Defense

April 13, 2012

Navy test pilot knows his ABCs

Tags:

Lockheed Martin photograph
Navy Lt. Christopher Tabert on March 23 completed the government acceptance flight for AF-14, a production-level F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter for the U.S. Air Force.

In the alphabet soup of military acronyms and abbreviations, it can be difficult to keep the ABCs straight.

Despite the alphabetical hurdles, one Navy test pilot used his ABC knowledge to write a new chapter in flight test history.

On March 23, Lt. Christopher Tabert completed the government acceptance flight for AF-14, a production-level F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter for the U.S. Air Force.

In doing so, he became the only military test pilot to fly the A, B and C versions of the F-35, said Marine Corps Col. Art Tomassetti, vice commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing, Air Education and Training Command at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

“I didn’t really have time to reflect on that,” Tabert said of the distinction. “We were busy trying to get the test completed. I was just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and was glad to help out the team.”

The three versions of the F-35 include the U.S. Air Force F-35A, the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B short takeoff and vertical-landing model, and the U.S. Navy F-35C carrier variant.

“The ability for a pilot to move seamlessly across the F-35 variants really puts the ‘Joint’ in JSF,” Tomassetti said. “We’ll be able to leverage the capability in training and in future joint operations.”

For Tabert, the differences between the models are slight.

“The flying qualities of the A felt a lot like the B and C,” Tabert said. “You really can’t tell much of a difference between the three from the cockpit.”

Even though Tabert started testing the F-35 only nine months ago, he already has a number of milestones on the aircraft under his belt: the first steam catapult launch; the first weapons pit drop for an inert 1,000 pound GBU-32 GPS-guided bomb; a supersonic flight; and the first launch from the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System.

The F-35B and F-35C naval variants of the Joint Strike Fighter are undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet. The 33rd Fighter Wing will provide initial fleet training on the F-35.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines January 30, 2015

News: Taliban claims responsibility for attack on Americans at military base near airport - The Taliban claimed responsibility Jan. 30 for a shooting incident at a military base attached to Kabul’s international airport yesterday that killed three American civilian contractors and an Afghan national, saying the attacker had infiltrated the ranks of the security forces. Commission...
 
 

News Briefs January 30, 2015

Military judge weighs restrictions on Gitmo female guards A military judge is deciding whether to continue restricting the use of female guards at Guantanamo. Navy Capt. J. Kirk Waits heard closing arguments Jan. 29 at the base in Cuba during a pretrial hearing for Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi. Waits didn’t say when he will rule. Hadi...
 
 
Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey

Cope South experts exchange knowledge, techniques

Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey TSgt. Sam Bishop, center left, and SSgt. Jeffrey Stephens discuss propeller maintenance with Bangladesh air force maintainers, from the 101st Special Flying Unit, during exercise Cope...
 

 

Air Force names 2-star to lead F-35 Integration Office

With the initial operating capability date of the F-35 Lightning II quickly approaching, the Air Force appointed Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian as the director of a larger Air Force F-35 Integration Office, Feb. 1. In addition to gaining new leadership, the F-35 Integration Office will also grow from a staff of four to 12 and...
 
 
boeing-ana2

Boeing announces ANA’s commitment to more jetliners

Airline continues fleet modernization with Boeing airplanes Boeing and All Nippon Airways announced Jan. 30 the airline’s intent to purchase three 787-10 Dreamliners to add additional flexibility to the airline’s 787 fleet....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

Air Force risks becoming too small to succeed under sequestration

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee Jan. 28, 2015, in Washington, D.C., as Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joesph F. Dunf...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>