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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