|Two F-35Bs fly in STOVAL formation|
Lockheed Martin photo
NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- Two F-35Bs flew in close formation while in short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) mode for the first time last week. The pilots flew the test jets in STOVL mode, also known as Mode 4, with the F-35B LiftFan engaged and engine rotated downward. The mission measured the effects the aircraft had on each other while in Mode 4 to ensure they can operate in formation safely in an operational environment. The U.S. Marine Corps plans to declare Initial Operating Capability with the F-35B next year. (Source: Lockheed Martin
, 02/19/14) Gulf Coast note
: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the F-35 training center.