The Navy's new stealth fighter jet completed its first arrested landing on an aircraft carrier this week, and yes, this piece of aviation history was caught on camera.
The F-35C Lightning II was landed by test pilot Cmdr. Tony Wilson on the USS Nimitz off the coast of San Diego, according the Navy's news release.
"Today is a landmark event in the development of the F-35C," Wilson, a Navy pilot with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, said Monday in a statement. "It is the culmination of many years of hard work by a talented team of thousands. I'm very excited to see America's newest aircraft on the flight deck of her oldest aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz."
Watch how quickly the aircraft was brought to a stop on the carrier:
Vice Admiral David Buss, commander with Naval Air Forces, witnessed the event and echoed Wilson's thoughts of its significance.
"What a historic day today is for Naval Aviation. With the first traps of the F-35C Lightning II aboard an aircraft carrier, we begin the integration of the next generation of warfighting capability into our carrier-based air wings," Buss said in a statement. "This important milestone is yet another indicator of Naval Aviation's ongoing evolution to meet future threats and remain central to our future Navy and National Defense Strategy."
Here's another angle that shows how the "arrest" mechanism — a hook and cable system — brought the aircraft to a swift halt:
The Navy says the F-35C will combine an ability to "stand up to harsh shipboard conditions while delivering a lethal combination of fighter capabilities to the fleet." It is meant to complement the Navy's strike fighter F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
More developmental testing for the aircraft is expected to continue for the next two weeks with the goal of having it as an operational part of the Navy's fleet by 2018.