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F-35B Conducts First Night Time Vertical Landing

An F-35B Lightning II completed the first short takeoff and vertical landing during a test mission at night to expand the flight envelope and deliver capability to the warfighter.

Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C.R. Clift conducted the flight April 2 to gather data on the helmet and lighting conditions for night time operations. The test was one of a series of events being conducted to prepare for the second of three scheduled at-sea test periods during the development program. The first F-35 ship trials occurred in 2011, when two F-35Bs performed 72 vertical landings and takeoffs aboard the USS WASP, a large-deck amphibious ship.

“The completion of this test event demonstrates the F-35B is one step closer to delivering a critical capability to the U.S. Marine Corps and F-35B partners in the United Kingdom and Italy” said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer. “There is plenty of work to be done and progress to be made, but we’re on a solid path forward.”

Video of the landing:

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