An F-35B Lightning II recently commenced “ski-jump” trials to validate the jet’s capability to operate from the Royal Navy’s non-catapult equipped Queen Elizabeth II class carriers, Royal Navy officials announced. “As is usually the case, the jet performed as expected and it was a real pleasure,” RN reservist and BAE Systems test pilot Peter Wilson said in a June 25 release. “We spend literally years planning these ‘firsts,'” he added. Aircraft BF-04 ran its maiden ski-jump take-off from a purpose-built, 20-foot high ramp at NAS Patuxent River, Md., on June 19. British personnel cooperatively completed the F-35B’s first deployed operational test with the US Marine Corps, aboard the USS Wasp last month, according to a service release. “Since the beginning, UK test pilots and engineers have been fully integrated and work shoulder-to-shoulder with us as we deliver the F-35 to the warfighter,” joint program office executive Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan stated. The first British F-35 squadron stood up at Edwards AFB, Calif., in February.
While some of the Air Force's newly announced changes will happen quickly, it may take most of Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin's tenure in the job to accomplish the rest, he said in a Brookings Institution event Feb. 28.