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F-35B—moving beyond the Harrier

18 January 2017

The F-35B Lightning II—the USMC version—with a vertically mounted fan aft of the cockpit which engages for vertical flight—to do what the Marine Corps does best which is to get in close anywhere and anytime.

Three F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, fly in formation during fixed-wing aerial refueling training over eastern California, Aug. 27. VMFA-121 is the first F-35B squadron in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Michael Thorn)

Three USMC F-35B Lightning II in formation over eastern California—USMC photo by Lance Cpl. Michael Thorn

BF-05 Flight 82. Short Takeoff (STO) on USS Wasp for DT-II. Squadron Leader Jim Schofield was the pilot on 15 August 2013.

Short Takeoff (STO) on USS Wasp for this F-35B Lightning II by Squadron Leader Jim Schofield—DoD photo

161028-N-SS390-001 PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 28, 2016) An F-35B Lightning II short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft from Air Test & Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland launches from the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) on Oct. 28. A highly diverse cadre of Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) technicians, maintainers, engineers, logisticians, support staff and test pilots are embarked aboard USS America for the third and final developmental test phase (DT-III) of F-35B carrier suitability and integration. Also aboard USS America with the Salty Dogs of VX-23 are Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 1 from Edwards AFB, California and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 from MCAS Yuma, Arizona. (U.S. Navy Photo by Darin Russell/Released)

An F-35B Lightning II launches from the USS America (LHA 6)—U.S. Navy photo by Darin Russell

161028-N-SS390-004 PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 28, 2016) An F-35B Lightning II short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft from Air Test & Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland taxis along the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) on Oct. 28. A highly diverse cadre of Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) technicians, maintainers, engineers, logisticians, support staff and test pilots are embarked aboard USS America for the third and final developmental test phase (DT-III) of F-35B carrier suitability and integration. Also aboard USS America with the Salty Dogs of VX-23 are Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 1 from Edwards AFB, California and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 from MCAS Yuma, Arizona. (U.S. Navy Photo by Darin Russell/Released)

An F-35B Lightning II’s vertical fan—U.S. Navy Photo by Darin Russell

160922-M-FS068-0383 YUMA, Ariz. (Sept. 22, 2016) U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121), 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, conduct the first hot load on a F-35B Lightning II in support of Weapons and Tactics Instructors (WTI) 1-17 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. This exercise is part of WTI 1-17, a seven week training event, hosted by Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) cadre, which emphasizes operational integration of the six functions of Marine Corps aviation in support of a Marine Air Ground Task Force. MAWTS-1 provides standardized advanced tactical training and certification of unit instructor qualifications to support Marine Aviation Training and Readiness and assists in developing and employing aviation weapons and tactics. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. AaronJames Vinculado/Released)

The first hot load on a F-35B Lightning II—U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Aaron James Vinculado

130801-O-GR159-001 PATUXENT RVIER Md. (Aug. 1, 2013) Capt. Michael Kingen, a test pilot, flies a BF-1, an F-35B Lightning II, during a 500-pound GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided weapon separation test. BF-1 dropped the GBU-12 over the Atlantic Test Ranges from an internal weapons bay. The F-35B is the variant of the Lightning II designed for use by the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md., prior to delivery to the fleet. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin by Dane Wiedmann/Released)

Test pilot Capt. Michael Kingen, a test pilot, flying an F-35B Lightning II, during a 500-pound GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided weapon separation test—U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin by Dane Wiedmann

F-35 Lightning II — U.S. Navy photo

F-35B Lightning II with fan cover deployed, note the unusual canopy hinge point— U.S. Navy photo

120919-O-GR159-007 PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (Sept. 19, 2012) Navy test pilot Lt. Christopher Tabert flies F-35B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft BF-3 with inert AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles over the Atlantic Test Range. The test flight evaluated airplane's structural loads and flying qualities during maneuvering flight. The F-35B is the variant of the JSF designed for use by U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., prior to delivery to the fleet. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin by Michael Jackson/Released)

Navy test pilot Lt. Christopher Tabert flying this F-35B Lightning II—U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin by Michael Jackson

F-35 Lightning II — Dane Wiedmann photo provided by the U.S. Navy

F-35 Lightning II—Dane Wiedmann photo provided by the U.S. Navy

An F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, performs a conventional take-off at the Strategic Expeditionary Landing Field during Exercise Steel Knight 2016 aboard the Combat Center, Dec. 11, 2015. This year’s iteration of Exercise Steel Knight works to advance 1st Marine Division’s warfighting capabilities, to include interoperability between the ground and air forces and integration of the F-35B. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Levi Schultz/Released)

An F-35B Lightning II performing a conventional take-off—U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Levi Schultz

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An F-35B Lightning II coming aboard—DoD image

161030-N-VR008-169 PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 30, 2016) Two F-35B Lightning II aircraft land on the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6). The F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant is the world’s first supersonic STOVL stealth aircraft. America, with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 (VMX-1), Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VMFA-211) and Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) embarked, are underway conducting operational testing and the third phase of developmental testing for the F-35B Lightning II aircraft, respectively. The tests will evaluate the full spectrum of joint strike fighter measures of suitability and effectiveness in an at-sea environment. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyle Goldberg/Released)

Two F-35B Lightning II aircraft landing on the flight deck aboard the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6)—U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyle Goldberg

161028-N-AC237-144 PACIFIC OCEAN (Oct. 28, 2016) An F-35B Lightning II aircraft lands for the first time on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6). The F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant is the world’s first supersonic STOVL stealth aircraft. America, with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 (VMX-1) and Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) embarked, is underway conducting the first phase of developmental testing for the F-35B Lightning II aircraft, which will evaluate the full spectrum of joint strike fighter measures of suitability and effectiveness in an at-sea environment. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin Wooddy/Released)

An F-35B Lightning II aircraft lands for the first time on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6)—U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin Wooddy

160308-M-BL734-841 BEAUFORT, S.C. (March 8, 2016) An F-35B Lightning II performs a vertical landing aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. The F-35B is the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the jet which uses a jet propulsion system to execute the landing. The aircraft is with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Jonah Lovy/Released)

An F-35B Lightning II performing a vertical landing aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort—U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Jonah Lovy

130814-O-ZZ999-005 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2013) An F-35B Lightning II aircraft lands aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) during the second at-sea F-35 developmental test event. The F-35B is the Marine Corps variant of the joint strike fighter and is undergoing testing aboard Wasp. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin by Andy Wolfe/Released)

An F-35B Lightning II aircraft landing aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) —U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin by Andy Wolfe

130814-O-ZZ999-074 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2013) An F-35B Lightning II aircraft takes off from the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) during the second at-sea F-35 developmental test event. The F-35B is the Marine Corps variant of the joint strike fighter and is undergoing testing aboard Wasp. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin by Andy Wolfe/Released)

As an F-35B Lightning II aircraft takes off from the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) another awaits—U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin by Andy Wolfe

130827-M-LU710-135 An F-35 Lightning II short take-off/vertical landing aircraft hovers prior to landing on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1) on Aug. 27, 2013. The Wasp is underway in support of F-35B Lightning II Developmental Testing Phase II which validates operational capabilities of the aircraft for amphibious platforms. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans/Released)

Hovering prior to landing this F-35 Lightning II awaits landing aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1)—U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans

140610-N-ZZ999-001 FORT WORTH, Texas (July 30, 2014) The Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter completes a required wet runway and crosswind testing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., an important program milestone enabling U.S. Marines Corps initial operational capability certification. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter completing a wet runway and crosswind test—U.S. Navy photo

161103-N-VR008-0166 PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 3, 2016) Sailors direct F-35B Lightning II aircraft on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during flight operations. The F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant is the world’s first supersonic STOVL stealth aircraft. America, with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 (VMX-1), Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VMFA-211) and Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) embarked, are underway conducting operational testing and the third phase of developmental testing for the F-35B Lightning II aircraft, respectively. The tests will evaluate the full spectrum of joint strike fighter measures of suitability and effectiveness in an at-sea environment. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyle Goldberg/Released)

Sailors direct the F-35B Lightning II aircraft on the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during flight operations—U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyle Goldberg

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Photo by Angel DelCueto Job Reference Number: FP161052 Rein WMJ Reference Number: 16-03497 Customer: Mike Rein, Communications Event: F-35A Demo for Friend of RIAT Location: RAF Fairford Date: 07-05-2016 Time: 1000

Air superiority, intercept or aiding grunts this F-35B is on its way—Lockheed Martin Aeronautics photo by Angel DelCueto

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. John Lilley permalink
    18 January 2017 01:56

    Great pics there mate!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      19 January 2017 11:44

      That has me chuffed 🙂 Thanks to the U.S. Navy for making these images available 🙂

  2. 18 January 2017 09:28

    Fine photo-coverage, Joe

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      19 January 2017 11:45

      Hours of combing through the U.S. Navy images. Not really a chore 😉 Thanks Ross, Joe.

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