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US Navy F-35C variant flies supersonic

A file photo of US Navy F-35C variant.

PATUXENT RIVER (BNS): The first F-35C test aircraft (CF-1) of US Navy has surpassed the sound barrier by achieving a speed of Mach 1.02 at 30,000 feet, at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

The F- 35C is a naval variant of the strike fighter that can land and take off from aircraft carriers.

“It’s great to be part of bringing stealth capability to the big-deck carriers. We accomplished a large number of test points and CF-1 handled great going past Mach 1. It was a privilege for me to take the F-35C over that milestone for the first time,” US Marine Corps pilot Lt. Col. Matt Taylor said.

Earlier, three F-35A (Air Force version) conventional takeoff and landing variants have broken the sound barrier.

CF-1 gathered enough supersonic flutter data for the team to continue supersonic envelope expansion in the near future, according to a press release from Naval Air Systems Command.

The F-35C 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-35 Lightning II is a 5th generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility.


USAF  F-35C  aircraft  

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