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 An F-35C test aircraft CF-3 is brought to launch position on a test catapult by Navy test pilot Cmdr. Eric
110719-O-GR159-001
PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (July 19, 2011) An F-35C test aircraft CF-3 is brought to launch position on a test catapult by Navy test pilot Cmdr. Eric "Magic" Buus. The test demonstrated proper catapult hook-up in preparation for the first launches at Lakehurst, N.J., scheduled for later this month. CF-3 is the designated carrier suitability test aircraft. 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 for greater control in the demanding carrier take-off and landing environment. The F-35C is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River before eventual delivery to the fleet. (Photo by Michael D. Jackson courtesy of Lockheed Martin/Released)

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