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F-35 JSF

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.  Read More

Two F-35C carrier variant fighters refuel from a single KC-130

For the first time, a pair of F-35C Joint Strike Fighters have simultaneously refueled from a KC-130 tanker aircraft. The aircraft's afterburners burn an enormous amount of fuel, so an important part of most missions will be refueling before or after combat, or both. This is why the successful dual refueling is an important benchmark for the JSF family.  Read More

A 2,000 pound GBU-31 BLU-109 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is jettisoned from the F-...

After strapping on its missiles in February shortly after its first night flight, the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) version of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35A, completed its first in-flight weapons release on October 16 in a flight conducted over the China Lake test range in California.  Read More

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