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Picture of the Weekend, J-35C "Lightning II"

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The first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant, the U.S. Navy's first stealth fighter, arrived at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 2:37 p.m. (Photo credit Lockheed Martin)

Here is the “Lightning II” piloted by David “Doc” Nelson. The “Lightning II” departed Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base and achieved successful air refuels at a maximum load of 19,800 pounds during the flight. At Patuxent River, the F-35C will conduct air-to-air refueling and performance testing.

Most naval aircraft eventually get a “real nickname,” not the one given to it by the manufacturer or the government…for example, the E-2C Hawkeye is known as the “Hummer” (due to turboprop noises), the F-14 Tomcat was Turkey (due to its look as is goes vertical at slow speeds), etc. I am wondering what the F-35 real nickname will become one day…time will tell!

I will do a serious blog on the “Lightning” sometime in December, but if you want more info now…Read more about the “Lightning II” here at the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) web site…

Rollout of the "C" variant, an appropriate letter since it will land on carriers (Photo credit Lockheed Martin).

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