New F-35B delivers extreme vertical takeoff

Eva Cover Contributor
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Lockheed Martin’s latest technological wonder, the F-35B Lightning II fighter jet, combines the maneuverability of a jet with the precise landing capability of a helicopter.

In a video provided by Gizmodo, the F-35B performs a seamless vertical takeoff (VTO) and vertical landing (VL) for the first time on camera, on May 10 of 2013.

According to the Lockheed Martin website, the F-35B is designed to land on both conventional runways and in remote areas. This new development will open up landing spaces unavailable to many aircrafts.

While the F-35B’s vertical capabilities appeal to the science fiction crowd, they’re not the only revolutionary component of this new 5th generation jet.

The jet can travel at speeds of up to mach 1.6 or appropriately 1,200 miles per hour — not an entirely new innovation, but one of the jet’s new tricks.

The F-35B’s advanced stealth allows it to engage ground enemies from a greater distance and rapidly clear the area. The jet also can carry a weapons payload of 16,000 pounds.

However, the F-35B is not the only high-performing vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft in the skies. The Hawker Siddeley Harrier made a name for itself as the first VTOL over 30 years ago during the Falklands War.

Lockheed Martin hails the new F-35B as  “the most flexible, technologically sophisticated multirole fighter ever.” In a video promotion released by Lockheed Martin, the jet shows off its reinvented stealth technologies, weaponry systems and air agility.

However, F-35Bs aren’t cheap.

According to an article in Time Magazine, the Pentagon will buy 2,457 jets for a whopping $400 billion.