First Vertical Takeoff

Photo by Andy Wolfe

BAE Systems test pilot Peter Wilson carried out the first F-35B vertical takeoff, or VTO, at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division test facility at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, on 10 May 2013. The milestone came on the 286th test flight in F-35B BF-1. VTOs are one of the many capabilities required for the fielding an F-35B aircraft. While not a capability needed in combat, VTOs are required for repositioning of and F-35B in environments where the pilot 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.

Related News