The F-35B is the variant of the Joint Strike Fighter for the U.S. Marine Corps, capable of short take-offs and vertical landings for use on amphibious ships or expeditionary airfields to provide air power to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The F-35B will replace Marine AV-8B Harriers and F-18 Hornets and is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet.
In addition to being the first ship to successfully land the F-35B, USS Wasp was also the first ship to host the V-22 Osprey during shipboard trials in October 2007.
The F-35B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) test aircraft BF-2 landed safely on USS Wasp’s (LHD-1) flight deck, the first at sea vertical landing for the Marine Corps’ F-35 JSF version. Below is the video of the landing:
The first vertical landing is part of the initial ship trials for the F-35B which started Monday and is expected to last two-weeks. The tests are scheduled to collect data on the aircraft’s ability to perform short take-offs and vertical landings on a ship at sea, as well as determine how the aircraft integrates with the ship’s landing systems, and deck and hangar operations.
This test period, the first of three scheduled at-sea test periods over the course of the development program, will also collect environmental data on the deck through added instrumentation to measure the F-35B’s impact to flight deck operations.
Here is a nice shot of the F-35B coming in for the landing: