Update: Best footage yet- with Cat-Shots!