Lockheed Martin released the video of the first ever Vertical Take Off conducted by an F-35B Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) Lightning II test aircraft. The test was completed May 10 at Naval Air Station Patuxen River, Md.
The historic, albeit brief, flight occurred just a month after the Joint Strike Fighter program completed the first ever F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing during a night-time test mission. the F-35B is the Marine Corps version of the Joint Strike Fighter.
The vertical take off is not a combat capability, however, it is a requirement for the fielding of the F-35B fleet. The vertical take off capability will used rarely, likely only to move the aircraft’s position on a flight deck. The majority of the time, the F-35B will complete a short take off.
The Joint Strike Fighter program first executed a vertical take off with the X-35B in 2001. While the vertical take off will be rare, the pilots will not perform arrested landings. The F-35B will complete vertical landings, which Lockheed has completed about 400 so far this year.