Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Matt Taylor ascends in F-35C test aircraft CF-2 June 13. The flight was the first night takeoff for the carrier variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and evaluated the aircraft’s night lighting system. The F-35C carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear to withstand catapult launches and deck landing impacts associated with the demanding aircraft carrier environment. The F-35C is undergoing test and evaluation at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., prior to delivery to the fleet.
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