An F-35B in flight
A comparison chart of the F-35 variants (Image: Department of Defense)
The F-35B making its first vertical takeoff
Lockheed Martin has revealed that an F-35B fighter jet made its first vertical takeoff on May 10 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. This follows on the heels of its first vertical night landing on April 2 at the same location. The vertical takeoff capability is designed for moving the strike fighter over short distances in an emergency when a runway isn't available, but it is not seen as a combat feature due to its heavy use of fuel.
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