A Lockheed Martin F-35B Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) Lightning II test aircraft recently completed the first-ever Vertical Takeoff (VTO) on May 10.

VTOs are one of the many capabilities required for the fielding an F-35B aircraft. While not a combat capability, VTOs are required for repositioning of the STOVL in environments where a jet could not perform a short takeoff. In these cases, the jet, with a limited amount of fuel, would execute a VTO to travel a short distance.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 118,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2012 were $47.2 billion.