The UK Royal Navy’s new F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has successfully completed extreme temperature tests in a climatic laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, US.
In addition to being subjected to temperatures ranging from 120°F to -40°F, the Lockheed Martin-built aircraft was tested in wind, solar radiation, fog, humidity, rain, freezing rain, icing cloud and snow.
F-35 test pilot Billie Flynn said: "While we are testing in the world’s largest climatic testing chamber, we are pushing the F-35 to its environmental limits.
"To this point, the aircraft’s performance is meeting expectations. It has flown in more than 100° heat while also flying in bitter sub-zero temperatures.
"In its final days of testing, it will fly through ice and other conditions such as driving rain with hurricane force winds."
The US Air Force 96th Test Wing’s McKinley Climatic Laboratory supports all-weather testing of weapon systems.
McKinley Climatic Laboratory technical chief Dwayne Bell said: "We have designed an environment here at the chamber where we can simulate virtually any weather condition, all while flying the jet at full power in either conventional or vertical take-off mode.
The F-35 JSF is scheduled to be deployed on the new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
Image: F-35B JSF during extreme temperature tests. Photo: courtesy of the UK Royal Navy.