[Photo] First F-35B short take-off and vertical landing sortie by British pilot at Eglin

First STOVL sortie at Eglin for a RAF pilot

On Feb. 25, Royal Air Force pilot, Squadron Leader Hugh Nichols, flew in a U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II during the first short take-off and vertical landing sortie by a United Kingdom pilot at Eglin Air Force Base, in Florida, where British pilots and ground crews are undertaking training alongside their Marines counterparts.

The USMC began flying STOVL sorties at Eglin in October last year.

Beginning in 2018, the F-35B STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) should operate from Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force


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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.


    • Nah, the C version has an amazingly low wing loading that helps it maneuver at extramly low speeds while the A has the highest thrust to weight ratio and least thrust to drag ratio.
      In BFM, those 2 will dominate the enemy, the B version is the one I’m afraid of, limited to 7Gs max, heavier than than the A and has the highest wing loading of all 3 variants

  1. http://defensetech.org/2014/02/25/let-humans-override-f-35-alis-computer/

    A funny odd story: ALIS and Dave.

    ALIS:”There are some extremely odd things about this mission”

    usmc mechanical:”what the hell is that!”

    ALIS:”I just pick up a fault in the AE-35 Unit”

    usmc mechanical:”Holy shit!, another fucking failure in this bird”

    ALIS:”Yes. It’s puzzling. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite

    like this before”

    usmc mechanical:”not me, stay tuned baby… this bird is really a pain

    in the ass!”

    usmc mechanical:”c’mon baby, let me install a couple of aim9 sidewinder”

    ALIS:”I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that”

    usmc mechanical:”holy shit!, my name is Jack, I’m not Dave, listen!, this

    bird has to take off immediatly, do you know what it means?”

    ALIS:”Quite honestly, I wouldn’t worry myself about that”

    usmc mechanical:”fucking motherfucker do you copy? you have to install a couple of aim9 sidewinder on this bird!!”

    ALIS:”the mission is not important for me, I don’t allow you to install

    those aim 9 sidewinders on this F35, Dave, I hope you are not concerned

    about that”

    usmc mechanical:”fucking motherfucker!, sir comes here!!, your bird is

    going mad!!!”

    F35 pilot:”ehi Jack, what’s up?”

    usmc mechanical:”sir, ALIS doesn’t manage a couple of aim9 sidewinder in

    this bird, sir”

    F35 pilot:”mmhhhh… this sounds strange, the B61 bomb seems ok”.

    F35 pilot:”c’mon ALIS, I’m Dave, here’s my login *****”

    ALIS:”just a moment… just a moment”

    F35 pilot:”c’mon ALIS, install those aim9 sidewinder on my bird”

    ALIS:”Dave, although you took very thorough precautions on wearing your

    helmet, I guess without your pilot helmet Dave, you’re going to find that

    rather difficult.”




    F35 pilot:”holy shit!, an helmet failure!”

    usmc mechanical:”No sir, I guess this motherfucker is disabling your

    pilot helmet!”

    F35 pilot:”I guess it’s a fucking virus into ALIS”

    usmc mechanical:”Sure is, this motherfucker is a real pain in the ass”

    F35 pilot:”C’mon Jack, lets turn off this shit, let’s reinstall all

    arms on using manual function only!”




    F35 pilot:”Damn! that’s another system failure, look!, this virus is going

    mad all ALIS systems”

    usmc mechanical:”Oh! my God, Sir, the B61 timer is activated and the

    timer is running”

    F35 pilot:”what the fuck!”

    usmc mechanical:”Sir, that’s no way to deactivate the system, the B61 will explode

    in 40 seconds!!!”

    F35 pilot:”Holy shit!”

    ALIS:”Dave, I know that you and Jack were plannig to disconnect me, and

    I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen”

    F35 pilot:”ALIS, it’s me, Dave, here’s my login ***** stop the bomb”

    ALIS:”This conversation can serve no purpose any more. Goodbye”


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