NAVAIR

F-35 Lightning II

Photos of the F-35 Lightning II.  For additional photos, please visit www.jsf.mil

55 Images

NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, Patuxent River, Md. -- F-35 Integrated Test Facility pilot Dan Canin executes an intentional departure from controlled flight test in F-35C carrier variant aircraft CF-5 Nov. 19, 2013 in the Atlantic Test Ranges.  The F-35C carrier variant of the Lightning II is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear to withstand catapult launches and deck landing impacts associated with the demanding aircraft carrier environment. The F-35C is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, Patuxent River, Md. -- F-35 Integrated Test Facility pilot Dan Canin executes an intentional departure from controlled flight test in F-35C carrier variant aircraft CF-5 Nov. 19, 2013 in the Atlantic Test Ranges. The F-35C carrier variant of the Lightning II is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear to withstand catapult launches and deck landing impacts associated with the demanding aircraft carrier environment. The F-35C is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

F-35B test aircraft BF-5 comes in for the first night vertical landing on USS Wasp (LHD 1) Aug. 14 during the second set of sea trials. Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C. R. Clift flew the short takeoff and vertical landing variant. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
F-35B test aircraft BF-5 comes in for the first night vertical landing on USS Wasp (LHD 1) Aug. 14 during the second set of sea trials. Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C. R. Clift flew the short takeoff and vertical landing variant. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.

F-35B test aircraft BF-5 arrives on board USS Wasp (LHD 1) Aug. 12 for the second set of sea trials. Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C. R. Clift flew the initial flight.  Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
F-35B test aircraft BF-5 arrives on board USS Wasp (LHD 1) Aug. 12 for the second set of sea trials. Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C. R. Clift flew the initial flight. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.

F-35B test aircraft on board USS Wasp (LHD 1) Aug. 12 for the second set of sea trials.  Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
F-35B test aircraft on board USS Wasp (LHD 1) Aug. 12 for the second set of sea trials. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2013) An F-35B Lightning II aircraft lands aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) during the second at-sea F-35 developmental test event. The F-35B is the Marine Corps variant of the joint strike fighter and is undergoing testing aboard Wasp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael T. Forbes II/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2013) An F-35B Lightning II aircraft lands aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) during the second at-sea F-35 developmental test event. The F-35B is the Marine Corps variant of the joint strike fighter and is undergoing testing aboard Wasp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael T. Forbes II/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2013) An F-35B Lightning II aircraft lands aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) during the second at-sea F-35 developmental test event. The F-35B is the Marine Corps variant of the joint strike fighter and is undergoing testing aboard Wasp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael T. Forbes II/Released)
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2013) An F-35B Lightning II aircraft lands aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) during the second at-sea F-35 developmental test event. The F-35B is the Marine Corps variant of the joint strike fighter and is undergoing testing aboard Wasp. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael T. Forbes II/Released)

Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Christian Sewell in F-35B aicraft BF-2 in the Atlantic Test Ranges July 31, seen from an U.S. Air Force KC-135.  (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)
Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Christian Sewell in F-35B aicraft BF-2 in the Atlantic Test Ranges July 31, seen from an U.S. Air Force KC-135. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)

U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Capt. Michael Kingen completed the 500th vertical landing for the F-35B Lightning II Aug. 3, 2013 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.  Kingen was in BF-1, the first short takeoff and vertical landing test aircraft. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)
U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Capt. Michael Kingen completed the 500th vertical landing for the F-35B Lightning II Aug. 3, 2013 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Kingen was in BF-1, the first short takeoff and vertical landing test aircraft. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)

Photo of the day:  U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Capt. Michael Kingen releases an inert 500-pound GBU-12 from F-35B Lightning II aircraft BF-1 Aug. 1 over the Atlantic Test Ranges at Patuxent River, Md. Kingen is part of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River where the team tests and evaluates the F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing and F-35C carrier variants. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)
Photo of the day: U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Capt. Michael Kingen releases an inert 500-pound GBU-12 from F-35B Lightning II aircraft BF-1 Aug. 1 over the Atlantic Test Ranges at Patuxent River, Md. Kingen is part of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River where the team tests and evaluates the F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing and F-35C carrier variants. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)

F-35B test aircraft BF-3 during an aerial refueling test in the Atlantic Test Ranges July 24, 2013.  Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin
F-35B test aircraft BF-3 during an aerial refueling test in the Atlantic Test Ranges July 24, 2013. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin

F-35C Lightning II test aircraft CF-1 performs an engine thrust measurement survey on afterburner at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., July 11.  The F-35C is the carrier variant with larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for operations in the aircraft carrier environment.  (U.S. Navy photo)
F-35C Lightning II test aircraft CF-1 performs an engine thrust measurement survey on afterburner at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., July 11. The F-35C is the carrier variant with larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear for operations in the aircraft carrier environment. (U.S. Navy photo)

Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Tony Wilson flies BF-2, an F-35B variant, on its 200th flight July 22 in the Atlantic Test Ranges.  (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin).
Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Tony Wilson flies BF-2, an F-35B variant, on its 200th flight July 22 in the Atlantic Test Ranges. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin).

Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Matthew Kelly conducts a test with a KC-10 in the Atlantic Test Ranges July 10.  USS George H. W. Bush can be seen in the background, the day it conducted the historic first arrested landing by the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System.
Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Matthew Kelly conducts a test with a KC-10 in the Atlantic Test Ranges July 10. USS George H. W. Bush can be seen in the background, the day it conducted the historic first arrested landing by the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System.

Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks flies F-35B aircraft BF-2 during an aerial refueling test July 8, 2013 in the Atlantic Test Ranges. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)
Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks flies F-35B aircraft BF-2 during an aerial refueling test July 8, 2013 in the Atlantic Test Ranges. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)

Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks flies F-35B aircraft BF-2 during an aerial refueling test July 3, 2013 in the Atlantic Test Ranges. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)
Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks flies F-35B aircraft BF-2 during an aerial refueling test July 3, 2013 in the Atlantic Test Ranges. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)

F-35 Integrated Test Force pilot Dan Canin flies F-35C test aircraft CF-2 in the Atlantic Test Ranges July 8, 2013. The F-35C carrier variant of the Lightning II is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear to withstand catapult launches and deck landing impacts associated with the demanding aircraft carrier environment. The F-35C is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)
F-35 Integrated Test Force pilot Dan Canin flies F-35C test aircraft CF-2 in the Atlantic Test Ranges July 8, 2013. The F-35C carrier variant of the Lightning II is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear to withstand catapult launches and deck landing impacts associated with the demanding aircraft carrier environment. The F-35C is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)

Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks flies F-35B aircraft BF-2 during an aerial refueling test July 3, 2013 in the Atlantic Test Ranges. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)
Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks flies F-35B aircraft BF-2 during an aerial refueling test July 3, 2013 in the Atlantic Test Ranges. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)

F-35 Integrated Test Force pilot Dan Canin flies F-35C test aircraft CF-2 in the Atlantic Test Ranges July 8, 2013. The F-35C carrier variant of the Lightning II is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear to withstand catapult launches and deck landing impacts associated with the demanding aircraft carrier environment. The F-35C is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)
F-35 Integrated Test Force pilot Dan Canin flies F-35C test aircraft CF-2 in the Atlantic Test Ranges July 8, 2013. The F-35C carrier variant of the Lightning II is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear to withstand catapult launches and deck landing impacts associated with the demanding aircraft carrier environment. The F-35C is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin)

Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks flies behind an Air Force KC-10 during a test flight June 29, 2013. Burks flew BF-2, an F-35B Lightning II short takeoff and vertical landing variant for the U.S. Marine Corps and international partners. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin.
Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks flies behind an Air Force KC-10 during a test flight June 29, 2013. Burks flew BF-2, an F-35B Lightning II short takeoff and vertical landing variant for the U.S. Marine Corps and international partners. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin.

Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks flies behind an Air Force KC-10 during a test flight June 29, 2013. Burks flew BF-2, an F-35B Lightning II short takeoff and vertical landing variant for the U.S. Marine Corps and international partners. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin.
Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks flies behind an Air Force KC-10 during a test flight June 29, 2013. Burks flew BF-2, an F-35B Lightning II short takeoff and vertical landing variant for the U.S. Marine Corps and international partners. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin.

Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks flies behind an Air Force KC-10 during a test flight June 29, 2013.  Burks flew BF-2, an F-35B Lightning II short takeoff and vertical landing variant for the U.S. Marine Corps and international partners. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin.
Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks flies behind an Air Force KC-10 during a test flight June 29, 2013. Burks flew BF-2, an F-35B Lightning II short takeoff and vertical landing variant for the U.S. Marine Corps and international partners. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin.

<p>Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Patrick Moran banks with an Air Force KC-10 tanker during a test flight June 24, 2013 near Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Moran flew BF-2, the third F-35B Lightning II aircraft, capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.</p>

Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Patrick Moran banks with an Air Force KC-10 tanker during a test flight June 24, 2013 near Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Moran flew BF-2, the third F-35B Lightning II aircraft, capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.


Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Patrick Moran flying BF-2, an F-35B test aircraft, behind an Air Force KC-10 during a test flight in the Atlantic Test Ranges June 25.  Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Patrick Moran flying BF-2, an F-35B test aircraft, behind an Air Force KC-10 during a test flight in the Atlantic Test Ranges June 25. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.

Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Patrick Moran flies BF-2, an F-35B variant, near the Patuxent River Naval Air Station June 20, 2013.  Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin
Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Patrick Moran flies BF-2, an F-35B variant, near the Patuxent River Naval Air Station June 20, 2013. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin

Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Matthew Kelly completes the first test tanking for the F-35B with an Air Force KC-10 in the Atlantic Test Ranges June 19, 2013. Kelly flew BF-2 for the mission. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Matthew Kelly completes the first test tanking for the F-35B with an Air Force KC-10 in the Atlantic Test Ranges June 19, 2013. Kelly flew BF-2 for the mission. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.

Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C. R. Clift pilots F-35B test aircraft BF-5 in the Atlantic Test Ranges June 17, 2013.
Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C. R. Clift pilots F-35B test aircraft BF-5 in the Atlantic Test Ranges June 17, 2013.

Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Tony Wilson flies F-35C test aircraft CF-3, his first flight in the F-35 Lightning II carrier variant, June 5, 2013 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Tony Wilson flies F-35C test aircraft CF-3, his first flight in the F-35 Lightning II carrier variant, June 5, 2013 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

F-35B test aircraft BF-5 in the Atlantic Test Ranges during a test flight June 14, 2013.
F-35B test aircraft BF-5 in the Atlantic Test Ranges during a test flight June 14, 2013.

F-35C test aircraft CF-3 during a ground test with 4 2,000 pound GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munitions underwing June 6, 2013.
F-35C test aircraft CF-3 during a ground test with 4 2,000 pound GBU-31 Joint Direct Attack Munitions underwing June 6, 2013.

Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Tony Wilson takes off in his first F-35 flight June 5, 2013 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Tony Wilson takes off in his first F-35 flight June 5, 2013 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

F-35B test aircraft BF-1 flies a test mission in short takeoff and vertical landing mode near Naval Air Station Patuxent River May 10, 2013.
F-35B test aircraft BF-1 flies a test mission in short takeoff and vertical landing mode near Naval Air Station Patuxent River May 10, 2013.

BAE test pilot Peter Wilson flies F-35B aircraft BF-1 near Naval Air Station Patuxent River June 4, 2013.  The flight was number 300 for BF-1.
BAE test pilot Peter Wilson flies F-35B aircraft BF-1 near Naval Air Station Patuxent River June 4, 2013. The flight was number 300 for BF-1.

Royal Air Force test pilot Sqdn. Ldr. Jim Schofield flies F-35C test aircraft CF-2 over Maryland's Eastern Shore May 22, 2013.
Royal Air Force test pilot Sqdn. Ldr. Jim Schofield flies F-35C test aircraft CF-2 over Maryland's Eastern Shore May 22, 2013.

U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Matthew Kelly flies F-35C aircraft CF-2 during a test mission May 30, 2013 over Maryland's Eastern Shore.
U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Matthew Kelly flies F-35C aircraft CF-2 during a test mission May 30, 2013 over Maryland's Eastern Shore.

U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Patrick Moran pilots F-35C aircraft CF-3 during a software test flight in the Atlantic Test Ranges May 20, 2013.
U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Patrick Moran pilots F-35C aircraft CF-3 during a software test flight in the Atlantic Test Ranges May 20, 2013.

U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Patrick Moran pilots F-35C aircraft CF-3 during a software test flight in the Atlantic Test Ranges May 20, 2013.
U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Patrick Moran pilots F-35C aircraft CF-3 during a software test flight in the Atlantic Test Ranges May 20, 2013.

F-35C test aircraft CF-2 returns to Naval Air Station Patuxent River following a loads test mission May 31, 2013.
F-35C test aircraft CF-2 returns to Naval Air Station Patuxent River following a loads test mission May 31, 2013.

U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Patrick Moran pilots F-35C aircraft CF-3 during a software test flight in the Atlantic Test Ranges May 20, 2013.
U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Patrick Moran pilots F-35C aircraft CF-3 during a software test flight in the Atlantic Test Ranges May 20, 2013.

Formation flying qualities test by U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C. R. Clift in BF-2 and Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks in BF-4 on Aug. 22, 2012.
Formation flying qualities test by U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C. R. Clift in BF-2 and Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks in BF-4 on Aug. 22, 2012.

Flyover of the Andrews Joint Services Open House May 21, 2011 by Lt. Cmdr. Eric Buus in F-35C test aircraft CF-2.
Flyover of the Andrews Joint Services Open House May 21, 2011 by Lt. Cmdr. Eric Buus in F-35C test aircraft CF-2.

First F-35C flight by a Navy test pilot, Lt. Cmdr. Eric Buus on Feb. 11, 2011 near the Atlantic Test Ranges.
First F-35C flight by a Navy test pilot, Lt. Cmdr. Eric Buus on Feb. 11, 2011 near the Atlantic Test Ranges.

F-35B test aircraft BF-1 flying in STOVL mode over water near Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.  U.S. Navy photo.
F-35B test aircraft BF-1 flying in STOVL mode over water near Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. U.S. Navy photo.

Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C. R. Clift flies BF-1 on a short take off and vertical landing mode mission, Dec. 7. The flight marked the 1,000th developmental test flight for the F-35B Lightning II in the program’s system development and demonstration phase. The F-35B is the Lightning II variant designed for the U.S. Marine Corps as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md., prior to delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C. R. Clift flies BF-1 on a short take off and vertical landing mode mission, Dec. 7. The flight marked the 1,000th developmental test flight for the F-35B Lightning II in the program’s system development and demonstration phase. The F-35B is the Lightning II variant designed for the U.S. Marine Corps as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md., prior to delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

An F-35C Lightning II, on a nighttime test flight, cuts through the skies over the Atlantic Test Ranges Jan. 23. Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C. R. Clift flew CF-5 for almost an hour, completing evaluation of the aircraft’s landing and taxi lights.
An F-35C Lightning II, on a nighttime test flight, cuts through the skies over the Atlantic Test Ranges Jan. 23. Marine Corps test pilot Maj. C. R. Clift flew CF-5 for almost an hour, completing evaluation of the aircraft’s landing and taxi lights.

Aircraft CF-5, flown by Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks, takes off from the F-35 Lightning II manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, Texas, on Dec. 11. The aircraft, which arrived here the same day, is the final permanently assigned F-35C for the Integrated Test Force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River and designated primarily for ship suitability and high angle of attack testing. The Lightning II F-35C carrier variant is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear built to withstand catapult launches and deck-landing impacts associated with the demanding aircraft carrier environment. The F-35C is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River before delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
Aircraft CF-5, flown by Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks, takes off from the F-35 Lightning II manufacturing facility in Fort Worth, Texas, on Dec. 11. The aircraft, which arrived here the same day, is the final permanently assigned F-35C for the Integrated Test Force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River and designated primarily for ship suitability and high angle of attack testing. The Lightning II F-35C carrier variant is distinct from the F-35A and F-35B variants with larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear built to withstand catapult launches and deck-landing impacts associated with the demanding aircraft carrier environment. The F-35C is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River before delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

Two F-35 Lightning II carrier variants completed an aerial refueling for the first time Jan. 18. Test pilots Navy Lt. Christopher Tabert and Dan Canin of Lockheed Martin flew CF-1 and CF-2 respectively, with a KC-130 from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
Two F-35 Lightning II carrier variants completed an aerial refueling for the first time Jan. 18. Test pilots Navy Lt. Christopher Tabert and Dan Canin of Lockheed Martin flew CF-1 and CF-2 respectively, with a KC-130 from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

On March 26, the F-35B Lightning II became the first F-35 variant to complete airborne weapons separations on three different munitions, the most of any model. Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks released an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile from BF-3 over water in the Atlantic Test Ranges. The F-35B is the variant of the Lightning II designed for use by the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md., and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., prior to delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
On March 26, the F-35B Lightning II became the first F-35 variant to complete airborne weapons separations on three different munitions, the most of any model. Navy test pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Burks released an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile from BF-3 over water in the Atlantic Test Ranges. The F-35B is the variant of the Lightning II designed for use by the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md., and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., prior to delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

F-35B test aircraft BF-4 performs weapons environment testing April 26 over the Atlantic Test Ranges at Patuxent River, Md. The F-35B is undergoing flight test and evaluation at Naval Air Station Patuxent River and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; aircrew training at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; and deployed to the first operational squadron at MCAS Yuma, Ariz. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
F-35B test aircraft BF-4 performs weapons environment testing April 26 over the Atlantic Test Ranges at Patuxent River, Md. The F-35B is undergoing flight test and evaluation at Naval Air Station Patuxent River and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; aircrew training at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; and deployed to the first operational squadron at MCAS Yuma, Ariz. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

An F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) Lightning II test aircraft recently completed the first-ever vertical takeoff (VTO) May 10 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. VTOs are one of the many capabilities requ...ired for the fielding an F-35B aircraft. While not a combat capability, VTOs are required for repositioning of the STOVL in environments where a jet could not perform a short takeoff. In these cases, the jet, with a limited amount of fuel, would execute a VTO to travel a short distance. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
An F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) Lightning II test aircraft recently completed the first-ever vertical takeoff (VTO) May 10 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. VTOs are one of the many capabilities requ...ired for the fielding an F-35B aircraft. While not a combat capability, VTOs are required for repositioning of the STOVL in environments where a jet could not perform a short takeoff. In these cases, the jet, with a limited amount of fuel, would execute a VTO to travel a short distance. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

BAE test pilot Peter Kosogorin rolls F-35C aircraft CF-2 during a test with AIM-9X Sidewinders earlier this month near Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The F-35C carrier variant of the Lightning II is distinct from t...he F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear to withstand catapult launches and deck landing impacts associated with the demanding aircraft carrier environment. The F-35C is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet.
BAE test pilot Peter Kosogorin rolls F-35C aircraft CF-2 during a test with AIM-9X Sidewinders earlier this month near Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. The F-35C carrier variant of the Lightning II is distinct from t...he F-35A and F-35B variants with its larger wing surfaces and reinforced landing gear to withstand catapult launches and deck landing impacts associated with the demanding aircraft carrier environment. The F-35C is undergoing flight test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet.

F-35B test aircraft BF-3, flown by Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Levin, completed the first aerial weapons release Aug. 8, for any variant of the aircraft. BF-3 dropped an inert 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition over an Atlantic test range from an internal weapons bay. The F-35B is the variant of the Joint Strike Fighter designed for use by U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md., and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., prior to delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
F-35B test aircraft BF-3, flown by Lockheed Martin test pilot Dan Levin, completed the first aerial weapons release Aug. 8, for any variant of the aircraft. BF-3 dropped an inert 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munition over an Atlantic test range from an internal weapons bay. The F-35B is the variant of the Joint Strike Fighter designed for use by U.S. Marine Corps, as well as F-35 international partners in the United Kingdom and Italy. The F-35B is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings to enable air power projection from amphibious ships, ski-jump aircraft carriers and expeditionary airfields. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River, Md., and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., prior to delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

<p>ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 3, 2011) An F-35B Lightning II conducts initial sea trials over the Atlantic Ocean. The F-35B is the Marine Corps Joint Strike Force variant of the Joint Strike Fighter and is designed for short takeoff and vertical landing on Navy amphibious ships. The aircraft is operating with the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). ( photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)</p>

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Oct. 3, 2011) An F-35B Lightning II conducts initial sea trials over the Atlantic Ocean. The F-35B is the Marine Corps Joint Strike Force variant of the Joint Strike Fighter and is designed for short takeoff and vertical landing on Navy amphibious ships. The aircraft is operating with the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1). ( photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)


PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford and Lt. Col. Fred Schenk and Lt. Col. Matt Kelly of the F-35 Integrated Test Force inspecting a F-35B test aircraft on December 17, 2010.  Earlier that week with reporters, Gen. Amos said,
PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford and Lt. Col. Fred Schenk and Lt. Col. Matt Kelly of the F-35 Integrated Test Force inspecting a F-35B test aircraft on December 17, 2010. Earlier that week with reporters, Gen. Amos said, "The programmatic health of the STOVL variant of the F-35 is a matter of great national interest. Right now, we have 11 aircraft carriers and 11 "big deck" amphibious ships - so our nation effectively has 22 carrier-type capital ships to do our nation's bidding. We need to put fifth generation aircraft on all 22 of those ships if we are to maintain operational flexibility for the National Command Authority and the Combatant Commander." Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin.

<p>PATUXENT RIVER, Md. - U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Fred Schenk pilots F-35B test aircraft BF-2 for its first vertical landing in short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) mode on January 6, 2011. The F-35B is undergoing testing and evaluation during the program's system design and development phase at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin.</p>

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. - U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Fred Schenk pilots F-35B test aircraft BF-2 for its first vertical landing in short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) mode on January 6, 2011. The F-35B is undergoing testing and evaluation during the program's system design and development phase at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin.


<p>PATUXENT RIVER, Md. - U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Fred Schenk pilots F-35B test aircraft BF-2 for its first vertical landing in short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) mode on January 6, 2011. The F-35B is undergoing testing and evaluation during the program's system design and development phase at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin.</p>

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. - U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Fred Schenk pilots F-35B test aircraft BF-2 for its first vertical landing in short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) mode on January 6, 2011. The F-35B is undergoing testing and evaluation during the program's system design and development phase at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin.