Today, the first two carrier landings by F-35Cs were accomplished. One more check box checked.
The first trap (landing, catching the cross deck pendant, or 'wire') caught the 3rd (of 4) wires --exactly as it is preferred.
U.S. Navy Video:
Screen captures from this event show some interesting things going on. I'd say the pilot positioned the jet about as well as any man or UAV software could have done it. The objective is to catch the '3- Wire', and the optimal touchdown area is 95%+ between the 2nd and 3rd wire. The pilot could not have bought hardly any more area to measure hook behaviors after touch down:
|F-35C First Carrier Landing Pic 1|
Notice the main wheels are not yet touching the deck (you can see the stripe in the middle still under the left main tire).
|F-35C First Carrier Landing Pic 2|
|F-35C First Carrier Landing Pic 3|
This screen cap is just (barely) after the previous one, A little more tire smoke, and the weight is not yet on the wheels very much. The tailhook is about even with the 2-Wire.
|F-35C First Carrier Landing Pic 4|
|F-35C First Carrier Landing Pic 5|
A Good Day for the Program, the Navy, and the Taxpayer eh?