Last Wednesday, Aug. 14, U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Russell Clift performed the first F-35B night-time vertical landing aboard the USS WASP.
During the Ship Suitability Sea Trials, also known as Developmental Test Phase Two (DT-II), the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant will demonstrate critical capabilities of the aircraft that will be employed by the U.S. Marine Corps and international partners the United Kingdom and Italy.
As of August 18, the two F-35Bs participating in DT-II, known as BF-1and BF-5, had completed a total of 40 short takeoffs and 41 vertical landings.
At the conclusion of DT-II, it is expected the Navy and Marine Corps will have sufficient data to support certification for future F-35B Lighting II shipboard operations in anticipation of initial operating capability in 2015.
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