F-35 Put Through Weapons Pit Testing

AF-1, an F-35A test aircraft, recently underwent three weeks of static stores ejection testing, or pit testing, at Edwards AFB, Calif., so that the airplane’s engineers could evaluate how the release of a weapon from the stealth fighter physically affected the aircraft. For the testing, the engineers positioned AF-1 over a pit filled with foam and released an instrumented, inert joint direct attack munition and advanced medium-range air-to-air missile from the aircraft into the pit, according to a July 5 Edwards release. On and around the F-35 were cameras to measure the aircraft’s motion. Pit testing is a prerequisite for in-flight weapons-release testing, states the release.