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Royal Navy Starts F-35B Rolling Vertical Landing Trials


17 October 2018

Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth was at the centre of an important milestone for the F-35 program as an F-35B performed the first ever shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL)

British test pilot Peter Wilson conducted the landing.

Previously the jets have conducted only vertical landings, hovering by the side of the ship before moving sideways over the deck and gently lowering down.

A rolling landing however requires the jet to make a more conventional landing approach, approaching the ship from behind at speed, before using thrust from its nozzle and lift created by air over the wings to touch down and gently come to a stop.

The UK is the only nation currently planning to use the manoeuver, which will allow jets to land on board the carrier with heavier loads, meaning they won’t need to jettison expensive fuel and weapons before landing.

HMS Queen Elizabeth continues her flying trials – on a deployment called Westlant 18 – along with her escort ships HMS Monmouth and US destroyer USS Lassen.

She left her home port of Portsmouth in August, crossing the Atlantic with embarked Merlin Mk2 anti-submarine helicopters from 820 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Culdrose and Merlin Mk4 helicopters from 845 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton.

Source: navaltoday.com