On October 9, an F-35C carried out a successful landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
US Naval Institute News editor Sam LaGrone who managed to film the landing in HD and slow motion. The footage highlights one of the more notable successes of the often-troubled F-35 – namely the advanced fighter jet’s ability to operate from a carrier.
The object dangling in the back of the F-35C is the tailhook, which snags hold of a cable on the carrier deck. The cable slows the aircraft down, allowing it to land efficiently and safely on the otherwise-dangerously short runways that aircraft carriers offer.
The technical requirements of taking off and landing from a carrier means that the F-35C is significantly heavier than the F-35A and F-35B variants. The C has an extra 208 square feet of wing to help create drag. Overall, the plane weighs over 6,000 pounds more than the other variants.
In November 2014, the F-35C conducted its first ever successful carrier landing. The landing came after nearly three years of delays due to tailhook design issues.
You can watch the slow motion landing below: