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The F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter has completed its first vertical landing. The Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) demonstration saw Lead Pilot Graham Tomlinson perform an 80-knot (93 miles per hour) short takeoff, a one minute hover and a vertical descent onto a 95-foot square pad riding more than 41,000 pounds of thrust provided by the Rolls-Royce LiftFan system. Read More
Russia has reportedly successfully test-flown its first fifth generation fighter jet prototype. Formally known as the Prospective Aircraft Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK-FA), the craft made its 47 minute maiden voyage on 29th January. Manufactured by the Russian state owned Sukhoi Aircraft Corporation, the development of this tactical frontline stealth fighter jet is being seen as a significant milestone in the efforts of the country to modernize its post Soviet–era military technology. Read More
The first aircraft in history to combine stealth with short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) capability and supersonic speed has been delivered to the Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., where it will conduct its first hovers and vertical landings. The Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II STOVL stealth fighter will replace U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B STOVL fighters, F/A-18 strike fighters and EA-6B electronic attack aircraft, and will also be used by the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy and the Italian Air Force and Navy. Read More
The US Navy is a step closer to taking possession of its first-ever stealth fighter, the F-35C Lightning II. The 5th generation supersonic fighter plane was displayed at the company’s Fort Worth plant in front of top navy personnel this week and will undergo a wide-ranging series of ground tests before its first flight, scheduled for late 2009. Read More
Lockheed Martin has promised that its fifth gen F-35 fighter will allow pilots to “do things that were previously considered impossible, and to think things that were previously unthinkable.” Almost two years after its maiden flight, the F-35 Lightning II has reached another development milestone – supersonic flight. Test pilot Jon Beesley accelerated the F-35 AA-1 to Mach 1.05, with a full internal load of dummy weapons. Read More
December 17, 2006 The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II lifted into the skies for the first time on Friday, completing a successful inaugural flight and initiating the most comprehensive flight test program in military aviation history. The stealthy, multi-service F-35 is the most powerful single-engine fighter in history, and is designed to replace the F-16, F/A-18 Hornet, the Harrier and the A-10. The Lightning’s Pratt & Whitney F135 engine is the most powerful engine ever used in a jet fighter, producing 40,000 pounds of thrust. Read More
August 21, 2006 Lockheed Martin telegraphed its intention to become a significant supplier of unmanned systems technology during a press briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. this week. In showcasing its latest developments in unmanned systems technology and its progress into the future net-enabled environment, it discussed a broad range of unmanned and autonomous technologies, from the recently introduced Polecat and other unmanned aerial systems, to surface vessels such as the Protector (covered earlier this week here) and subsurface prowlers, such as the Sea Talon. During the conference Lockheed VP Frank Murno acknowledged that the company was considering a hybrid version of its F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter – where it could be operated with or without a human pilot as required. Read More
February 24, 2005 The future of military aviation, the potent Joint Strike Fighter, will be featured at to the Australian International Airshow in March where a full scale and technically detailed replica of this massive and imposing warplane will be on static display for close inspection by military decision makers, aeronautical engineers and the general public to inspect the aircraft. It will be equipped with the latest computerised control and combat systems. Read More