Finding a suitable runway to launch your multibillion pound fighter jet from isn't always as easy as it sounds. That's why the F-35B Lightning II is designed to with the ability to both take off and land without ever needing to taxi. Here's the first look at its vertical launch.
Earlier this month at the Naval Air Station in Patuxent River, Md, the first production F-35B demonstrated its VTOL (Vertical Takeoff/Landing) abilities for the first time on camera. This not only allows the plane to hop short distances in VTOL, but it also allows the crew to carry heavier loads by using both the downward thrust of the jets in addition to the aerodynamic lift generated by the wings in a more conventional takeoff manoeuvre. The F-35B is therefore capable of taking off with limited runway space, handy for a warzone or a catapult-lacking carriers. [Lockheed]