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F-35B engages lift fan in flight

written by australianaviation.com.au | January 8, 2010
BF-1's STOVL lift system is engaged in flight. (Lockheed Martin)
BF-1's STOVL lift system is engaged in flight. (Lockheed Martin)

The first F-35B development aircraft, BF-1, successfully engaged its vertical lift fan in flight during a flight from NAS Patuxent River near Washington DC on January 7.

The lift fan was engaged while the aircraft remained in forward flight between 210 and 180kts (385 and 330km/h) and remained engaged for a total of 14 minutes, according to reports.

The test flight is one of a series of ‘step down’ flights which will culminate in the aircraft performing a vertical landing, currently planned for the end of this month. The aircraft was piloted by former RAF Harrier pilot, Graham Tomlinson.

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