Jun 7, 2014
F-35B Will Fly, Hover, Not Land Vertically At RIAT, Farnborough
The issue is that the F-35B will not perform a vertical landing this July, because this might would damage the plane or the runway.
The blast from an F-35B as it lands vertically is pretty fearsome, but the Marines, Navy and program office all say the effects are manageable.
The RIAT runways are designed for Royal Air Force and American jet aircraft, including B-52s. Fairford is a standby air base, not one used regularly except for the annual air show. A source familiar with the plane’s testing tell me the aircraft could easily and safely perform several vertical landings on an up-to-date military grade runway.
US Marines want to showcase how they will operate this plane during combat operations.
During a combat operation or for expeditionary use the plane would perform rolling or short takeoffs and landings on land to conserve fuel. The plane is undergoing testing for landings on concrete and grass and dirt. The tests for concrete are finished,but those for grass and dirt takeoffs and landings are not complete. Organizers made available a dirt and grass area at Farnborough. The F-35B has performed more than 450 vertical landings.
Vertical landings consume a great deal of fuel and claimed the Marines made their decision in part because they are “trying to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.”