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U.S. military testing newest fighter jets

November 1, 2011, 08:55 am

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Marine test pilot Fred Schenk, of Cedarburg Wisconsin, is currently testing the military's latest fighter jet, the Lockheed Martin F-35, capable of supersonic speeds and vertical amphibious landing's, much like a Harrier Jet.

At-sea vertical landings are the next step in amphibious air support, and Schenk is testing landings in increasingly unfavorable conditions in order to help designers and engineers work out mechanical issues before the planes go into production and active duty.

With a price tag of about $150 million per plane, the U.S. military hopes that the F-35 will eventually replace the AV-8B Harrier jets and F-18 Hornets. The F-35 is being developed for the Navy, Air Force and Marines, and will feature some small design differences depending on its use. Navy F-35s, for instance, will feature stronger landing gear and a larger wingspan for use on conventional aircraft carriers, according to the source.

Whether flying for the military, an airline or independently, pilots assume a unique set of risks when they take to the sky. Because of this, many pilot groups and organizations offer specially tailored pilot insurance policies designed to cover aviation accidents and investments.

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