Engineers testing the capability of the F-35C to snag an
arresting cable on an aircraft carrier have come up with a stunning
conclusion: the airplane may not be able to do it.
The blog Aviationintel.com reports that the tailhook on the
JSF's Navy variant is simply too short to engage the arresting wire
under even ideal conditions. Roll in/roll out tests conducted by
Lockheed Martin resulted in no ... as in not one ... engagement of
the tailhook with an arresting wire in eight tries. The tests were
conducted under ideal conditions ... not at sea on a moving
And because of the airplanes stealth characteristics, the
tailhook can't simply be made longer and not compromise the
low-observable design. The stealth design has the tailhook masked
by the aircraft's skin, and a longer hook would stick out in the
The blog writer says the flaw was identified in the Pentagon's
"quick look" assessment of the airplane's progress, according to an
article posted on www.f-16.net.