VIDEO: Royal Navy Pilot Tests F-35B on Board USS Wasp
As the Britons gear up to welcome into the fleet the biggest warships ever made domestically, a Royal Navy pilot completed a week of Development Testing II (DT-II) of F-35B Lightning II jets aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp.
The UK is building two new aircraft carriers of Queen Elizabeth class and F35B will the principal weapon to fly from them, told LtCdr Robin Trewinnard-Boyle.
DT-II testing includes launch and recovery of the F-35B at sea by a U.K test pilot, and it was initiated last month.
The F-35 has three main models:
• F-35A is a conventional takeoff and landing variant
• F-35B is a short takeoff and vertical-landing variant
• F-35C is a carrier-based variant.
The F-35B is the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the aircraft.
Unlike other variants, the F-35B has no landing hook. The “STOVL/HOOK” control instead engages conversion between normal and vertical flight.
The Jet thrust is sent directly downwards during vertical flight and the nozzle is being redesigned to spread the output across an oval rather than circular shape in order to limit damage to asphalt and ship decks.
Naval Today Staff, September 18, 2013; Image: Royal Navy