Thursday, March 18, 2010
F135 Engine powers the F-35 to its first vertical landing
From Lockheed Martin: “Today’s vertical landing onto a 95-foot square pad showed that we have the thrust and the control to maneuver accurately both in free air and in the descent through ground effect,” said F-35 Lead STOVL Pilot Graham Tomlinson.
Tomlinson performed an 80-knot (93 miles per hour) short takeoff from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., at 1:09 p.m. EDT. About 13 minutes into the flight, he positioned the aircraft 150 feet above the airfield, where he commanded the F-35 to hover for approximately one minute then descend to the runway.
“The low workload in the cockpit contrasted sharply with legacy short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) platforms,” said Tomlinson.