Aircraft

F-35B completes first vertical landing at sea

F-35B completes first vertical...
An F-35B Lightning II makes the first vertical landing on a flight deck at sea (Photo: U.S. Navy/Seaman Natasha R. Chalk)
An F-35B Lightning II makes the first vertical landing on a flight deck at sea (Photo: U.S. Navy/Seaman Natasha R. Chalk)
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First vertical landing at sea for F-35B (Photo: Lockheed Martin)
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First vertical landing at sea for F-35B (Photo: Lockheed Martin)
Touch-down: F-35B completes first at sea landing (Photo: Lockheed Martin)
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Touch-down: F-35B completes first at sea landing (Photo: Lockheed Martin)
The F-35B above the USS Wasp (Photo: Lockheed Martin)
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The F-35B above the USS Wasp (Photo: Lockheed Martin)
The F-35B is the Marine Corps Joint Strike Force variant of the Joint Strike Fighter (Photo: Lockheed Martin)
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The F-35B is the Marine Corps Joint Strike Force variant of the Joint Strike Fighter (Photo: Lockheed Martin)
The U.S. Marine Corps STOVL F-35B will replace the AV-8B and F/A-18 (Photo: Lockheed Martin)
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The U.S. Marine Corps STOVL F-35B will replace the AV-8B and F/A-18 (Photo: Lockheed Martin)
An F-35B Lightning II makes the first vertical landing on a flight deck at sea (Photo: U.S. Navy/Seaman Natasha R. Chalk)
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An F-35B Lightning II makes the first vertical landing on a flight deck at sea (Photo: U.S. Navy/Seaman Natasha R. Chalk)
Instrumentation aboard the USS Wasp has been upgraded to collect environmental data (Photo: U.S. Navy/Seaman Natasha R. Chalk)
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Instrumentation aboard the USS Wasp has been upgraded to collect environmental data (Photo: U.S. Navy/Seaman Natasha R. Chalk)
An F-35B Lightning II makes the first vertical landing on a flight deck at sea (Photo: U.S. Navy/Seaman Natasha R. Chalk)
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An F-35B Lightning II makes the first vertical landing on a flight deck at sea (Photo: U.S. Navy/Seaman Natasha R. Chalk)
F-35 Variants (Image - www.jsf.mil)
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F-35 Variants (Image - www.jsf.mil)
The F-35B (Image - www.jsf.mil)
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The F-35B (Image - www.jsf.mil)

The F-35B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has successfully made its first at-sea vertical landing. With Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Fred Schenk at the controls, the short-take-off-vertical -landing (STOVL) variant of the F-35 touched-down on the deck of the USS Wasp on October 3 as part of an initial two week ship-trial period in which the aircraft's take-off and landing capabilities will be evaluated along with its ability to integrate with the ship's flight deck operations.

"The first at sea vertical landing is a huge milestone," said Marine Corps Col. Roger Cordell, military site director for F-35 test and evaluation at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. "We're still early in this test period, and we expect to learn a lot more, but this is a great step toward delivering the capability to the fleet."

One of three variants of the JSF family, the F-35B Lightning II completed its first on-shore vertical landing in March 2010. Two further test periods are planned in which further environmental data will be collected using recently upgraded instrumentation aboard the amphibious assault ship.

The F-35B above the USS Wasp (Photo: Lockheed Martin)
The F-35B above the USS Wasp (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The F-35B (Image - www.jsf.mil)
The F-35B (Image - www.jsf.mil)

While vertical landings made so famous by the Harrier Jump Jet (the F35B will replace Marine AV-8B Harriers and F-18 Hornets) are nothing new, it's still amazing to watch the awesome power and control these aircraft display - check out the video of the first F-35B landing at sea in the video below.

An overview of the F-35 JSF program can be found here.

Source: US Navy.

F 35B 1st Landing on USS WASP

18 comments
Todd Dunning
Man the F35 is great.
tcrew21
What an amazing leap in technology and tactical advantage for the US Joint forces.
Slowburn
I like the plane but I don\'t think it will do the close air support near as well as the A-10. I think we should build a new batch of A-10s. Despite the fact that Republic Aviation went out of business there has got to be a set of blueprints somewhere.
Facebook User
I used to watch the Harriers take off and land at Cherry Point when I was in the Corps. This thing looks much more stable than a Harrier.
warren52nz
You\'d think they might name the country who developed this. Are we to assume it\'s British since it\'s replacing the Harrier?
Jeff Dodson
dear Slowburn There is a follow-on for the A-10 here (see link below) is a picture of it. It takes one of the A-10\'s engines and the Vulcan Cannon. As far as I know only the prototype was ever built. Among it\'s many cool features is the ability to turn fast enough to use it\'s cannon to shoot down jet fighters that are harassing it. It had all composite construction, about half the size and 1/4 the weight. (http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/8526381/images/1268326822082.jpg) Peace Jeff
Mr Stiffy
I like the 2 billion dollar aircraft - sucking in one seagull and \"Urrrkkk BANG!\" down he goes. I think I will wait for all the crash vids on Youtube...
Slowburn
re; Jeff Dodson It\'s cute but it can not have an engine torn from the airframe, lose half the tail, and ten feet trimmed from a wing and still return to base. Nor does it carry near the ordnance load.
VoiceofReason
Jeff, that was something that was an afterthought. No other aircraft can do the job the A-10 does as well as the A-10 does it. It operates literally at treetop level. The cannon it carries is NOT a 20mm Vulcan, but the 30mm Avenger cannon. Something that was developed specifically for it\'s mission. The US Army threatened the Air Force that it would fly the A-10 for itself, if the Air Force didn\'t. The Air Force has little love for the A-10. While the F-35 is a great aircraft, I agree with Slowburn, it will not be able to do the Warthog\'s job. Build more A-10\'s. We sold the French a bunch of A-1 Skyraider\'s and regretted it when we really needed CAS (Close Air Support). The DOD tried to say that the F-16 would take the A-10\'s job during the Kosovo conflict. We saw how well that worked out. They got shot down.
Bilbal
re: Jeff Dodson The design you refer us to, I believe, is one of Burt Rutan\'s and the company named \"Scaled Composits\" Rather an outstanding design, but suffers the \"Not Invented Here\" syndrome - not originated by the Pentagon, Boeing, Grummond, Lockheed - big corporate interests - the Military/Industrial Complex. You know, an outsider without \"Lobbying Power\"! I know, \"So - what\'s new ?!\" signed: The Pinko Liberal