After cost overruns, a series of delays, and almost a decade of hype, the F-35 Lighting finally performed a vertical landing for the first time. 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.
This test moves the F-35 program significantly closer to deployment. In fact, the Marine Corps hopes to start training its first round of F-35 pilots this fall. However, with February's announcement that the entire program has been delayed a year, and cost overruns threatening automatic program restructuring under the Nunn-McCurdy Amendment, I wouldn't bet on the Marines keeping to that schedule, even in light of this recent successful test.
Short take-off, vertical landing, hypersonic.
I want one. This would be the pinnacle of flying car technology. Please, include extra missiles and bombs for mine. My route to work is loaded with hazards. Never know when you'll need to splash some taxi out of the sky.
You can totally see the cable attached to the crane at 1:04
This is just a fun little toy...with missiles...and bombs...and stealth... and can deploy anywhere...Ok, you guys are right. This thing is amazing. Hey rpenri, do you think that they'll be in stock at the nearest military surplus outlet? :)
The F-35 is just another example of the Pentagon losing its grasp on reality. First of all, it is a "stealth" fighter only in its cleanest configuration, which is to say having next to no weapons onboard (only two missiles in the internal bays). Put on a typical mission load under the wings and this thing's as visible as today's F/A-18.
Second, for the money it is a relatively poor performer, no better than 4th-gen fighters like the Typhoon, Rafale and Su-30. There's nothing the F-35 can do that cheaper, proven fighters like the F/A-18 and F-16 cannot do. The billions wasted on the JSF could have been better spent on upgrading these planes. Stealth isn't everything, especially in the case of the F-35.
Third, there is a good reason the US Navy likes two-engined airplanes and that reason is called "the ocean". How many naval aviators will we lose because there's just one engine? (And they called the Harrier the widowmaker...) The Navy was forced at gunpoint to sign on to the program, because there's no money for developing an alternative.
Haven't we learned anything from that epic failure known as Robert McNamara? He tried to foist a 'joint' fighter program on the services and guess what happened? It failed. Perhaps that was a good thing as its failure ultimately begat the F-15 and F-14.
Fourth, this was supposed to be an "affordable" program. At the rate the F-35's unit price is increasing it will cost nearly as much as the F-22 by the time it finally reaches full production. Couple that with the inevitability that the USAF and US Navy will be compelled to reduce their orders BECAUSE of the higher price tag... and the plane only gets more expensive.
Denmark got it right. They saw the price balloon and they bailed from the program.
So what you're saying James2,
Is that the tremendous strides in aviation technology, the ability to learn new lessons, the proof that America is #1 in combat technologies, and *any* advantages this gives us is all useless? Just because it costs a few pretty pennies?
And besides, where do these so called "facts" that you are posting come from? Online bloggers and so-called "specialists"? Maybe a biased government official who is more concerned with taking the F-35 development money and using it to renovate his mansion? Or how about Eastern European/Russian know-it-alls who are convinced their T-50 or whatever its called is so much more worth it.
I'm sorry you are against this program, and yes you are entitled to your opinion. But don't act like there are no benefits to this program what so ever and keep an eye open for both sides of the subject.
This is GREAT.
"@scubasdsteve", there are no fucking benefits to this program, my tax dollars can go to proving troops better ground equipment, this is bullshit spending!
Being able to fly a surgical stealth strike with a squadron of JSFs is a huge advantage. Being able to fly a noisy external load inbound but exit in stealth is also advantageous. Networking real time airborne situational awareness between manned and unmanned assets and command and control, independent of service, is epic. Giving JSF ability to three branches of the US military and allies is yet another advantage. Having common systems and interoperability is awesome. The money spent on JSF is not all in the flying machine but in the vast networking of systems that will forever change the future of combat.
10USMC75, dont get steamed. And don't act like you're the only one paying taxes. Judging by your name you maybe in the armed forces and feel strongly about this. Or maybe you just like the armed forces. Still, no reason to swear to another fellow American making a statement about his opinion (after all, isn't that one of the constitutional rights our troops are fighting for?). Like I said before, keep your mind open to both sides of the story.
Jarhead, you obviously don't understand the mission of the Marine Corps. This jet is designed for close air support from unimproved facilities, it will allow for a quicker response to support the boots on the ground. And don't tell me they don't need air support, because they do.... wether it's because they miscalculated the enemey strength or a CO sent them into a "hot area" and they want to soften it up or take out HE, air support is a necessary part of how the Marine Corps does business. It appears by your screen name that you may have served 10 years in the Marine Corps, perhaps a little more time may have provided an opportunity to understand how WE do business.
Leave it to a jarhead to open his mouth and say the dumbest thing...LOL. You know that without air support, Marines on the ground relinquish a great advantage that the US has over the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Do you want to fight on fair ground, or have an unfair advantage when fighting these guys?
If the world were perfect, we wouldn't even need to fight this war. But the reality is, you make the best of what you've got. Do we really need a stealth fighter over in Iraq and Afghanistan? No. But the future is murky, so you plan and prepare against any and all threats.
Against an enemy like Iran, which has a formidable air defense system, a weapon like the F-35 could hasten the war and make life a lot easier for marines, soldiers and other ground forces. Yeah, it'd be great if they got better ground equipment for battle, but it's even better when they don't need it. An attack aircraft's offensive abilities are exponential compared to an infantry unit. The price/performance ratio is definitely in favor of the F-35. But because we still need troops, tanks, IFV, etc to take and hold ground, they need to work hand-in-hand.
A perfect world? How about one where humans don't exist to screw everything up through corruption, wars, and hatred. Now that's a perfect world.
Question to anybody with knowledge about the logistics of warfare: wouldn't it make more sense to just use helicopters as a means of close air support? theyre cheaper, can be launched from a forward base, offer constant precision fire and it sounds like the enemy doesn't have anything beyond RPG-7s to shoot them down with. what am I missing?
@youthatheart. we created the notion 'perfect' so no.. not one where humans didn't exist.
Also, without corruption, wars, or hatred, you would never experience righteousness, peace, or love.
I don't think LM should have won this contract as the Boeing fighter was a simpler and cheaper design.
Boeing officially only lost because they removed an inlet piece to go super sonic but I think the Pentagon just choose the LM fighter because it looked better.
Also they seem to have forgot a plane that is a jack of all trades often is a master of none this has been proven time and time again through out history so the JSF is a flawed concept.
Wow, that is truly amazing.
Shooting star @ 0:35
alias007, looks a bit too fast for shooting star.. I thought these things were a bit slower.
1 thing: interchangable parts across all services for repairs.
hey mom ? can i get one?
They even tuned its engine to sound exactly like Thunderbird 2 in the hover!
You can't even see the strings!
It's nice to see the yanks catching up with U.K. Harrier technology after only 40 years
@Ruri. Boeing is working to make the engines for these I think, I'm not to sure on that but I know they are in a partnership with Boeing on the construction of this thing.
and the x-32 just looks like a fat cow in the sky.
I think this article should've said something more like "The first production F-35", because according to this special on NOVA from 2003, the Testbed F-35 did VTOL maneuvers in both directions, up and down.
They ARE being used as close air support, but they lack range, speed and ordnance capability.
But Taliban and insurgents aren't the only ones America has to fight. Future conflicts dictate preparing for all today. Against an enemy with good air defenses, helicopters are actually a liability because they are slow moving aircraft. An F-35 can penetrate further into enemy airspace and can actually "lob" a bomb (with computer aid) towards an enemy position (like an artillery gun emplacement) without getting into range of the SAM protecting it. Lobbing a bomb can significantly lower the risk as the bomb is released from a safe distance versus flying over the target and dropping a bomb.
Not saying helicopters can't be used, but they aren't quite as useful in some situations as others, just like jet aircraft have their limitations and drawbacks.
Plus, an F-35 made for the Marines has the capability to be based at a FOB just like a helicopter. It does not need a very long runway for takeoff. It can get to where it's needed faster than a helicopter and can be diverted from one area to another as needed faster, too. It's basically a better version of the Harrier plus it can take on fighters as well.
I wonder how long it can stay in hover mode? Depending on the conditions the Harrier can hover for somewhere around a max of 10 minutes before it runs out of coolant for the engine.
You say that their is a good and evil. Good and evil too are subjects of human thought. The idea that their is always duality. A heaven and a hell, good and evil, wrong and right, up and down, etc. But not everything has an opposite.
Fake and gay/
Also, death to all the godless niggers and beaners and atheists and muslims hoo mayd this fayk n gai vid.
Al non-whites should dye now