Here’s the first footage of an F-35B Lightning II performing at vertical takeoff at the Naval Air Station in Patuxent River. This function allows the jet to hop short distances and also enables the crew to carry heavier loads than otherwise possible. Continue reading for the video and more information.

The F-35B is the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the aircraft. Similar in size to the A variant, the B sacrifices about a third of the other version’s fuel volume to accomidate the vertical flight system. Vertical takeoffs and landings are riskier due to threats such as foreign object damage. Whereas the F-35A is stressed to 9 g, the F-35B is stressed to 7 g.

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