Home » Air » Video: F-35B Conducts First Vertical Takeoff and Landing

Video: F-35B Conducts First Vertical Takeoff and Landing

by Matt Cox on April 5, 2013

Here’s a video of the F-35B Lightning II recently completing the first short takeoff and vertical landing during a night-time test mission.

Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C.R. Clift conducted the flight April 2 to gather data on the helmet and lighting conditions for night-time operations, according to an April 5 press release. The F-35B is the variant of the Lightning II designed for use by the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy.

 “The completion of this test event demonstrates the F-35B is one step closer to delivering a critical capability to the U.S. Marine Corps and F-35B partners in the United Kingdom and Italy” said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer. “There is plenty of work to be done and progress to be made, but we’re on a solid path forward.”

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{ 171 comments… read them below or add one }

DNP April 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Looks like the canopy was open during the landing…is that typical for testing (or am I mistaken)? Thanks.


Josh April 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm

There is a door that opens up behind the cockpit that allows for more air to be filtered though the engine during short take-offs and vertical lands since the engine gets so hot.


free america April 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm

It goes through a whole other engine. Called a lift fan.


Steve B. April 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Not another engine, same engine linked to the main drive shaft.


Mitch S. April 5, 2013 at 8:30 pm

That's a door that allows air to flow through the lift fan.
That air is cool so it doesn't show on the vid but if it did you'd see another column of air coming down from behind the cockpit in addition to the one from the nozzle on the back of the plane.


Mitch S. April 5, 2013 at 8:34 pm

I find it funny that on a site that deals with so much aviation the word c*o*c*k*pit is censored.
If the first four letters referred to a part of male anatomy, that part of the plane would have a different name when a female flies it!


blight_ April 6, 2013 at 9:16 am



Derek April 6, 2013 at 9:37 pm

the pussypit, lol, sounds like an oil wrestling ring.


Joe T. April 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm
Pete0097 April 27, 2013 at 5:55 am

Maybe they should use what the women pilots call it – THe Box Office.


mike April 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm

That door is twice the size the pilots wanted it to be, this is a waste money. Can just do about Mach 1.3 befor starts to shake, loose all your advantage the AV8 had in open air and canyon combat. AV8 has a super sonic engine that was only used by very few British versions, never american. Love the fact the Obama stated all other fighters have 2 so so engines and the F35 has 1 really good engine. Still get flame out, engine problem or take a hit and its now a rock falling to the earth. with 2 engines you can limp back to base or the carrier.


bman April 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Updated technology only awaiting applied machining/manufacturing technology. louvered vanes are envisioned on future production models. Currently the oversized "barn door" acts as a fairly effective air scoop on a forward/rolling takeoff.
Juicy target for incoming rounds, all ready to get sucked into a
high speed rotating fan. HMmmmm… Bman


Bob April 30, 2013 at 2:16 pm

You can thank the USAF for that single engine, single crew design. The USN studied the issue after A-12 became AX (which became AFX, which became JAST, which became JSF) and determined for reasons you allude to, Navy jets needed two engines and 2 crew. Enter the USAF, and the rest is history.


Marine24 April 9, 2013 at 8:52 pm

It's just a fan door.


Rossi April 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm

thats not the canopy thats open its an air relief fan housing that opens on landing.


SGT K April 15, 2013 at 2:54 pm

The canopy is not open.. the is teh oening to suck in air into the engine when they are in this mode.


battlefield April 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm

it is in bf3 lol


Logan April 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm

it is just an airbrake in order to have more of a straight vertical take off and not like a commercial airliner


Monsoon April 18, 2013 at 11:42 am

Incorrect. Simply fan doors. Did you read the comments before yours?


Dan April 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm

I would guess that's not standard, but would allow quick ejection for the test pilot in case of emergency


Chris April 19, 2013 at 2:09 pm

It's not a canopy. It is the hatch that opens to allow for air intake during VTOL.


Bman April 23, 2013 at 1:18 pm

That open hatch was an Air In-take for S.T.O.L.( Short Take Off/ Landing) Assent. Open hatch was to provide suction air as opposed to ram air to intake side of turbines. B


Viperkat April 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm

That's not the canopy, it is the intake for the fan. And, yes, it is typically open during vertical flight, hovering and descent.


Bill April 24, 2013 at 8:28 am

No, that was an open vent for engine gasses flowing downward.


guaet April 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm

That is the air intake for the forward lift fan.


spens April 27, 2013 at 8:00 pm

that is not the canopy it is the wind fan that opens on landing


Jamesw2 April 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm

That is the air intake for vertical take off and landing


mel May 1, 2013 at 10:40 am

Opening for the vertical lift fan.


Gary Lina May 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm

It wasn't the canopy; the open component on the top forward section is the air suction hatch for the vertical lift fan, with the corresponding open exhaust cover on the bottom side. These are open during vtol/stol operation of the aircraft.


Jack. May 4, 2013 at 2:40 pm

It was open during takeoff too. Was this scene for real? or computer trickery?


James May 5, 2013 at 8:59 am

No. That's not the canopy that's open. It's flap that can pop up during take up, hover, and landing.


hank jackson May 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm

that's not the canopy. it is the air inlet for engine driven forward fan.


jIM Heffernan May 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Hi DNP. It may look like the canopy at night but it's an exhaust deflection panel. There is a large fan in the center of the aircraft forcing down wind which is in tandem with the jet in the tail blowing down as well.



Rodger June 4, 2013 at 12:52 am



USS ENTERPRISE April 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Can't wait to see all the "UFO" reports this is going to cause. I imagine bunch. Well, anyways, I thought the F-35 had done trials of this at sea? I mean, if anything, its more dangerous on a carrier than a runway. Maybe a PR stunt?


free america April 5, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Not at night.


romeo April 6, 2013 at 11:07 am

UFO are silent. At least that's what the reports often say.


Mark Kircher April 18, 2013 at 11:11 am

maybe propaganda for NK?


blight_ April 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

This feels like a kickstarter.

For 1B dollars we'll send you a video of our JSF doing vertical landings…


Josh April 5, 2013 at 10:52 pm

Wasn't that the intention of the program? Would you rather for 1B dollars have an F-35 incapable of vertically landing?


majr0d April 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Some will be bummed the plane didn't crash.


BlackOwl18E April 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm

You wouldn't happen to be referring to me by any chance?


David April 8, 2013 at 6:46 pm

he sure is


USS ENTERPRISE April 7, 2013 at 8:04 pm

*Cough* Russia, NK, China, Iran *Cough*


Anonymous April 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm

So here's a question: how do they cut off the thrust out of the tail feathers so quickly on a turbine engine?


STemplar April 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm

They flip the off switch…..


Andre April 6, 2013 at 11:42 am

Thrust is exponential to rpm so at 6,000rpm a jet engine might only put out 1000lb of thrust but at 18,000rpm might put out 19,000lb of thrust. If you map that on an x,y chart it is not a straight line. So when they are just about to touch down you might have 19,000lb of thrust coming from the jet exhaust at 18,000rpm and about the same from the lift fan, until it touches down in which case you spool down from 18,000rpm to 6,000rpm and your thrust drops to 1000lb.


Dfens April 8, 2013 at 9:46 am

If that were true, they wouldn't use N1 as an engine operating parameter.


kemasabe April 18, 2013 at 9:13 am

One word…..Magic.


marc27 April 5, 2013 at 7:13 pm

the vertical takeoff version is just a waste of money since most of the fuel is burn on just the takeoff and cannot carry the a lot ordnance plus is more expensive to maintain.


blight_ April 5, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Agreed, but compare the -B against the other alternative: helicopters.

It fills an awkward space where it's probably better than the alternative, but would lose a paper dogfight against a sleek -A type JSF. Helicopters would fare worse though, but we have them today.

I think it's sad that for the half-century of dawdling with VTOL fixed wing aircraft, we're not quite sure how to do it cheaply. I believe the LiftSystem is a brilliant piece of engineering that would do old Skunk Works proud: but shoehorning it into the -B? Yeech.

Maybe LM will spin a SVTOL aircraft out of JSF if it tanks. Or Rolls Royce will take it and run with it; and get BAe to build a new Harrier out of it. The US will put money into it. We sell the UK Tomahawks, Apaches and Tridents and bought their Harriers: we are 100.00% confident that our interests align such that we have no fear of exchanging hardware.


Free america April 5, 2013 at 10:09 pm

More expensive to maintain than what? Its range is unlimited.


STemplar April 7, 2013 at 2:35 am

Short takeoff, not vertical. Vertical landing.


Guest April 7, 2013 at 11:03 am

It does vertical takeoff as well, just not with a full fuel and weapons load. Same goes for the Harrier.


Guest April 7, 2013 at 11:01 am

It does waste money in both ways. But it also allows a country to put supersonic, multi-role, stealth, combat aircraft 5 miles away from an enemy border, with no runway nearby. And by doing this you eliminate refuels, actually using LESS fuel. These two things are certainly worth extra in both dollars and tactics.


BlackOwl18E April 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Third world countries could buy artillery for dirt cheap that could kill something from 5 miles away. The F-35B will need to be launched from a distance if it is to have an effect and stay out of the reach of the enemy weapon systems. It doesn't have the range to do anything effective without being refueled.


Tiger April 7, 2013 at 9:57 pm
ronvan April 28, 2013 at 9:18 am

Excellent point! While I Army I had the opportunity to talk with a British Harrier pilot and asked him this same question. His answer was exactly as you have stated. As soon as they take off they are looking to be refuled from the air.


Warg April 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm


Late like 8 years


Hammer April 28, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Better late than kill a few hundred pilots BONEHEAD!!!!!!


Tarin Feather April 5, 2013 at 8:12 pm

I’m an asphalt runway contractor, and I don’t like this one bit.


LTCOL Angus April 10, 2013 at 10:09 am

thank god there is no asphalt aboard ship, and concrete on most military tar mats and runways.


Guest April 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Why not, do you not preform repairs?


guest April 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Never seen an asphalt runway on a ship or any military installation and I have been on alot of both


Mitch S. April 5, 2013 at 8:36 pm

Is this the "First Vertical Takeoff and Landing" or
the first NIGHT "First Vertical Takeoff and Landing"?


Free America April 5, 2013 at 10:07 pm



Mark Wilkinson April 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm

First night landing
They've been conducting daytime tests for a couple years now.


STemplar April 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Pretty video. Couple questions.

-How's the helmet mounted cueing system working or not?

-What's the status of the software?

-What's the status of the fuel dump?

-Is the afterburner still burning off the stealth coating?

-What's the fix for the lightning strike problem going to cost?

-What's the status on the crap IPP lifecycle hours?

-Can I get an IOC,? Comin up on 12 years and $85 billion-ish spent, I think taxpayers deserve one.

Nice snake oil video. Can we get some press releases about the littany of problems identified in the QLR? Can someone in the defense media pin these guys down for some answers, either in the Pentagon or LM?


Capt. Jack April 6, 2013 at 10:26 am

Capt. Dolt Lummox of the Big-E is back demonstrating his youth and inexperience. When will the crew of the Big-E eject the mooncalf from the cockpit? STARFLEET!


Romeo April 6, 2013 at 11:12 am

I will be excited once I see the plane flying sideways in any direction.
But most of all silent, which probably would requires energy from a different fuel source, like "Plasma".

I thought short take off has been around for years in the carrier…
So has vertical take off and landing.
Please someone correct me if I am wrong.


Guest April 7, 2013 at 11:14 am

Harriers fly sideways, backwards and in any other direction. They can also spin inside the same footprint. I'm sure the F-35 does too and one day you'll be able to see it and get excited. Although they can't go very fast in those directions of course.


USS ENTERPRISE April 7, 2013 at 8:11 pm

I don't know about that. The Harrier does that with its two thrust vectoring nozzles. Its allows a "vif" or "viff" (kinda like a cobra, except with all the flamboyance taken out). The F-35 has the rotating the nozzle in the back that can point down, and of course the lift fan. But they are place in the center line of the aircraft. So I doubt that it can actually spin around like a helicopter. But I could be wrong.


Curt April 7, 2013 at 9:03 pm

You are, the F-35B also has Harrier like roll posts on the wingtip so it can rotate left or right as well. The Harrier main nozzles only move forward and back, left right is done by the roll posts which get something like 5% of the thrust (same as on a F-35B). An F-35B being heavier and with a lift fan can't do all the geewhiz twirly things a Harrier can do, but it will be much easier to fly, at least until all the computers fail, and can fly forward, backwards, sideways, and spin around.


USS ENTERPRISE April 7, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Ah, well. Thanks. It makes clearer sense now.

Mark Wilkinson April 16, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Yes, it can. There are ducted nozzles out on the wingtips. It does everything the Harrier does without requiring 2 arms and 3 legs.


Chris April 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Yes, but the Harrier Jumpjet cannot go supersonic. The F35 similar to the F22 and the Typhoon on the other hand can (including cruising since it does not need an afterburner to maintain that speed).


Jim Johnson April 6, 2013 at 11:33 am

I "assumed" people on a tech site would be tech savvy. Heads up! The open "doors" behind the canopy are the air inlet for the vertical thrust fan. The exhaust nozzle can be articulated to swing from vehicle parallel thrust to a vertical thrust position. These two technologies are what makes the F35B a VSTOL fighter. It's only predecessor was the almighty harrier whose capabilities the F35B is to do in spades.


Opus April 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm

They are already in the process of standing up the first squadron of the F35Bs here in Yuma, VMFA-121 the Green Knights. They recently performed the first vertical landing outside of a test environment down here.
Roughly a month ago they even had one on display for the air show as well as some of the pilots and future pilots to chat with the people, that did surprise me.


Nick April 6, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Wow, It can vertically land at night now. This is not news. I hate this plane with a passion. To bad it didn't crash and burn like my tax dollars are developing this less than half ass POS!


crackedlenses April 6, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Majrod was right…..


BlackOwl18E April 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm

I'm too tired for my usual spiel on the F-35. I think I'm going to try saying something different. How about, "Great job Lockheed Martin! That's a really cool video!"


elportonative77 April 7, 2013 at 2:14 am

Is the vertical takeoff going to be part of the B model's everyday life or is this just something they did to prove they could? Is the B model supposed to be based at airfields where even STOL takeoffs and landings are not possible?


STemplar April 7, 2013 at 2:34 am

Short takeoff, vertical landing, and that is how it will operate from amphibs.


USS ENTERPRISE April 7, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Just wondering, I know it can take off in a short distance (off relatively smaller US carriers and other country's carriers) and land vertically, but can it take off via a ski-jump? I don't see why not, I mean it looks like it has enough ground clearance.


Belesari April 7, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Here owl let me try.

WOW THAT SO AWESOME! Omg so its the best fighter in the world right! How many planes can it shoot down right now in combat? Like 10!?

What do you mean no F-35 will be combat ready before 2016 or 2017? These cost how much?

$220,000,000 dollars!

Wait thats for the B right? Ok good it is. How much are the others?

The A is over 140 mil by the time it will be combat capable at least!

The C is more expensive than the B!

Oh well at least I know the F-35 is the best attach aircraft in the world capable of going toe to toe with the best our enemies have to offer and even our allies!

……..What do you mean its not a very good fighter…. >: (


USS ENTERPRISE April 7, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Mph. Well, I don't think '10' aircraft have the capability to shoot it down. In fact, its stealthy-ness will keep it safe from any Sukhois and MiGs. And really, most chinese aircrafts are copies of these, so really, they are literally little to no competition here. 220 million? Over exaggeration? Yes, I see the sarcasm.


BlackOwl18E April 7, 2013 at 9:44 pm

If the F-35 could hold 10 air-to-air missiles internally, then it might have chance to kill 10 with a skilled pilot. At the maximum now it could only kill 4, that's counting on every missile hitting its target. The advantage that stealth brings will have almost eroded away by the time this jet reaches IOC, making it useless.

Belesari, it brings a tear to my eye to see sarcasm done right.


Belesari April 8, 2013 at 1:38 am

Your forgetting every nation on earth is developing the radars to beat stealth technics which have already been proven. If the Chinese don't have them now i would be suprised.


Dfens April 8, 2013 at 9:42 am

Yeah, everyone knows that the 40 year old airplanes designed in the 1970s are still the best.

DeathBattleFan123 April 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm

You're just thinking about missiles. Jet fighters have *plenty* of bullets.


Belesari April 8, 2013 at 1:36 am

No thats not over exaggeration the price for a F-35 C was estimated at 180-190 mil then they found the arrestor hook problem the cost is now estimated over 200-220 mil. Be has just gone up and up.

These were the CBO numbers.


Holdon McGroin April 8, 2013 at 9:29 am
Dfens April 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm

"We need… an acquisition system… that rewards cost-effectiveness and efficiency, so that our programs do not continue to take longer, cost more, and deliver less than initially planned and promised." — Chuck Hagel, Sec. of Defense (http://www.pogo.org/blog/2013/04/20130406-hagel-may-be-a-secretary-of-defense-reforms.html). No wonder McCain had such a vendetta against this guy. If he walks the walk, he'll kill the goose that laid the golden egg. Imagine that, a procurement system that responds to the needs of the guy on the front line instead of the needs of a multi-national defense corporation. Oh the humanity!


Thomas April 10, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Every high-up acquisition person says that when they start the job, and usually a few times while they serve.

They've been saying that for 40 years.


Dfens April 11, 2013 at 9:29 am

I'm not going to say this isn't bs until I see some actual progress, but I'd like to see even one of those other similar statements you say are so common. What they've been saying for 40 years is crap like, "it's middle management's fault". There is almost never any acknowledgement of the system's primary failure, which is that it pays companies more to screw up than it does if they do right.


Thomas April 11, 2013 at 10:42 am

How about "Better Buying Power" in 2010 and then the 2.0 version in 2012? http://www.defensenews.com/article/20121126/DEFRE

Or here, from DAU in 2012, that says 60-years of failed "reform" http://www.carlisle.army.mil/USAWC/DCLM/The%20Mor

It mentions:
Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986
Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act of 1990
Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994
Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996
Secretary of Defense William Cohen, in '97 via the Defense Reform

And more.


big Al April 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm

that wasnt the canopy open but a panel that allows extra air to gain more thrust for the engines…zero speed forward means not enouh air to air intake soo. good thinking huh? They put it on top so it wont suck dirt /Foreign objects into engines..


Dave April 9, 2013 at 8:56 pm

What are the excuses offered in rebuttal to the concerns raised in this article: http://nation.time.com/2013/03/27/marine-f-35-jum


DALE RICE April 10, 2013 at 9:17 am

The Marines traditionally are an elite ground unit, they require less people to get the job done, like the other small fighting units, Navy Seals, Army Rangers, Green Beret,
with UAV's and other unmanned aircraft already built, why is the Pentagon and the US
Government adding to the national debt with costly aircraft? We have the A6, B1B, F117A, B2, F114, F22 OSPREY, (etc), more than enough to get the job done, enough said. A former Marine, and my wife would agree, she was in the USAF.


Mark Wilkinson April 16, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Where to start…
Marines are largely stand alone, but still need air support. Their F-18s are aging. Their VTOL Harriers are even older and no longer maintainable.
The A6 is gone. The B1B and B2 are bombers, not tactical fighters nor close air support platforms. The F117A is gone. I don't know what a F114 is. If you meant F-14, it is gone. The F22 is not the Osprey, it's the Raptor. The V22 is the Osprey. Neither are close air support aircraft.


Lordbinder April 18, 2013 at 10:00 am

Simple answer Mark. Warthog.


USS ENTERPRISE April 20, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Yes, A-10, F-15E, Super Hornet, Apache, should I go on?


guest April 20, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Seem as a former marine and your wife air force you need to learn what you are talking about before you start typing


USS ENTERPRISE April 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm

What's a F-22 Osprey? Is that like a fighter Osprey? Or a tilt-rotor Raptor?


Allan d April 22, 2013 at 2:08 pm

you forget the Chinese are just now beginning test flights of an f22 equiv & building carriers. The Russians are building an equivalent plus new ballistic missiles and submarines. Tech moves on and once you stop new development you become a target, Obama learned the hard way when he cancelled the Alaskan missile defense site only to restart it 4 years later when the N Koreans built their next gen of missiles.


USS ENTERPRISE April 22, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Yeah, okay, except that the J-20 and associated Chinese aircraft's stealthiness is hard to declare; preliminary pictures show it has canards, and that isn't good news for stealthy planes. Also, its is questionable as to its capabilities. The PAK-FA I believe also has similar issues. On the subject of carriers, nobody beats America when it comes to floating airports. Our "escort" carriers are the size of large scale carriers in other countries' fleets. The chinese are using an old Russian hull; and personally, I would think that the Nimitz class, and soon the Ford Class out perform there Russian counterparts with considerable margin.


Kingcruiser April 28, 2013 at 1:11 am

They HAD enough aircraft to help, Aside from the aircraft listed previously, the A10 has also been grounded by our Idiot In Chief in favor of the F35. I was in the air force and on an F111 base when that "Jack of all Trades" was being hyped by Def Sec McNamara. It was a Master of None. The F35 is this generation's F111. It can do it all, but none of it all that well. Just like the F111, it's too slow to be a true fighter, too fast to be a true ground support platform, too small to be a bomber, and the list goes on. It IS a better plane than some of the ones it replaces, but it's nowhere near as good as an F22, nor an A10 in those roles. The F117 did need to be replaced, but this isn't a great replacement for it either (then again, the F117 should have been the B117, but Congress wanted the Air Force to have another fighter, not bomber).


ronvan April 28, 2013 at 9:36 am

YEP! Getting confused on what the capabilites, missions really are? The A10 & Apache are totally different, BUT, excellent for our ground troops! WHY, does it seem that we have to "combine" both? A fighter for fighting and a bomber for bombing, with the fighters protecting the bombers? "Red Tails" was just one prime example of what a fighter can do.


USS ENTERPRISE April 28, 2013 at 11:39 am

The A-10 and Apache are mixed because in the end they have the same role: protect the troops below. Its like that AH-1 and (what the name of that helicopter?) bond that was used in 'Nam.


Guest May 2, 2013 at 11:44 am

The Warthog is grounded? That's ridiculous. The Warthog is one of the most awesome machines we have. Ask any tank commander that may be against us.


ronvan April 28, 2013 at 9:26 am

Good comment! Semper Fi!! Maybe, just maybe this is just another "tool" to show our allies & enemies what we can do, whether we really need it or not? The Osprey was almost flused down the toilet with initial problems, now it is an airworthy, trusted aircraft.


USS ENTERPRISE April 28, 2013 at 11:40 am

Its isn't a "show off tool" because our allies are also buying this plane. The reason is because, supposedly, we need the plane. Whether it is needed or not is debatable.


JC April 14, 2013 at 10:55 pm
Fredericka April 15, 2013 at 1:41 am
bigchief April 16, 2013 at 11:15 am

No carrier arrested landing yet, why not. Too heavy and slow has been the consensus thus far, and too expensive. Tailhook unable to catch the wire on a carrier due to design flaw. Purpose built aircraft are the way to go, this is a game changer for USMC, but not the answer for USAF and Navy.


SailorEd April 17, 2013 at 10:55 am

The VSTOL Harrier was able to defeat F-15's and F-16 's in Air to Air combat that test was done using VFR (Visual Flight Rules) Due to the ability to quickly change it's direction due to the Vector Thrust system. The F-35 should be able to do better. Oh, the Harrier would to a short roll to takeoff of LHA's LPH's etc with a full load of bombs, etc.


Lee Steele April 18, 2013 at 8:15 am

Government adding to the national debt with costly aircraft? We have the A6, B1B, F117A, B2, F114, F22 OSPREY,
A-6: ancient. B-1B: old design. F-117A: out of service. B-2: limitied usefulness and few of them. F-114: HUH? No such animal. F22 OSPREY: The V-22 Osprey is NOT a fighter! It's a transport. Wiki can be your friend. Research is a good thing.


Steven April 27, 2013 at 6:12 am

obviously those are typos and a missing comma, don't be a turd. Now you look stupid.


publius April 18, 2013 at 8:48 am

Over budget, behind schedule, and under performance. Otherwise, no problems, right? The program needs to stop immediately, and the govt needs to re-evaluate their needs. An aircraft you cannot afford is not the aircraft to defend the freedom of the world.


Jack Haesly April 18, 2013 at 9:33 am

The thing that is so disturbing about this aircraft is the cost. I heard the first 187 units cost 340 million dollars each. I also heard 2447 of them will be built in the range of 180 million dollars each. That is insane… if true. Especially when you consider the plane's only purpose is a killing machine.

In that regard, the B2B bomber cost 2 billion dollars each and we have about twenty of them. Two have crashed. We never hear about the cost to keep those turkeys in the air.

Despite how capable the F-35 B may be, no wonder American citizens have no universal non- profit health care and many of our released soldiers from the two illegal wars are wandering homeless on our inner city streets.

To my way of thinking, the F-35 is a problem ridden piece of star wars junk the American people cannot afford. More over, none of these flying gold bricks has even been tested in combat. In fact, since we now have efficient killing machines in much lower cost drones, The F-35 craft will probably never earn their keep.


Thomas April 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Jack buy your logic we'd never had a man in space much less land on the moon.

And the F-18, F-16, F-15, and F-14 would never have entered service.


Observant April 21, 2013 at 7:17 am

"I heard the first 187 units cost 340 million dollars each."

You have them confused with the generally superior F-22, which is already operational. As an aside, we should have cut the F-35 buy and built twice as many F-22s. The F-35 is ending up costing just as much per copy, when it was originally to be a "low-cost" F-16 like aircraft.

"I also heard 2447 of them will be built in the range of 180 million dollars each. That is insane… if true."

I doubt that many will be built, but it may turn out that way.

"Especially when you consider the plane's only purpose is a killing machine."

Ah, your true stripes are revealed! Almost all military aircraft are "killing machines". Believe it or not, they are a major factor in keeping our world generally peaceful.

"Peace through superior firepower."


JohnC April 18, 2013 at 11:29 am

Another technologically wonderful product of the the military-industrial complex that we cannot possibly afford, will contribute to our colossal national debt, but will purchase anyway.


Gringo April 20, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Hey all of you guys out there,this is the best to kill people.
And we the peace seeking nation build this monster.
Do we have sense of humor or not…


R7alph April 21, 2013 at 3:09 am

Amazing how many think they are experts and clearly know so little about military aircraft. Things like the F-117s are all retired as are F-14s. Osprey is not a fighter, but a superior transport/cargo special purpose. So far no F-35s lost. Very careful and extensive testing. Much simulation. By this time we had lost 10 B-58s and crews. Back then it was go try it out. Now it is much more prediction and validation. They'll get it done whether all you arm chair know-it-alls criticize or not. All junior amateurs.


USS ENTERPRISE April 21, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Wasn't the B-58 faster than the F-35. I know its irrelevant, but still.


Brigitte April 21, 2013 at 7:02 pm
Rex April 22, 2013 at 8:04 am

The only Question is can this plane go toe to toe with the Harrier? Payload? Delivery? Maneuverability? Range? Speed? Serviceability?
I have seen Harriers do some Amazing feats.
I have seen an F35 take of and land in the same distance needed for a super cub. Nothing as impressive as the Harrier.
Let’s see what we paid for!
It’s time to put up or shut up!
If the F 35 can’t beat the planes it is trying to replace in actual combat, it’s time to pull the plug.


Steven April 27, 2013 at 6:15 am

And it's already outclassed by its potential adversaries. :(


mark a meide April 22, 2013 at 11:58 am

well it look billion dollar jet stay with it joe meide mile city mo


USMC_ATC_SSgt April 22, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Carolina Lawn Dart Mark II


egumpher April 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Very well done. Than you Lockheed Martin. Our solders deserve this technology. Remember that the only reason we created a federal government was for military and monetary reasons…….so all the states could fight a common enemy….not to give our money away to entitlement programs……..money well spent…..


Bob G. April 24, 2013 at 7:14 am

I live a couple miles from Shaw AFB in S.C…..Home of the 20th Fighter Wing, employing some 80 F16CJ's!
Look foward to seeing the F35's up close, in action! I think that's about another 4 years off for us.


Jerry April 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm

The real question is how long will it take to melt/burn through a runway when hovering low? I noted he dropped the last few feet to avoid overheating the tarmac. Just a few seconds would melt asphalt and a few more would blast concrete. Wont be taking off from unimproved runways for sure. Certainly wont be doing VTOL with a full ordnance load.


knots April 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm

I guess it's better than a purely vertically landing


Gordon Rowell April 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Mr. Rice,
For better or worse, the VSTOL F-35 is supposed to be to replace the harrier. It's designed to take off from short amphibious carriers. We haven't had the A-6 for decades. The Marine Corps is not JUST an elite ground force. They are a self contained combat package that can rely on itself for support. I don't have a particular liking for this aircraft but it does fill a niche. The Air Force has a habit of ordering more and better than it needs. The Marine Corps has to take what it can get. The harrier was known by the nickname "North Carolina lawn dart" for quite awhile. I'm just hoping that they work the bugs out before duplicating the record with this plane.


someone April 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm

The Government should have gone with Boeing's version of the F-35. If memory serves, they liked it better but Lockheed's proposed price tag was lower. It is a common tactic for Lockheed to bid huge contracts significantly lower then realisticly possible. They do this because they know once the Government is on the hook, they will pay more to save face rather than drop them and go with the runner up. Trust me, I've personnaly seen it from the inside.


Steven April 27, 2013 at 6:18 am

I concur


Rawlo April 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm

that actually isn't the Canopy. It's more more for the airflow induction for it to hover. Airflow comes in through the top and directs it beneath the plane like a hovercraft. I think.


nik April 29, 2013 at 12:54 pm

The F-22 can still fly circles around this heavy maneuverable piece of junk. Scrap the F-35 and make a multirole F-22. The F-22 has already proven that it can fly and do everything the F-35 still has to prove.


russellwmcconnell April 29, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I'm not an engineer. I wish I were. I love science and engineering. Instead, I am a theologian and philospher, and it seems to me that that spectacular cost-overruns, technical short-comings, and disappointing deliverables on metrics are no big deal as long as everyone feels good about their individual opinions. Isn't that where we are in America today? Please don't delude yourself into thinking that they weakening of our love of truth that spawned the scientific method isn't now also affecting the outcomes of our modern science.


mayrockwood April 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Very cool.


wdan April 30, 2013 at 4:22 pm

how about a final landing and NO future takeoff's?…spend our $$ elsewhere more productive…this gas hog cannot carry any ordinance to speak of and not very far at that…how many generals and admirals will be working for LM and other contractors after they retire and we continue to pay for this pig?


Quantaray April 30, 2013 at 11:27 pm

The F35 and F22 were supposed to the be the pinnacle of manned fighter jets. A lot of people think that manned fighters are obsolete. The navy has unmanned aircraft testing their landing capabilities on carriers now.

The range of missiles and now laser weapons means that dogfighting is soon to be a thing of the past. The next world war is happening right now, and is the dream of science fiction writers from previous centuries. A state of constant, low level perpetual warfare. How much of our freedoms should we give away to protect our precious lives?


USS ENTERPRISE April 30, 2013 at 11:31 pm

-Lasers are still in development stages. The YAL-1 was excellent, but still needed work

-Missiles with long range can cost millions, and can be used ONCE

-unmanned fighters still need to perfect their abilities in air combat; a pilot in a plane reacts faster, and much more efficiently, than one that sits in a chair on the ground, at least, for right now.


w. roginski May 1, 2013 at 12:49 am

The harrier was a descent aircraft with many improved versions over the years—where are they?


guest May 3, 2013 at 9:26 am

They are all 40 years old and ready(overdue) to be retired, just like A-10s, F-15s, KC-135s and most other aircraft in our inventory. KC-135s and B-52s are more than 50 years old, some are being flown by the grand-sons of original pilots.


Blastjet May 2, 2013 at 1:40 am

After all is said & done this acft will be around for a looooong time, & will pay for itself exponentially if small thinkers don't mess it up. As America changes its roll on the international stage it will finally come to the conclusion that it'll be the Navy that best protects the national security and economic interests of this country. Land-based tactical war-fighting capabilities, specifically air-to-mud fighter resources, are of very limited value. We most need ensured sea-lines of communications, and the ability to securely strike the littoral regions of the world. The only way to do this for the foreseeable future is with carrier-based aviation, so the LAST thingnwe can afford to do is forgo the Navy/Marine F-35 versions. However, it will be the Alpha version that will actually pay for the airframe, through foreign sales, and foreign buyers have been historically loath to buy land-based fighters from the USA that the USAF doesn't operate. So, a few squadrons of Alphas are needed, but the cast majority of the U.S. buy of the system must be for the super and assault carriers. Most importantly, this system absolutely should be an integral part of a cohesive grand strategy for the out-years, one that defines what America really must do to ensure its security. I'm inclined to think this means a marked change in the size and composition of its Army (the Army's right, it needs no more Abrams!), a reduction in USAF forces (cut the number of fighter squadrons in half, and get rid of the B-1), and, using money from these cutbacks, increase naval forces. There's a lot more to be done, but this is enough heresy from a retired USAF aircrew dog.


guest May 3, 2013 at 9:20 am

Sure, the Navy is great for Central Asia. Naval air couldn't even get to targets in Iraq or Afghanistan without Air Force tankers fueling them up at least once going in and coming out.


Lt.Col. James May 2, 2013 at 11:35 am

What is it's range after burning fuel for short take off? Is it worth putting on a carrier?


tomG May 6, 2013 at 3:47 pm

didnt harrier jets already do this? 50 years ago?


@nubwaxer May 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm

i saw the test on pbs 10 or so years ago.


Srikanth March 25, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Appropos, why does it take six days to start the intermediate gutanlet test? If it is out on the flightline by Wednesday, isn’t there something that can start to happen in preparation? I think the plane’s tanks should or have to e cleaned out and refueled. Is there alot of connecting wires or test equiptment that has to be prepared?? Could you give us some color about the next stages…


Kidd June 11, 2013 at 7:30 pm

um the Harrier just takes off straight up, lands the same way and has been around since the 70's. This one has to move to take off?


chris lecce June 12, 2013 at 11:41 pm

naysayers get a grip. since when is new technology and innovation easy and cheap?
where did the technology for the computer you are whining on come from?
the space program other people whined about.


@markovina_tony June 13, 2013 at 8:13 pm


I cant believe how stupid our gov't thinks we are. They have a different propulsion system these days, one that doesn't involve fuel. This is a retarded aircraft

The real systems will be presented in the future.


target coupon code deals January 13, 2014 at 12:21 am
blight_ April 6, 2013 at 9:16 am

They need it for QE2, or go bleed money to get catapult take-off-and-landing onto the QE's.

Then again, that might be cheaper than a de novo aircraft program.


matheusdiasuk April 6, 2013 at 10:40 am

The problem with a Harrier III program is time. Britain's already a decade without a carrier strike force. Develop a new aircraft program would take what, another one?

They should get cat and traps. They would have more jet options available at short time. In the future, when Harrier III be a reality, they can build STVOL carriers.

And here I am, complaining about the F35 program. Black Owl scores.


BlackOwl18E April 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm



BlackOwl18E April 8, 2013 at 10:55 am

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not…


Dfens April 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm

It's a pretty damn f'ed up world either way, isn't it?


crackedlenses April 8, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Can't disagree there….


BlackOwl18E April 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm

True statement…


Mark Kircher April 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

the Harrier (AV8B or C or whatever) has been unstable doing it


Geoff April 18, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Not an expert, just a taxpayer. My money has bought an A/C that is a decade overdue, doesn't meet its performance targets, is desperately over-budget, is riddled with "issues" rendering it combat incapable, and is basically an over-priced piece of dung.

Here's a thought…instead of trying to build a "one-size fits all" A/C capable of performing multiple mutually exclusive missions, why didn't they design/build 3-4 different purpose designed airframes that used as many of the same components as possible? Answer…to save money. We see how that worked out…now we have an over-priced, under-performing A/C that is incapable of performing any of its missions well. Except burn money. It excels at that.

"I am fairly certain that the geniuses that are behind this are a little more capable in the area of aircraft development and design"

Going by actual, real world results, said "geniuses" appear to be a bunch of snot-sucking, booger-eating, mouth-breathing morons running blindly about with a blank checkbook. Mine.


Scott April 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Chad, first off we have absolutely NO need for a supersonic, stealthy, SVTOL, Pentagon pumped and chumped DOG! This aircraft is a harbinger for failure as it just keeps getting worse. Oh, I've been in aviation for 30+ years now and this flying taxpayer abortion needs to be relegated to the scrap heap before it costs us any more money or pilots lives. You cannot EVER demonstrate the failure of an aircraft so publicly and then expect your pilots to fly it with confidence. We would have been much better served continuing the F-22 program and using the windfall to revamp and inject new life into the F-16 and F-15 programs which have been neglected for so long! There is still nothing out there that will sustain a 9G turn longer, tighter or faster than a pissed off F-16!


someone April 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm

This aircraft is wirthy of much critism. Firstly, compare it's current functionality/performance with the original specs provided in the proposal that was sent to Lockheed and Boeing. You will see that it does not live up the the initial requirements. That's why, just recently, the Pentagon lowered the specs so that the F-35 would be in compliance. Secondly, the F-35 was to replace several other aircraft in our arsenol. Aircraft like the F-16, A-10 and F/A-18 with the addition of stealth and VSTOL. To belittle its capabilities on a whole is not effective. However, comparing it's capabilities against the aircraft it's replacing will show you why many do not like the way this project is turning out. For instance, in a dog fight, the F-16 would destroy the F-35. F-16s like the ones we just gave Egypt. Are you seeing the picture now? Get a clue before you try and defend this POS that POS builder Lockheed is giving us.


Juha May 3, 2013 at 10:20 am

Tell your story about a pissed off F-16 to someone like Alexandr Yurevich Garnaev, see how hard he is going to laugh. He's flown just about every piece of Russian hardware in use today and a few US aircraft. The F-15, F-16 and F-18 are thoroughly obsolete. Both Su-27 and Su-35 can turn tighter and faster than any variant of F-16. You are suggesting that we "inject new life" into an airframe that was designed 40 years ago. Short of scrapping the current design and starting from scratch, this is not going to happen, especially given the fact that the competing airframes are 5-10 years younger (Su-27,27M/35, J-11, etc.). I am not even talking about brand spanking new chinese designs like J-10. The only advantage US fighters have today is superior radar technology and EW capability of the US and allied forces in general. The 1982 turkey shoot over Bekaa valley proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's impossible to fight an air war if you are blind, deaf and mute. With the exception of F-22, our fighters aren't really any better than those of our potential adversaries. When it comes to classic dogfight ours are simply inferior. Consequently, the US strategy is to avoid engaging in dogfight. The idea is to render opposing AC blind, deaf and mute and shoot them out of the sky using BVR missiles. It worked for Israelis in 1982, and US in 1991.


Juha May 3, 2013 at 10:28 am

They were not designed for dogfight, it is not the point. Guess how many dogfights happened during the 1982 turkey shoot over Bekaa valley, when Israel wiped the Syrian air force out of the sky with no losses? You can't fight an air war if you are blind, deaf and mute, and in this case it does not matter how good you and your aircraft are in a dogfight. You'll get shot out of the sky before you ever get to engage enemy in a dogfight. You need to take out the opposing side's air defenses and comms. You need low observable AC and superior EW capability for that. You don't need AC with outstanding dogfight ability. That's not the point.


Rodger June 4, 2013 at 12:53 am

And still doing it. What is your point?


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