British pilot performs first ever F-35B launch from ski-jump

Jun 23 2015 - 7 Comments

F-35B STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter performs first launch from ski-jump in the hands of a British pilot.

On Jun. 19, BAE Systems Test Pilot Pete ‘Wizzer’ Wilson launched the Lockheed Martin F-35B from a land-based ski-jump for the very first time, at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

The trials aim at validating the troubled fifth generation multi-role aircraft’s ability to take off safely and effectively from a ski-jump ramp similar to that which will be used on the UK’s new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.

Ski-jump ramps on aircraft carrier help the launching plane take off with an upward flight path. Italy’s Cavour aircraft carrier, destined to receive the Italian Navy F-35Bs that will replace the AV-8B+ Harrier II is also equipped with a ski-jump.


  • Tawse

    Can it land yet without melting the deck?

    • sferrin

      It’s never had a problem “melting the deck”. Perhaps you should educate yourself?

    • HobgoblinTruth

      Of course.

    • Mongee Phase

      F-35… A huge
      failure on dogfights, the F-16 could out perform a Trillion dollar
      project; too complex and too many parts. Why didn’t they just spend a trillion on F-22 instead. Are they retarded or just trolled by Lockheed M. for more dosh?

  • tjohn6041

    I could do that on a bike! Except for the keep flying part

    • Tawse

      Go tell Lockheed Martin – they might be able to get you a few billion.

  • Prince Edward

    Wow, almost 20 years on and it finally flies!