F-35B completes first vertical takeoff

The (Hilton Head) Island PacketMay 22, 2013 

— An F-35B fighter jet test aircraft completed its first vertical takeoff earlier this month in Maryland, according to a news release from manufacturers Lockheed Martin.

The vertical takeoff test took place May 10 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

The vertical takeoff is only to be used outside of combat and to travel short distances, according to the release. The fighter jet is designed for takeoffs on short surfaces and vertical landings.

Several squadrons of F-35Bs are set to be delivered to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort early next year as part of the Joint Strike Fighter program.

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