F-35B Makes First Ship Landing

BF-2, a Marine Corps F-35B test aircraft, touched down upon the landing deck of the USS Wasp (LHD-1), completing the first-ever vertical landing at sea in the history of the strike fighter’s short takeoff and vertical landing variant. Marine Corps pilot Lt. Col. Fred Schenk brought BF-2 safely down upon the amphibious assault ship on Monday. “It was exactly like we predicted,” said Schenk of the landing. This test kicked off the start of several weeks of initial ship trials to collect data on the aircraft’s ability to perform short takeoffs and vertical landings from the ship and determine how well it integrates with the ship’s landing systems, and deck and hangar operations. “This test was planned to happen on Oct. 3 back in early spring of this year and the team delivered on schedule,” said Vice Adm. David Venlet, F-35 program executive officer. (F-35 program office release, including link to video of landing.)