F-35B STOVL Sea Trials
October, 2011 USS Wasp
August, 2013 USS Wasp


Thanks to Joe Dennison for sending this in.

This first three videos (for the public) were made in October, 2011 in the Atlantic, just off Newport News (Hampton Roads), Virginia . They are the sea trials of the F-35B on the USS Wasp. They were very successful, with 74 STO's (short take-offs) and VL's (vertical landings) in a three week period.

The media and the program critics had predicted that we would wash sailors overboard and burn holes in the deck (at 1:14 note how the main nozzle rotates before clearing the deck), neither of which happened. You will notice a sailor standing on the bow of the ship as the jet rotates. That was an intentional part of the sea trials.

No catapult...... No hook ............ It does seem strange to see a jet take off with the fan door wide open.   There is concern for returning to the ship with armament still attached, possibly requiring 'pickling' or dropping the undeployed munitions, because the recovery weight of around 5,000 pounds,  is an obvious critical factor in vertical landing.  Below the videos is a photo of the F35B in STOVL mode with specs.

UPDATE August, 2013:
There are now four videos: Sea Trials, then background information.  The third video shows the Strike Eye helmet used on the aircraft.  It's virtual heads up data link display ties together navigation, communication, target acquisition and weaponry.  It even permits the pilot to virtually "look through the floor" to see below the plane for landing or tactical reasons.  The fourth video is from 14 August, 2013 sea trials and shows the amazing, hovering F-35B making its first, vertical, at-sea night landing on the USS WASP.  There's also a quick takeoff shown.

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