F-35B and F-35C

A few days ago I wrote a post about the F-35 Lightning II is a fifth-generation, single-seat, single-engine, stealth multirole fighter, that will also equip the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force, ItAF) and the Marina Militare, that will use the F-35B from the new Cavour STOVL aircraft carrier. In spite of a carrier variant designated F-35C, the RAF and Royal Navy will use the B variant from aircraft carriers and the U.S. Marines Corps are investigating the use of the Ship-borne Rolling and Vertical Landing (SRVL) method to operate F-35Bs from the aircraft carrier without disrupting carrier operations as the landing method uses the same pattern of approach as wire arrested landings. The F-35C carrier (whose only user will be the US Navy to replace the “legacy Hornets” and complement the Super Hornets) variant will be much similar to the A and B versions, but will have larger, folding wings and larger control surfaces for improved low-speed control. The aircraft will also be equipped with a stronger landing gear and hook for the stresses of carrier trap landings.

The following front, side and top views of the three variants will give an idea of the main differences among the F-35A, B and C.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.