F-35 Catapult Test

Test flights continue despite budget struggles.

f-35 catapult test
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter test flight

While the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter continues its struggle with budget politics, the test program marches along. On Wednesday the F-35C—the version designed for aircraft carriers—made its first catapult launch during a ground test at Naval Air Systems Command in Lakehurst, New Jersey, with Navy test pilot Lt. Chris Tabert at the controls. Ship trials are expected to start in 2013.