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First F-35B Ski Jump Test

The US military has released footage of a F-35B short takeoff using a "ski-jump" to test take-offs from short runways, like those of an aircraft carrier, according to a press release. It is expected that British and Italian aircraft carriers will launch the F-35B off an "upward sloped ramp at the end of the runway," or ski-jump, according to a press release. The U.S. Navy uses a catapult to launch aircraft off a carrier, accelerating from zero to 165 mph in two seconds, according to the Navy's website. Instead of the F-35B, the Navy will use the carrier variant F-35C for its catapult system. The ski jump trial took place Friday at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. According to a release, the launch marks the start of a two-week initial testing phase, and some media pundits have cited this may be a testing phase in response to the problems being experienced with the new catapult systems.

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