Pilot Completes First F-35 Vertical Landing for Royal Air Force
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md., June 4, 2013 – Squadron Leader Jim Schofield became the first Royal Air Force pilot to complete a vertical landing of a Lockheed Martin [LMT] F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) Lightning II on May 28. Following the flight, Schofield commented on the F-35B’s handling capabilities.
“The F-35 has truly revolutionised STOVL flying,” said Schofield. “With legacy types, such as Harrier, the pilot was always working hard to land the aircraft onto a hover pad or ship. Now with F-35B, at the press of a button the aircraft transforms into ‘short take-off or vertical landing’ mode whereupon the aircraft can take off or hover hands-off. This means pilots will require less training and operating the aircraft will be much safer than legacy types. It’s a fantastic aircraft to fly.”
The U.S. Marine Corps plans to declare Initial Operational Capability with the STOVL in 2015.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 118,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services. The Corporation's net sales for 2012 were $47.2 billion.