Lockheed Martin F-35B Boasts UFO Technology, Fights For Team USA: Watch Fighter Perform Vertical Landing [VIDEO]
On August 14, the Lockheed Martin F-35B demonstrated its true abilities with a highly technical nighttime vertical landing on the USS Wasp amphibious assult craft. The nighttime vertical landing marks the second series of three planned developmental tests designed to officially declare the F-35B worth for military use for the U.S. Marines.
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The USS Wasp carried two F-35B aircrafts and departed from the Patexent River Naval Air Station on August 12. The F-35B is expected to conducted tests over 18 days at sea. "Test pilots will expand the F-35Bs allowable wind envelope for launch and recovery, conduct first-ever night operations at sea, conduct initial mission systems evaluations at sea, evaluate the dynamic interface associated with aircraft operations on a moving flight deck, and further evaluate shipboard sustainment of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter," according to the US Marine Corps.
The Lockheed Martin F-35B is a special F-35 variant designed for short takeoff and vertical landing, or STOVL. On August 14, a total of eight STOVL tests were conducted by test pilot Lt. Col. C.R. "Jimi" Clift.
"It all went extremely well," said Clift. "Eight successful landings in one night, so we're tracking favorably along the learning curve." Lt. Col. C.R. "Jimi" Clift is a seasoned pilot of Great Britain's Hawker Siddeley Harrier jump jet, another special V/STOL aircraft.
The ability to perform short takeoff and vertical landing allows the Lockheed Martin F-35B to get airborne or return to base without the need of a formal air strip.
The single engine Lockheed Martin F-35B was designed to be the first operational supersonic, STOVL stealth fighter.
According to Lt. Gen. Mark D. "Shack" Shackelford, the acquisition deputy to the assistant secretary of the Air Force, the Lockheed Martin F-35 is designed to be a flagship surface-to-air missile killer complete with advanced sensors and information fusion thanks to cutting edge computing technology. The F-35 boasts features including synthetic aperture radar integration techniques and advanced target recognition.
Other technical advantages found in the new Lockheed Martin F-35B include next-generation stealth structural fiber mats that are more durable and easier to maintain than stealth coating. What's more, the Lockheed Martin F-35B features high speed data networking including IEEE 1394b and Fibre Channel. The quick network speeds aid the delivery of F-35B's off-board sensors. Integrated avionics and sensor fusion combine information from on-board and off-board sensors to aid a pilot's situational awareness during combat.
In terms of the structure, the Lockheed Martin F-35B is mostly composed of exotic materials including bismaleimide (BMI) and composite epoxy material. The F-35 is also the first fighter to feature structural nanocomposites, including carbon nanotube reinforced epoxy.
The F-35 is powered by a Pratt & Whitney F135, which is capable of propelling the F-35B to an incredible supercruise speed of Mach 1.2 and a top speed of Mach 1.6. Uniquely applied on the Lockheed Martin F-35B, a Rolls-Royce LifeSystem jet allows the F-35B to perform short takeoff and vertical landing maneuvers.
Technologies including integrated avionics, sensor fusion, composite epoxy, and carbon nanotubes sound like alien science fiction but is simply the result of excessive funding on research and development. According to Reuters, the Lockheed Martin F-385 is going to cost more than $1.5 trillion over its lifetime.
Watch the amazing Lockheed Martin F-35B nighttime vertical landing on the USS Wasp here:
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