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.

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