On Wednesday we took to the skies with Lockheed Martin for Life In 360° thanks to some aerial photography inside an F-16 Fighting Falcon. That however was then. Today we’re sticking with flight, but are slightly more concerned with the landing aspect. Normally this is relatively straightforward – the ground is the ground, a factor rather important when you’re testing new machinery. It is, after all, good to have a constant.
So, what if the ground wasn’t stationary. What if it too was moving?
Today’s video follows the activities of an F-35 Lightning II, again being put through its paces by Lockheed Martin. This time however the 360 degree camera is not in the cockpit, nor even in or on the jet itself. Instead it’s attached to an observation platform, one on the jet’s designated landing site: the USS America.
“The F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant is the world’s first supersonic STOVL stealth aircraft.” Explains Lockheed Martin on their website. “It is designed to operate from austere bases and a range of air-capable ships near front-line combat zones. It can also take off and land conventionally from longer runways on major bases. The U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B aircraft reached initial operational capability (IOC) on July 31, 2015, and as of January 2017, a squadron of F-35Bs is permanently based at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan.”
The fourth historically and current USS America on the other hand is an 844 ft ‘assault ship’, of a design also called ‘America’. Which can carry up to 20 F-35B Lightning strike fighters as well as helicopter gunships.
Check out the video below.