Operational F-35B fighter jet’s first vertical touchdown was years, billions within the making (video)
Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program has been a political whipping boy seemingly eternally, however a manufacturing VTOL ‘B’-variant of the expensive supersonic jet lastly did what it was made for: a vertical touchdown. That occurred almost three years to the day after the estimated $304 million (every!) jet’s first mid-air hover check, at which level the Pentagon pegged the fee at $eighty three million. Inflation apart, the US Marine’s variant appeared to make a positive, if strong three level touchdown and Lockheed Martin says it is made appreciable strides within the flight testing program during the last couple of years, regardless of all of the overruns and delays. Hopefully meaning the US Marines, Britain’s Royal Air Drive et. al. will have the ability to deploy that functionality on their F-35B’s quickly — ie, earlier than they’re already out of date. Examine the video after the break.
Replace: As commenter daveschroeder identified, that is the primary vertical touchdown of a manufacturing model of the F-35B. Check copies of the fighter (with check pilots aboard) have been performing the feat since late 2011, so we have tweaked the article to make that time clear.