NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, MD (Jan. 18, 2013) Two F-35 Lightning II carrier variants completed an aerial refueling for the first time. Test pilots Navy Lt. Christopher Tabert and Dan Canin flew CF-1 and CF-2 respectively, with a KC-130 from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. This was the first dual aerial refueling for the F-35C. The F-35C carrier variant of the Lightning II is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear to withstand catapult launches and deck landing impacts associated with the demanding aircraft carrier environment. Initial carrier trials for the F-35C are scheduled for 2014. The F-35C is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River before delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin/Andy Wolfe)

[Image courtesy of the US Navy Website.]