Photo: U.S. Navy Carrier Variant F-35C's first formation flight

On Apr. 18, two F-35C Lightning II carrier variant aircraft launched together from Naval Air Station Patuxent River and conducted formation flying for more than one hour.

The mission flown by the two aircraft, known as CF-1 and CF-2, and piloted by Navy Cdr. Eric Buus and Marine Corps Lt. Col. Matt Taylor, respectively, aimed to test flying qualities of the aircraft while taking off, landing and flying in formation.

Image credit: Lockheed Martin

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David Cenciotti is a freelance 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 four books.