F-35 Lighting First Vertical Landing
Footage of the F-35 Lightning performing its first vertical landing…
Earlier this month, the greatly-hyped and highly anticipated F-35 Lighting stealth fighter made its first vertical landing. During tests at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, 2nd March, the F-35 successfully descended vertically from a 150 ft hover to touch down on the tarmac with exceptional aviation grace.
F-35 Lightning First Vertical Landing
With overrun costs and numerous setbacks slowing the development period to almost a decade, the recent tests are significant move forward for the stealth fighter set to replace the Harrier ‘Jump’ Jet.
The tests began with a short 93 mile per hour take off, the pilot then turned the plane, positioned it over the runway, and lowered it to the ground.
The test pilot, a former Royal Air Force aviator with experience in flying VSTOL planes, said he found landing the F-35 vertically far easier than landing older planes like the Harrier.
The Marine Corps hopes to start training its first round of F-35 pilots this fall, however with February’s announcement that the entire program has been delayed a year, and cost overruns threatening automatic program restructuring under the Nunn-McCurdy Amendment, it is inevitable that the US military’s plans for deployment are also delayed.
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