New F-35B Lightning II Undergoes Extreme Temperature Tests

The new F-35B Lightning II joint striker fighter destined for the Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carriers was subjected to temperatures ranging from 120˚F to -40˚F in a climatic laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

As well as ice, the fight-generation stealth aircraft was tested in wind, solar radiation, fog, humidity, rain, freezing rain, icing cloud and snow.

F-35 test pilot Billie Flynn, who performed extreme cold testing on the aircraft, said:

While we are testing in the world’s largest climatic testing chamber, we’re 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 degree 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.

With 13 countries currently involved with the program, the F-35 must be tested in meteorological conditions representative of those locations from which it will operate, ranging from the heat of the Outback of Australia to the bitter cold of the Arctic Circle above Canada and Norway.

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Image: Royal Navy

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