Marine Corps F-35B Takeoff and Landing On USS America
November 2016 - The F-35 Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) wrapped up its third and final developmental test phase (DT-III) of the F-35B Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant aboard amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6). The Pax River ITF's highly diverse cadre of technicians, maintainers, engineers, logisticians, support staff and test pilots embarked aboard USS America with two F-35B aircraft from Air Test & Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland to conduct F-35B carrier suitability and integration testing.
During the three week detachment, the Pax River ITF completed the F-35B Launch and Recovery Bulletin for the fleet, attained the F-35B's final flight clearances for operating from L-Class ships, and achieved 126 Vertical Landings (VL)s, 128 Short Take Offs (STO)s, and two Vertical Take Offs (VTO)s across 60 flights that logged 53.5 flight hours during sea states that routinely featured +/- 5.5 degrees of roll and +/- 2 degrees of pitch. The F-35B STOVL DT-III lays the groundwork for upcoming U.S. Marine Corps F-35B deployments aboard U.S. Navy amphibious assault ships beginning in 2018.
Also, conducting F-35B operations aboard USS America with the Salty Dogs of VX-23 were Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 1 from Edwards AFB, California and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 from MCAS Yuma, Arizona.
U.S. Navy video by Matthew Short and Jeff Patnaude Video edited by USA Patriotism!