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F-35 Performs Its First Vertical Landing


(YouTube Link)


The F-35, the next generation of vertical takeoff and landing jet fighter, developed by Lockheed-Martin, performed its first vertical landing yesterday:

Yesterday at 1 P.M., after descending from a 150-foot-high hover, the test plane touched down on the tarmac at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. This is a significant step forward for the F-35, as its vertical takeoff and landing capability are crucial to the fighter's role as a replacement for the aging Harrier jet.

The test began with a short runway takeoff at 93 miles per hour, after which the pilot swung around, positioned the plane over the runway, and lowered it down. The test pilot, a former Royal Air Force aviator with experience piloting VSTOL planes, said he found landing the F-35 vertically far easier than landing older planes, like the Harrier, the same way.


Link

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Well, money wise, a Vtol's flexibility could reduce the need for more aircraft and support for those aircraft. They can operate closer to the front lines without an airbase and 10,000 foot runway, which has to be built, guarded and cleaned.

If we have to apply force, it should be quick and overwhelming.
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Ah come on people! Yes the harrier can do it too, so what?? people were able to run 200,000 years ago, and we're still watching the olympic games.

What's more, this aircraft can do a hell of a lot more than a harrier (like supersonic flight, for one), it's not just "a plane that hovers".

By the way if you don't like planes that hover, there are two other versions that don't, so be happy!

@otterly:
Stop bitching, this is the product of the JSF program, which means it is funded by the USA, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, Australia, Denmark and Canada.
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