The US Marine Corps have started conducting sea tests of the new Lockheed Martin F-35B at night. A video showing the taking off and landing of the aircraft has been making a lot of noise among people.
The video shows the Lockheed Martin taking off and landing on the deck of a US naval ship and night. The video has created a buzz over the Internet due to its short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) which gives it an appearance of a UFO.
The USS Wasp, which is the US Navy’s amphibious assault ship, left the Naval Air Station at Patuxent River, Md. on August 12 with two F-35Bs on board to perform tests at sea for 18 days.
The Marine test pilots will be conduct first ever night operation at the sea, expand the permitted wind envelope for launch and recovery of the F-35B, conduct their initial mission systems evaluations at sea, evaluate shipboard sustainment of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and even test the dynamic interface associated with Aircraft operations.
Lt. Col. C.R. ‘Jimi’ Clift, a Harrier pilot by training, achieved the first DT-II night vertical landing for the F-35 Marine Corps on August 14.
Even the USS Wasp had to be modified so that it could easily accommodate the F-35B aircraft. A new composite deck coating which offers additional protection from heat was introduced.
Some lights and sensors were also installed to support the landings of the F-35B, equipment to record any environmental changes and record data was also installed.
The new F-35B aircraft would be replacing the Cold War-era aircrafts like F/A-18 Hornet and AV-8B Harrier. It is expected that the Aircraft would be deployed by 2015.