Photo: F-35B Joint Strike Fighter test aircraft doing aileron roll with asymmetric weapons load

Taken on Jun. 14, the following image shows the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter test aircraft BF-2, piloted by Cmdr. Eric Buus, flying inverted (most probably doing an aileron roll) with an asymmetric weapons load made of an AIM-9X Sidewinder inert missile on the starboard pylon, a centerline 25 mm gun pod, and a GBU-32 and AIM-120 in the (closed) starboard weapon bay.

While weapons separation testing is scheduled for this summer, weapons testing for both the STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) and Carrier Variant versions are in progress.

Tests include fit checks, captive carriage environment characterization, and pit drops.

Image credit: Lockheed Martin via USMC

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.