Norway begins testing drag parachute brake system for F-35 Lightning II


Norway is testing its drag parachute brake screen to ensure safe landing of the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft in harsh weather. 

Brake chute testing will be carried out in two phases using AF-2 test aircraft specially developed for this purpose.

Phase I of the testing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, involves evaluating how F-35 behaves in the air with a fitted drag chute and how the chute acts on dry and wet runways.

During Phase II, the pilot will test the drag chute on an icy runway at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

"We rely on the F-35 to operate in extreme winter conditions, just like the F-16 can. That's why we put so much effort into getting a specially-developed brake chute on our F-35."

Norwegian Defense Ministry State Secretary Oystein Bo said: “Integration of the brake chute on Norwegian fighter aircraft is important to us.

“We rely on the F-35 to operate in extreme winter conditions, just like the F-16 can. That's why we put so much effort into getting a specially-developed brake chute on our F-35.”

Testing of the brake chute will continue for the next year. 

Norway is cooperating with the Netherlands for development of the drag chute and is sharing part of the cost of this, as well as integration costs.

A brake chute reduces the speed of an aircraft after it lands.

The first F-35 fighter aircraft will arrive in Norway this November.


Image: Rollout of the first F-35A Lightning II for the Norwegian Armed Forces, known as AM-1. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Photo.