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(Video) F-35 Ski Jump Test Launch

The F-35 Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 conducted the first-ever ski jump of an F-35B Lightning II short take-off/vertical-landing (STOVL) variant June 19. During flight 298, BAE test pilot Peter Wilson launched aircraft BF-04 from a land-based ski jump located aboard NAS Patuxent River. This test is the first of a series of U.K. ski jump events scheduled for 2015. ( More...

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andy streit 2
What is the purpose of this? Because it still isn't certified for VTOL?
siriusloon 4
This was previously used by British Harriers and Sea Harriers, as well as by some other countries with Sea Harriers. A vertical takeoff uses lots more fuel and drastically reduces the amount of fuel and weapons that can be carried. The decks aren't long enough for a completely conventional takeoff when fully loaded. The ski jump gives an extra "boost", allowing the aircraft to carry a greater payload into combat. It's a legitimate method of launching the aircraft and isn't a "Plan B". Anyway, the F-35B was cleared to do both vertical take-offs and vertical landings years ago.
Michel B. 1
It allows you to launch many more fighters in a short period of time than regulars Wcatapults used on carriers. which required more time to set, more men to operate and they are also more risky.
I want to say the French did that some decades ago - at a few gizillion million trillion less dollars...with a plane that they WANTED
siriusloon 1
Which French ship had a ski jump?
BaronG58 2
Wonder if I could get my Baron to do this. "Hey watch this !!" 8(
oowmmr 2
Lookin' good.
WhiteKnight77 1
The British carrier HMS Invincible (now decommisioned) is a really good example of the use of a ski ramp used for take-offs. This is why an English pilot was at the controls.
Bernie20910 1
I live (for now - moving soon) about 100 miles due west of Pax River and I've been seeing a lot of this aircraft recently.
Jerry Rader 1
I think I saw something like this in the design of Russian aircraft carriers where they used it instead of a catapult for their Sukhoi jet aircraft launch.
Tom Lull 1
I have the impression that any launch profile, other than by catapult, will require a ready tanker to top off the aircraft with enough fuel to do the mission.
Greg Zelna 1
Doesn't the F-22 get off the ground about that quickly, without a jump/ramp ? Not to mention then climbing away quite a bit quicker..... I see no stats on the F-35 Climb rate currently altho I do believe its performance has been re-spec'd downward (speed, turn, climb) as it was not meeting its original spec'd performance... F-22 is about 55k/ft/min
Jeffrey Bue 1
john bramble 1
12 years at vx23/ strike / salty dog. 18 years at NAS PAX
lynx318 1
All those billions to make it take off like Harrier, here's an idea update and bring back the Harrier. Damn sight cheaper & more reliable. Rename this F35 lemon the "Booby bird"!


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