More F-35C at sea testing

This is just the first workout of the F-35 on the boat. For now, the testing is on best case launch and recovery. Later, they’ll explore the worst case, making it tougher and tougher.


Say what you will about the F-35 development program, but here’s something interesting. The C model will carry an astonishing 20,000 pounds of internal fuel. By way of contrast, the A-6 had an internal capacity of about 15,000 pounds.

6 thoughts on “More F-35C at sea testing”

    1. That was my first thought, What is its fuel burn rate? How does it compare to the A-6 burn rate?


  1. According to Wiki, the A-6 has a range of 2,819 nautical miles.

    The F-35 has three ranges listed; one for each variant. F-35A @ 1,200 nmi, F-35B @ 900 nmi, and F-35C @ 1,400 nmi. Those numbers are when using internal tanks only.

    The -A model carries 18,498 lbs of fuel, while the -B takes a whopping 13,326 lbs. I imagine that’s because of the VTOL hardware.

    The -35s single turbofan 28,000 lbs dry thrust, and 43,000 with afterburner. Compare that to the Intruder’s (combined) thrust of 18,600 lbs. That, I think, explains the mileage. 🙂 On the gripping hand, the A-6 clocks in at 563 knots max speed, while the Lightning II pegs the dial at 1,042 knots. We’re trading range for speed.

    1. Load it up and it won’t make 1,042 kts. Hang external stores and it won’t beat 563 by much. Hope like hell it turns out to be a great aircraft. Lotta tradeoffs there though.

  2. Our local ANG base (VTANG, Burlington International Airport) is slated to replace its Vipers with A-model F-35s. Despite the ritual handwringing from the Useful Idiots ’round here (they’re too noisy, we hate war, our mommas didn’t spank us as often as we needed), I will be standing with my nose pressed to the boundary fence when the first flock flies in.

    When I moved here the ANG still flew F-4s. None of the Useful Idiots are old enough to remember this. The F-35 might annoy a town/city. The F-4 annoyed entire counties.

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