Production F-35B performs first vertical takeoff, won't do it often (video)

Sponsored Links

Production F-35B performs first vertical takeoff, won't do it often (video)

F35B completes first vertical takeoff

For the first time ever, a production-grade Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II has performed a vertical takeoff (VTO) maneuver, followed by a short hover at low altitude and vertical landing. Though the US Marines had required such a function from the outset of the program (which has already been performed by prototype F-35Bs) it can only be used for very short jaunts. That's because the $300 million jet, like the Harrier before it, can't carry any armaments or much fuel in such a configuration -- meaning almost all of its takeoff and landings will be of the non-vertical, short variety instead. Meanwhile, the Air Force said it'll deploy the F-35A variant a year earlier than predicted in mid-2016, according to Reuters, giving the much beleaguered program a double-shot of good news. Head after the break to catch the rather dramatic video.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget