And, the Vertical Landing

As promised, Lockheed Martin pulled off the first vertical landing of the F35B today. LockMart’s test pilot hovered for a minute at 150 feet and then “rode 41,000 pounds of thrust” provided by the Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan and dropped like a feather to the tarmac. The company said the F-35B featured in today’s video is one of three F-35B STOVL aircraft undergoing flight trials at Patuxent River. The press release claims that the F135 is the most powerful engine ever flown in a fighter aircraft. I have to say, the rotating engine duct is pretty cool.

  • Wes

    It looked like a Transformer at the end!

  • John

    Perfect, just in time for the program’s cancellation.

  • Cranky Observer

    Well, that’s a lot more stable than any AV-8B landing I have ever seen.


  • pfcem


    There is no ‘out of control’ cost increase. There are increased cost PROJECTIONS despite the reality that LRIP has been BELOW cost projections.

    Note that the Pentagon’s most recent projections of $80-95 million (FY2002 dollars or ~$96.36-114.43 million in FY2010 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator) is AVERAGE UNIT TOTAL PRODUCTION COST. Based on the ~85% flyaway to total production cost that
    translates to an average unit flyaway cost of ~$68-80.75 million (FY2002 dollars or ~$81.91-97.27 million in FY2010 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator).

    From the FY 2010 budget the F/A-18E/F average unit total production cost thru FY2010 is $81.5 million. That puts the Pentagon’s most recent projections for the F-35 (all three models I add - A would be lower while B & C would be higher) at ~18.2-40.4% higher than the F/A-18E/F. Does not sound that bad when you put the numbers into perspective now does it…

  • Brandon

    Maybe it is worth it even though its so far over budget as long as it doesn’t crash as often as the harrier.

  • Musson

    Who knew that a solid gold airplane could fly at all? Much less land vertically!

  • jessmo

    The negativity surrounding the aircraft has reached Lunacy.
    And the fat of the matter is Not one of you has proposed a valid solution to replace F-15s and F-16s that are falling from the sky!

    * Build more F-16s and basiclly give away air superiority ( look up the Russian T-50) and ww fighter sales for generations? Are you arrogant enough to think that if you dont built it no one will?

    * Get rid of the Marine varient and scrap all fixed wing Vstol support from amphib ships! The more I think about Now having to task an entire super carrier battle group for even the smallest conflict or embassy evac the dumber this idea sounds

    * scarp the F-35 and start 4 differnt fighter programs with 4 logistics chains for 4 + services LUNACY!

    Alot of you morons are behaving like mere lemmings, drooling like ravenous dogs over every bit of negative news the media feeds you!! LUNACY I SAY GROUP THINK LUNACY

  • Cortland

    One fighter for everyone failed once before. However, it may be worth remembering that the TFX turned into a pretty decent bomber. And that the Phantom was originally a carrier aircraft later taken into USAF service.

  • endlessammo

    Is this thing pretty efficient or what? Wouldn’t want a bingo fuel situation. Guess the precise landing could offset the potential for bolters and wave-offs, but it’s not intended for Super Carriers as much as the Amphibs? Speaking from pure ignorance…fyi.

  • Tango

    The AF only choked down Phantoms because the Navy took the budget bid; it was an ox of a jet.