Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Eglin has first STOVL mission

F-35B in first STOVL mission.
Air Force photo
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron-501 completed its first short take-off and vertical landing mission in an F-35B at Eglin Air Force Base last week. Maj. Brendan M. Walsh flew the hour-long mission where the aircraft remained in the STOVL configuration the entire flight. The aircraft flew pattern procedures around the base before gliding in, stopping in mid-air about 100 feet off the Eglin runway, performing a stationary right turn and slowly lowered to the ground on Oct. 24. Walsh is the only pilot at Eglin qualified to fly in the STOVL configuration, but he said the flight paved the way to locally train F-35B instructors and new students in STOVL operations. Walsh qualified in vertical landing operations six months ago at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. Eglin is home of the F-35 training center. Pilots and maintainers train on all three variants of the F-35. (Source: Team Eglin Public Affairs, 10/28/13) Previous: Marine F-35 to start local flights; UK F-35 now at Eglin; UK student pilot flies F-35