F-35B completes 500th vertical landing
The Lockheed Martin F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft completed its 500th vertical landing on August 3. BF-1, the aircraft which completed this achievement, also accomplished the variant’s first vertical landing in March 2010 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
Sea trials, known as Developmental Test 2 (DT-2) are scheduled to begin soon for the F-35B variant onboard the USS WASP. DT-2 is the second of three planned tests aimed at defining and expanding the F-35B’s shipboard operating envelope for the US Marine Corps. The first shipboard testing phase was successfully completed in October 2011. The successful completion of the upcoming sea trials is key to declaring F-35 initial operational capability (IOC) for the US Marine Corps in 2015.