You may see an F-35 hovering over west Fort Worth
November 20, 2014
By Sandra Baker
Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin
People who drive near Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and the Joint Reserve Base in west Fort Worth are used to seeing F-16s or F-35s take off into the sky. Now they may see one suspended in midair. That’s because Lockheed has received government approval to begin hover maneuvers as part of test flights for F-35B aircraft being built for the Marines with vertical landing capability.
Lockheed completed such a hover on Wednesday afternoon, with the F-35 coming to a complete stop on approach and hovering at about 150 feet for up to a minute before accelerating forward to a landing. The STOVL — short takeoff vertical landing — version of the F-35 was designed for the Marines so the plane can be based on amphibious assault ships or at auxiliary locations. The company has delivered 35 of the planes to the U.S. military, with plans for 340.
Lockheed test pilot Bill Gigliotti, who was at the controls for Wednesday’s flight, said the aircraft is switched to STOVL operation with the push of a button, and can then be maneuvered back or from side to side before landing. He said he did a short takeoff in less than 600 feet.
For more information: http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/11/19/6302738/you-may-see-an-f-35-hove...