Lockheed Martin has just released a new video of its production F-35B performing a vertical landing for the first time. Similar in size to the A variant, the B sacrifices about a third of the other version’s fuel volume to make room for the vertical flight system. Continue reading for two videos and more information.
Unlike the other variants, because it can land vertically the F-35B has no landing hook. The “STOVL/HOOK” button in the cockpit initiates conversion instead of dropping the hook. The F-35B sends jet thrust directly downwards during vertical takeoffs and landing and the nozzle is being redesigned to spread the output out in an oval rather than a small circle so as to limit damage to asphalt and ship decks. The variant’s three-bearing swivel nozzle that directs the full thrust of the afterburning jet engine is moved by a “fueldraulic” actuator, using pressurized jet fuel.