This week an F-35B Lightning II completed the aircraft’s first short takeoff and vertical landing at night during a test mission.
Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C.R. Clift conducted the flight April 2 to gather data on the helmet and lighting conditions for night operations.
The test was one of a series of events being conducted to prepare for the second of three scheduled at-sea test periods during the development program.
“The F-35B will enable the Marine Corps to preserve its expeditionary nature and bring the next generation of war fighting capabilities to the Joint Force,” said Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle, Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation.
The F-35B is the variant of the Lightning II designed for use by the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields.