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F-35B STOVLs in proximity trials

written by australianaviation.com.au | November 17, 2010
The first formation flight of the F-35B. (Lockheed Martin)

Two F-35B STOVL test aircraft based at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland have evaluated the type’s close proximity handling qualities.

The flights were conducted at 20,000ft and 30,000ft, and the accompanying image shows BF-1 and BF-3 in formation.

Interestingly, the image also shows BF-1 sporting what appears to be an unpainted auxiliary inlet door, possibly indicating this has been replaced in the wake of aerodynamic issues with the door’s hinges when open.

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