FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Three years before Eielson Air Force Base's F-35 squadrons are set to arrive, one of the next-generation jets has appeared on the flight line.
An F-35 joint strike fighter landed at the base southeast of Fairbanks yesterday (thur).
It's here on a testing mission to help determine its ability to land on icy runways.
The jet is piloted by an airman from the Royal Norwegian Air Force, which has requested modifications to their version of the jet that will help improve its ability to touch down in sketchy Arctic climates.
The F-35 is already certified to land in slick runway conditions; the testing being done now will try to improve that rating on conditions close to that of landing on ice.
Also being tested is a drag chute modification that will help slow the jet in conditions where hard braking could lead to a loss of control on landing.