Photo: F-35B with weapons bay doors open

As flight testing continues, Lockheed Martin released new images of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

After the F-35A CTOL (Conventional Take Off and Landing) with external stores, and the F-35 B flying for the first time with external weapons, including a never seen before white 25 mm gun pod on the centerline, the new photographs show the STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant with the weapon bay doors open.

Even if this is not the first time the aircraft’s weapon bays are visible, the following pictures are the first ones to clearly show both of them in detail (including the two dummy 2,000lb JDAMs).

Pictures were taken on Mar. 1, 2012.

Image credit: Lockheed Martin


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.